Let’s face it. There are just too many stimuli today, from the constant barrage of advertising on every device, medium and channel, to push notifications on your smartphone, to your flooding email inbox, and, well, you get the picture. Consumers with information overload need a way to make quick, informed decisions and choose the right product or service.
Just because a lot of content is being pushed to consumers doesn’t mean that, beneath the noise, they aren’t still eager to solve their problems or find the things they want or truly need. Because of this, it is vital to have a strong brand that sets your company, your products and/or your services apart from your competition.
If we’re going to stand out, however, we need to do something that doesn’t just add to the noise. From object to idea, from experience to relationship, the brand itself has become an increasingly complex entity. Likewise, consumers’ relationships with brands has continually evolved. We’ve gone on quite a journey together, starting at the origins of branding, evolving over time as consumer needs and communications methods changed. Then, adding in the evolution of process to include agile methodology brought about by access to Big Data and many other advancements. So now what?
The agile brand will be successful in an age of continual disruption because it finds a way to meaningfully connect with people. That doesn’t mean broadcasting marketing messages or offers, but instead that brands will recognize that their value is to solve problems in a world full of constant change.
How will brands and marketers achieve this success? They will stay agile as they embrace change as the constant and consumer engagement and attention as a continually moving target. This need to keep things adaptable is challenging because there will never be a static playbook to follow. However, if you stay nimble, listen to your customers, and focus on your role as problem solver (not sales person) you will find success.
Staying nimble and listening to your customers means that you need to allow your brand to be shaped by your customers. Your customers are now part “product owners,” to use the agile terminology. The customer experience, no longer a one-way street, means that your brand gives something, but also receives ideas, feedback, and criticism from consumers. And, instead of filing it away to discuss in a strategy meeting in the future, you need to incorporate this feedback now.
The agile brand exists as a dialogue that continues to evolve, just as society evolves, new generations become consumers, and technology shifts influence the way we interact. It is the next step in a process that will surely continue to evolve, but embracing that evolution while staying true to the values that define and differentiate why you do what you do will keep your brand strong.