When Toronto passed a law to ban all plastic bags, it got me thinking, how many other brands are fighting to stay relevant in today’s environment?
For some services and products like plastic bags, it will be quite tricky to re-establish brand relevance with their most critical stakeholders. Let’s look at some of the factors that help to make a brand stay relevant.
Just like plastic bags, there are also mailing houses, these companies are trying to stay relevant in the age of the internet. It was only less than 10 years ago where we as marketing professionals used this service extensively, it was an important and relevant tactic.
Due to technology and environment movement, traditional direct marketing programs don’t appear to be relevant. Today, outside of our own personal interest such as fashion magazines and bills, do we as a business need to add this service to our marketing plan?
Trends: Online shopping has made mailing houses relevant again. Imagine, we swapped out plastic bags for paper boxes!
Then we have some brands that are still relevant but suffer from a fatigue, its image looks out-of-date and losing interest from its target audience. A perfect example is the Old Spice. Their current advertising is a reminder, a top-of-mind campaign that Old Spice brand is still around. A spicy advertising program even though the company didn’t change its fragrance blend.
Some non-for profits are suffering from brand fatigue with Gen Y and millennials. A perfect example is the YMCA, whose services haven’t changed much over the years. However, Pop Sugar and HASFit are taking over the fitness industry offering free fitness classes on YouTube.
At this point, repositioning of its brand would mean new innovative product introduction, like a fitness app and bring on fitness influencers or brand ambassadors to help connect with a younger target base, all this without losing its original foundation of why this non-for-profit organisation came about.
Innovative Technologies Can Help With Brand Relevance
Other brands need to up their game when it comes to technologies. Not keeping pace with new shopping behaviour, developing more sales channels or investing in the right technology for your business will have a negative impact on your brand relevance.
Take a look at JCrew, they have a most wonderful customer service staff to help you find something if you can’t find the piece you like on their website. If I sound biased, it’s because I am and their customer service staff is impeccable. They send you a quarterly magazine to make sure you don’t forget about them, and that’s in addition to their newsletters and social media platforms. They recently hosted a private fashion show on Pinterest! Finally, they offer multiple ways to shop, telephone, online and brick and mortar.
Staying relevant means listening to your customer, understanding market and technology trends and keeping an eye on your competition. Easy, right?
Social Communications With Your Community
Probably the biggest challenge today is social media and the ability to understand the level of communication, human connection and engagement your audience has and expects from your brand.
I am one that advises companies to take it slow. If you don’t have the staff, just use one platform and do it well. Why?
Because we don’t know where social media is heading and quite frankly if I would take an example of today to see in the future, social media is taking an ugly turn with cyberbullying, twitter attacks on brands (McDonald’s, Labatt) and a lot of empty posts that are making us isolated.
Brand Message Cohesion
Lastly, ensure that all you do regarding digital marketing fits with your brand message and with your target audience.