Has your brand adapted to the new marketing model?
The traditional marketing and branding model is changing. The standard model was a "one-to-many” proposition, where you try to get your message to as many people as possible.
A common way to illustrate this is to use a funnel. You capture leads at the wide side of the funnel and end up with a few leads, converting them into customers, at the narrow side. The bigger the funnel, the more sales you get.
Technology is changing this completely. Instead of a "one-to-many” approach, the model is changing to a "one-to-one” approach. As one blogger put it, it’s kind of like you’ve flipped the funnel on its side and are using it as a megaphone. You give your audience your story and the tools to spread it, and they will tell it for you. In other words – it’s all about the customers!
What does this new marketing model mean for branding? Here are some examples:
- Instead of creating loyalty to the brand, you are creating loyalty through the brand. Starbucks has perfected this – it’s not as much about the coffee as it is about the place.
- Instead of a broadcast model, you spread the word using a peer-to-peer model. Most people, before they make a significant purchase, research it online. The brands that actively participate on forums or web sites, answering questions and addressing concerns are better prepared to build trust with consumers.
- Instead of indoctrinating your customers, you are educating them. Consumers crave content that is relevant and provides value. Give them what they are looking for and start a genuine conversation.
- Instead of a command & control attitude, you collaborate with your customers. Listen to what your customers are saying and work together to grow and improve your brand.
- Instead of targeting passive consumers, you develop active partners. Remember the Doritos promotion that let customers come up with the name of their new flavor?
- Instead of focusing on the corporate context, focus on the customer context. Eliminate the word "we” from your vocabulary!
These are just a few of the ways the new marketing model has changed branding. And it’s still changing…
This article originally appeared in the Corridor Business Journal.