Monday, August 30, 2010
At the beginning of the year, I featured a write-up by Paul Worthington, from Wolff Olins, regarding the evolution of branding. Since then, I feel the increasing adoption of smartphones and other mobile technologies has influenced the continued evolution of branding.
The initial three phases of branding, begin with the introduction of TV advertising and its ability to communicate to mass audiences in a visual manner. This was the 'product age' were brands differentiated on a unique product feature - creating the unique selling proposition.
However, product features can be easily duplicated by the competition, eliminating long-term differentiation. So, with the introduction of the PC computer and consumer research, we saw the introduction of the emotional selling proposition. This phase aimed to establish an emotional connection with customers by featuring how the product/service would meet their needs and wants.
Building off the desire to connect with the customer and the increased demand for transparency from organizations, we have seen the growth in experiential marketing. Enabled through the internet and social media, brands are able to engage with the customer soliciting feedback and fostering dialogues between the customer and the brand or with other customers.
But now, customers expect to have the best product features and understand how it satisfies their desires, while being able to engage with the brand at any time. So, customers are beginning to want more from their brands - expecting them and their products to add value to their daily lives - any time, any where.
With the growing dependance and demand for mobile devices, customers expect information and tools to aid them when most needed. This is creating the perfect opportunity for brands to extend their experience and provide a meaningful utility that is there for the customer when they need it most.
For instance, Nationwide Insurance developed an iPhone app to create a meaningful service for their customers. When someone gets into an accident they can call the police from the app, which geo-locates where the accident took place. You can take photos of the damage, complete the needed paperwork and send it off to Nationwide to begin the claim process. This is a great example of a brand developing a utility that allows it to add-value to the customer relationship when they need it most, creating the greatest impact further strengthening the trust for the brand.
So, when you go to create an engaging brand experience for your customers, take it one step further and determine how you can develop a meaningful utility enabling the brand to add value to their daily lives when they need it most - in the moment and on the go.
Posted by Nicole Armstrong at 12:01 AM