Today, existing on the web is a real business challenge. With the endless flow of information and the multiplication of screens and sources, being visible on the web has become a vital issue : brands must adapt. Some have been able to do so ; however, most do not know how to tackle the issue.
A brand in itself is a strong element of communication and recognition. Capitalizing on the brand and leveraging the notoriety can, therefore, increase visibility. But, this will not happen by itself. While the amount of broadcast messages and communication channels has exploded, a brand’s recognition and reputation must be preserved.
As stated by William Wrigley, the legendary founder of the chewing gum company Wrigley, “Why continue advertising when you have a brand and a product that is so famous? It is for the same reason that pilots need fuel to run the engines when the aircraft is at 3,000 meters altitude.” Even if media purchasing options are changing and that times are hard, to communicate less on the brand would be like “cutting gasoline in an aircraft in mid flight.”
Ever since commerce existed — just as with the fishmonger who shouted from his stall — businesses have always needed to capture the customer’s attention. Today, the task is ever more complex. Even for a famous brand whose name is more recognizable, the fight for attention is happening on many more fronts than in the past and is based on a new mindset. Thus, brands must work like crazy in a multi-front battle using digital agencies, purchasing sponsored links, executing SEO (keyword optimization on research engines) and, more recently, hiring a community manager. However, if such actions are necessary, they are sometimes insufficient.
The brand is a symbol of recognition and a sign of differentiation. It occupies one or more territories. It represents a quality image and makes a promise. Better yet, it conveys a set of values. In terms of media coverage, the multiple screens – within an overall communication strategy – offer new, targeted and meaningful ways to get one’s message across: the era of undifferentiated mass media is over, in favor of one-to-one highly personalized messages, adapted to the medium. These one-to-one actions are particularly important as they allow consumers to personally identify with the brand, its values and, even, the brand’s essence.
The success of private sales and VIP clubs, location-based social networks, the proliferation of codes (and passwords), and an obsession with becoming a “celebrity” through TV reality shows have contributed to a greater emphasis on ‘real time’ marketing. To the extent these shows have trivialized “VIP” treatment and “star status,” brands need to improve the understanding of their clients in order better to provide recognition and a value-added service, including corresponding, exchanging and engaging on a real time basis.
In using the different communication channels, messages must not only be consistent and complementary, but they must also be adapted to the format, which includes creating specific messages and offers uniquely designed for a particular channel. This communication strategy requires a well-informed and structured analysis, and beyond pure resource allocation, the adoption of a more organic and experimental approach and mindset.