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This is how Coke built a relationship with the consumer.

Customers own the brands by supporting or hating them. Either way they’ve taken the place of  the branding power your brand held.

Up until the late 199o’s, we were in the  the industrial age, and brands had a prominent place in society. Since then the customer has taken over the power of branding.

In the industrial age, there were certain unwritten laws that everyone obeyed. For instance:

  • You couldn’t start a business without capital.
  • You needed a certain level of personal qualification and social status to be successful.
  • Gatekeepers monitored broadcast channels like radio and TV.
  • Success was a result of offering better products than your competitors at a better price.

Things have changed considerable: 

CUSTOMERS DON’T WANT RELATIONSHIPS WITH BRANDS, THEY WANT RELATIONSHIPS WITH EACH OTHER. IN ORDER FOR  YOUR BUSINESS TO WORK, YOU WILL HAVE TO FIND A WAY TO GET IN THEIR CLUB!

Brands have to be careful; being intrusive, buying likes, paying for placement will not work. In fact, it will turn the customers off and send them fleeing to the competitor.

In order to get placement in the world, brands will have to find a new way to be part of club. They have to become a part of the world instead of leading the world. The world is being led by consumer conversations; conversations about you and I. What they say about us is what the new customer reports.

Your brand must find a way to communicate with the customer.

Nike brought jogging into our culture. With that began the expansion of their brand.

Nike’s greatest achievement wasn’t the Nike Swoosh. Nike’s greatest achievement was creating America’s jogging culture. Nike has moved from sneakers to fitness. Everything fitness is Nike!

Success in branding hinges on understanding business needs, empathizing with consumers’ needs and providing a creative solution that addresses both. 

We must all try to become part of the customer relationship. In order to do this we must build a customer relationship. The extension of customer service has become the customer relationship. We are no long in charge of anything; the best we can hope for is the ability to engage the customer in things they will love–parties, information, ways to enjoy life, planning trips for them–yes this is you.

Taken from Timothy Ingram, the Medium, “How Branding Has Changed.” This is probably the best article I have ever read on the new branding. If you plan on staying around, I suggest you familiarize yourself with this concept. He’s right and it’s brilliantly put.

Lisbeth had been a thought leader for over twenty years. She is a risk taker, cat lover and forever young. Call Lisbeth if you need a jolt of optimism and fun. 

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