The digital marketing space continues to get increasingly complex, especially given that consumer behavior continues to change and attention spans continue to shrink. Even with the mass amount of platforms, tools, and resources available, brands in the e-commerce space need to continuously adapt to use dynamic strategies and stay relevant to their target audiences.
How?? *Kanye voice
The strategy doesn’t matter if you have a weak brand. Most business leaders see their product or service as the greatest thing since sliced bread. Though sometimes true, unless you’ve thought through how your brand meets the consumer at their specific moment of consumption, chances are you’re screaming fire at a burning house to people who likely have their headphones on.
Branding isn’t all about your product or service and the problem that it aims to solve. It’s far more novel-worthy–branding tells a story with an image, an affiliation, or style that deeply connects with your consumer. It places your journey on the path of your consumers through empathy, collaboration, friendship, and counsel. A good brand has its consumers create personal relationships for it. A great example is Netflix, which to many consumers is a counselor or comforter. An actual relationship that morphed into the “Netflix and Chill” phenomenon.
Understanding and creating a relationship with your consumer will only strengthen spend and create efficiencies in acquiring them. Advertising is one piece of the marketing puzzle and brands that understand their branding, from messaging, aesthetic, core values, and long-term relationship with their entire consumer ecosystem are the ones that perform better when real dollars are spent on advertising. The complexity of the digital advertising space eludes to more competition, higher costs, and fewer revenue opportunities especially when a brand simply isn’t strong.
So how does a brand take hold of the massive digital media opportunity?
Know your “why”
Know the problem your brand is solving, not simply from your perspective but from that of the struggling customer you created it for. Do your extensive research by interviewing your customers to gather insight as to how they see your brand and compare that to how your brand is filling the gaps.
Take a moment to define the relationship you think your consumer should create
I run a music production company called 3ME (PLUG), and I sat with my team a couple of years ago to do this. We first went around and identified how we individually placed our personalities in the brand itself. A brand is a reflection of those who created it. Then we identified who we are as a whole and how we interact with consumers; from venue employees to booking agents, to radio personalities, and fans.
In doing so we keyed on the notion that our brand is like your favorite teacher. You know the best teacher in middle school or high school who you could talk with about any and everything but you still respected their position of counsel and friendship. Knowing that alone changed my entire perspective of our brand and how I communicated moving forward, even though I might’ve already been that favorite teacher when representing the brand, it was now more intentional.
If you simply start by taking the time to understand the “why” from both yours and the consumer’s perspective, then identify key relationships that are necessary for that ecosystem, you will start to take hold of your own space. From there, you can begin to carve out a core segment of people that will become loyal fans.