It is without question that the world around us has changed in 2020. From social distancing to the ways in which consumers have shifted their spending habits, the overarching notion of brand loyalty itself is in question. Thus, it is times like these where we find ourselves considering the very epicenter of our brand mantra, our philosophy, the core mission statement and, whereas that may not change, the way in which we wish to have it digitally transcend for consumer adoption.
Make no mistake, this is an opportunity, a time to consider the unmatched skillset of a branding services and how this can propel us to growth in 2021. What should you and your branding agency consider as we foray into the New Year and beyond? Let’s explore.
Five Branding Paradigms in 2021
#1 – A Core Review of The Consumer Journey – There is no better time to remap and give significant analysis to the consumer journey of your core demo. Walking a mile or two, or more, in the shoes of your customers is essential. It is critical to understand the touchpoints that lead to interaction and be able to consider their overarching sentiment. Being digitally focused on the analytical pulse of customer interaction is important, as is responding swiftly to their comments and feedback. Overall, however, it is not just what you say in your core branding messaging and value propositions, rather, it also, how, where and when, within their overarching journey, you say it, that fosters meaningful engagement. It is suggested that failure to manage the customer journey stems from personalization.
#2 – Measure Engagement Beyond the Click – There are far deeper layers to understand, beyond last click attribution, or a simple like or share. In fact, after a multi-year study DBA, for example, released a report entitled 8 Dimensions of Brand Advocacy that explores an engagement matrix. In this multi-dimensional lens, a unified theory of the brand and consumer relationship is explored and it is rather enlightening. As they found, the relationship between brand and consumer is far more complex than a click and brand pride, trust and even emotional influencers are factors to map within a matrix.
#3 – Dotted Lines to the Consumer – It is important to build a relationship with your customers. Staying connected in impactful and doing so in a way that is authentic is critical. By all means, remarketing and folding into their customer journey is prudent, but don’t forget to reach out and personalize your communication in contextual ways. Are you sending emails? Do you have drip campaigns to nurture the sales process? Do you respond to reviews, positive and negative? Texting is another effective way to stay in touch, top-of-mind and remain a viable option within their buying cycle and journey.
#4 – Embracing Brand Advocates, Wherever They Are – When your branding services have inspired consumers, evoked sales and when you have exceeding expectations, the seed to brand advocacy is born. It is now time to embrace them, wherever they may be. In fact, many companies are finding a plethora of brand advocates within their own organization. Employees can absolutely propel your key attributes and brand mantra. This reinforces culture, but remember, they have a voice, social channels, friends and family and are a fantastic resource in the advocacy build that is ideal when you are growing and helping your brand to flourish.
#5 – Be Relevant Within The Landscape of Your Customers Lives – With all that we do and the myriad of plates which are spun to keep a company viable and on an upward trajectory, we must not forget to be mindful of our customers lives and the elements which may impact them in seismic ways. COVID-19 may has impacted the jobs of many, disposable incomes are diminishing, and some are facing bankruptcy. Thus, meeting the customer where they are, environmentally, matters. Consider offering loyalty programs or coupons that tie-in to the causes which are epicenter to the catalyst. Putting your customer first will help your organization to make that meaningful connection, which ultimately will also help to fortify revenues and allow you to also survive vastly challenging times.
While 2021 is looking absolutely optimistic as a time of growth and a new era in consumer spending, it is important that we closely examine our branding practices. From how we engage, to where and when while having a clear “why,” as it relates to company relevance, all matter in the consumer buying journey and will be the difference to brands existing and brands maximizing their full potential while fostering advocacy along the way.