Technology is transforming the way people shop and their expectations when it comes to brand experience. How can brands keep up with this new reality? Our CEO Rebecca Brooks writes about the tension between technology and branding in her latest article on Forbes. Fierce retail competition, technology-driven conveniences and the desire for barrier-free shopping are just some of the phenomenon that are changing the game.
She writes about some of the major changes that this environment is causing for brands, including the move away from retail shopping experiences. “ If consumers no longer enter the retail environment, things like packaging - long deemed a critical part of brand's marketing and communications platform - begin to diminish in importance.” Rebecca also addresses the difficulty that new or challenger brands may have in encouraging trial in a “subscribe and save” ecosystem. Consumers may not be willing to give new products a try when automatic purchasing of existing brands has become so easy.
Most importantly, the article addresses ways we can begin to shift thinking in order to operate more effectively. First, she writes that market research - the foundation of brand building - must start to shift away from traditional “brand narcissism” approaches and more toward thinking of the consumers’ needs and the context in which they are making shopping decisions. Aligning research with these key points can help:
- Dig into the context - “We find the much more actionable information lies in the consumer’s engagement toward and attitudes about the actual product category.”
- Focus on a recent event - “We find the data from focusing on very recent purchasers is actually more predictive because it is giving us a more accurate story.”
- View everything from your category’s unique landscape - “Understanding how engaged people are with a specific category, the perceptions they have of it and how they shop it, can be critical to understanding a particular brand’s position in that landscape.”
She concludes: “The retail environment is changing drastically, driven by a consumer need for fewer barriers, convenience and ease. Technology is making these changes possible, and is making them fast. Brands must keep up in this new shopping environment in order to continue to make meaningful connections with target audiences. The first step is to shift the way we approach brand research by contextualizing our outreach, focusing less on perception and more on needs.”
For the complete article, visit: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesagencycouncil/2019/06/05/why-brand-building-must-change-in-the-age-of-convenience/#2d5dfe041966