BRANDING CHALLENGES OF 2019

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Brands are being challenged by the digital age through shifting landscapes and consumer habits. Brands need constant adaptation and reinvention. Customers are responsible for this change and the internet gives access for you to see what other businesses are doing.  This accelerates how industry customs and best practices thrive. New ideas are not new for long and brands needs to constantly reinvent themselves to live up to these realities.

Although brands are facing challenges, opportunities are opening up for the forward thinkers to gain the market share while the average thinkers get stuck in the present. The forward thinkers or risk takers are upsetting their own business models instead of waiting for some new newcomer to steal their thunder and these are the businesses that will still be around tomorrow. This is the nature of hindsight.

There are various challenges facing brands in 2019 but these can be overcome by using transformational business strategies:

  • Gradual change is fine – if you don’t want to be a market leader!

Your biggest competitor is not another brand but the market sector you are in. There will always be other companies that offer similar services that may be better than what you offer. Big idea revolution is a way to differentiate yourself. It’s a classic case of anything you can do, I can do better. Innovative companies search for change in new channels, value propositions and strong communication tools.

  • Strategy is your strongest weapon

You need to understand your customer’s needs, expectations and desires before building your products. This will drive growth initiatives and resource allocation. Your brand strategy informs and enables your business strategy.

  • Communication collapse is a thing of the past

There is a surplus of communication tools available. Now more than ever, there’s an abundance of communication tools to foster teamwork and eradicate silos within your team. Discover how your team works best and give them the right tools to succeed. Internal communications are as vital as external communications.

  • A consistent brand is worth the trouble

This can be a headache for brands, but if you want to optimize your customer experience, it needs to be done. You need to remain relevant to claim a share of the marketplace. Don’t ignore social media channels or online presence. User preferences are effortlessly remembered and transferred. At the end of the day, people want results and don’t care about the mediums used.

  • Emotive brands are remembered

People may forget what you have said and what you did but will never forget how you made them feel.  Ask yourself, how did this make our customers feel? Emotion surpasses language to pull at your heart strings. Even if you don’t know everything about your brand, you know how it makes people feel. Emotion is your power and allow it to direct your decision making which will lead to brand revolution.

  • Brand loyalty is dwindling

People see products and experiences first, then default to the brand name. Traditional retail as we know it has taken a nose dive.  Large retail stores are struggling due to the E-Commerce market.  Physical shopping has needed to shift towards experiences. If you know the product you are purchasing there is no need to visit a store. E-commerce allows the consumer to buy online with hardly any effort and it is delivered to your door. In store shopping has become more about the discovery of new products and exploring your options. Almost everything can be found online with unbeatable prices and delivery within a day or two. What used to be the premium of a shopping experience where products are curated and taste inspired — is now only being used for inspiration.

There has also been a rise on concept stores where some retailers showcase new and interesting products. A monthly trip to these stores is a new discovery experience for shoppers. The stores that have not adopted this trend are not meeting targets. For those retailers E-commerce is more convenient. These stores are just becoming big warehouses.

We have become visual creatures and with the age of advertising on social media platforms.  We are now enticed by the product before the brand. Unfortunately, brands are losing their value. Brands are still important in terms of reputation, but when the brand is decorrelated from the experience, like in a concept store or in an online ad, it’s the product itself that stands out first.

Brands can no longer afford to rest on their laurels of past success. A new product will always come along  like a new toy that is better, shinier, better performing and trendier. Brands need to anticipate this by thinking about the  product and experience first.