In this era of technology, branding is no longer what it was. It has become both more complex and easier. Companies, even smaller ones, can find means to create a recognizable brand today. But at the same time, they must deal with multiple channels — from the social media to print advertisement.
However, complex it may be, there is no doubt that technology has helped us enormously in building brands. It has drastically changed our branding strategies and the way we interact with the market. No brand building exercise can today ignore the power of technology. It is simply too powerful and ubiquitous to be ignored.
Reaching maximum people:
Businesses are expanding at a rapid pace today. Even small businesses often exist across boundaries and nothing reaches this wide market like the Internet. None of the traditional means of branding — TV or print — can boast of the audience that Internet can. A campaign on the web today can reach billions across the globe today.
Once upon a time it took years to build a brand and decades to make it instantly recognizable. And then came the Internet with its many tools and channels. A viral campaign on the social media, for instance, can take your brand across the world before the day is over! Branding may still be a long-term exercise, but technology has helped us in creating a more immediate effect.
Working with smaller budgets:
The traditional means of branding are expensive. To create a big brand one needed a dedicated branding team with millions in ad budget for print and TV. The Internet runs on much simpler lines. Many small businesses have actually created considerable buzz through inexpensive in-house social media management.
Establishing customer relationship:
At one time brands were seen as just symbols of a company — known, but somewhat distant. But branding today is starkly different. Today companies have to actively interact with their brands through the social media, web chats or forums. They are actively engaging and creating customer relationships. This is also important to set the public agenda.
Technology has made our strategies much more measurable. We can see how many people clicked online, what is trending, the number of likes on a video or monitor the chat around the brand. Not only can we fix accountability, we can also see where we are falling short, our strengths and weakness. This, in turn, is critical in planning brand strategy.
Using people power:
At one time branding was a conscious effort by companies, brand managers and advertisers. This was a mostly a one way street where the brand image was communicated through different means. Today not only are we interacting with the general public, we are also getting them to do our work!
Special forums, bloggers, vloggers and other social media specialists are often engaged by brand managers for branding. Some of these ‘representatives’ have immense power, reaching out to many users within days. These forums are also used to carry out market research on branding. But best of all, brand managers get ‘user’ endorsement and a highly targeted campaign at a fraction of the cost.