Have you noticed? Branding and brands have changed along with the social media landscape. Some would even venture to say that if your brand is not an app … you’re nowhere. So, do you want to be invisible to your consumer, or do you want to be on the front lines of this technology? Consumers are demanding that your brand communicates with them on their level, in a way that makes them feel you value them. So what are your plans for building your brand through apps? If you’re not sure, read the condensed version of a recent article I read from brandingstrategyinsider, and you may decide that apps might be another way you can strengthen and solidify your customer relationships and branding strategy:
Branding and Your Brand
A brand and branding are not the same. Branding is the strategy marketers use to build a brand. Branding sets expectations about the value proposition that is a brand.
Branding’s New “Social” Approach
With the rise of social technologies, brands have lost priority with consumers. What people want are social relationships not brand relationships – people-to-people interactions not brands-to-consumers engagement. This is where apps come into play.
Where’s My App?
An app is a software tool that does something useful. Apps have been around as long as computing, but with the advent of touch-screen smartphones, icon-triggered apps have exploded on the scene as enhanced, innovative ways for conveniently and quickly performing a myriad of tasks. For brand marketers, an app is a tool that doubles as a communications vehicle.
It’s About Connecting
For consumers, the best thing about new technologies is not the ability to connect with brands, but the ability to connect with other people, thus leaving less time and interest than ever, if any at all, for branding.
In a mature marketplace of advertising clutter and savvy consumers, marketers must do more than just say something interesting; they must deliver a message that does something useful. To put it bluntly, be an app or be gone.
Branded App Examples
Brand marketers have begun using apps to position a brand’s value proposition to consumers. For example, Montblanc and Cartier have apps to communicate new product updates along with other news and graphics, thus offering a more timely, multifunctional handheld digital catalog that might one day provide customized notifications to fit individual preferences or to mirror past buying patterns.
Managing branding as an app means that marketers must deliver value twice, both with the brand and with the branding. Traditionally, branding is the promise of brand value, not a source of value. But with consumers demanding something useful from branding in exchange for their time and attention, branding itself must be valuable above and beyond its brand message. Branding must have its own value, separate from the brand it is promoting.
Is a Brand’s Value Determined by Currency?
Marketers worry a lot these days about all that they give away for free, but such worries presume that the only currency that matters is money. What marketers make available at no financial cost to consumers is actually bought and sold in a different currency. If a brand can’t persuade consumers to spend social currency sharing it or talking about it, or if a brand can’t get consumers to spend time with it as, say, an app, then money is less likely to change hands.
The superbrands of the future may not necessarily be the ones that perform the best or offer the best solution to a problem. They just might be the ones who use apps to market themselves rather than brands that don’t.