My VP emailed us an article yesterday from Clickz, titled ‘A New Definition of Digital’. One of the bullet points was that Branding is Dead. My immediate reaction was ‘Psssht’. Here’s why:
#1 – Social is Branding: There are those companies and products who still arent playing in the social media field or those who play but arent yet big hitters. Becoming involved in the online community in and of its self is an act of Branding. It says a lot about your company – be it health care or cell service if you choose to engage in this way.
#2 – Proactive vs. Reactive: Of those involved in online communities, they provide a proactive interaction with consumers both current and prospective. Its one kind of company that reacts to blog posts or op eds and quite another that creates its own content. Beyond that is a company that allows users to create and share content. How powerful for a brand is that?
#3 – Good Products = Pride/Loyalty: By listening and engaging with customers, products are allowed a greater opportunity for discussion, leading to new product innovation and change. Without this, how will we know what our customers need/want? By listening and showcasing these listening skills for all to see in social media or dynamic web content, a brand becomes an entity not just a name. It becomes a feeling and a conversation, helping to foster pride and customer loyalty in the fact that feedback is taken seriously. Especially if that can be seen in product upgrades.
#4 – Search Optimization Over PPC: Yes, PPC may cut out useless clicks, but does it really yield as much as an optimized content page? We all know by know that PPC clicks to a web site dont yield nearly 1/3 of the traffic and engagement that organic traffic does. A company that knows this will be able to become reputable by appearing in search at higher points on a page or by being listed with high ranking competitors. All elevating the brand.
#5 – Evolution is the Opposite of Death: By adding these forward thinking types of engagement with consumers, especially those that promote content created about the brand, companies evolve with the changing times and consumer behaviors. By doing this, they allow their branding to become more elastic, thereby keeping them relevant and seen as a living organism, rather than a stale box.
Isnt that what branding really is meant to be anyway?