This article is an edited excerpt from the eBook Future-Proof Brands.
What I am beginning to see is a massive push forward in the marketing world towards “future-proofing” brands through online strategies – mainly by increasing Social Marketing, SEO (search engine optimisation) and making use of three key attraction factors.
But firstly, lets define what I mean by “future”…
Ultimately, the future is whatever we collectively decide it is, however, for those among you that are not quite so familiar with the esoteric principal I am speaking of, I will go on to discuss things that may be a little more “solid” and attempt to remain within the familiar walls of 360° marketing and related business and branding topics.
The future that has already begun includes three key brand-building factors:
Why would success rest on these three factors?
Partly because these have always been important (albeit unknown to many) and because people are becoming more and more intuitive and immune. Somewhere amongst the millions of ad impressions and marketing messages and sales statements there is developing a general sub-conscious understanding of what it is that marketing departments and ad agencies are doing, and HOW they are doing it, which means that people won’t be easily fooled. Also, the majority will have sub-consciously categorised most advertising as “noise” and will not even hear or see it anymore, let alone actually consider the words (especially on the internet). At best, people will only zone in to ads that contain the information/service/product they are presently seeking (which is why services like the highly targeted Facebook and Google advertising is becoming so incredibly relevant).
People are becoming self-empowered by this understanding. What the collective “we” will be seeking in the future is simply what we have wanted all along but were too clouded by masks of marketing madness to see clearly:
- Community — Transparent connections with other real humans
- Authority — People who actually know how to help (and want to)
- Reciprocity — Or “give to get” (perhaps the simplest effective business model ever … oh, and it happens to have been taught for centuries by some of the greatest spiritual teachers as well, so there must be something to it!).
Although there is a tendancy amongst some to attempt to “join the conversation” with only the getting in mind and not the giving, real connections won’t flourish without the balance (as in any good relationship). And it is crucial to maintain a genuine transperancy at the fore, because a growing mass of people are sharing their experiences online through social media and it’s simply easier to be honest in the long run so you can avoid a massive meltdown when one person catches you out and shares your misdemeanors with 10,000,000 other people in their online community network.
The bigger they are, the harder they fall. So if you’re tauting yourself as the “best at XYZ”, you better make sure you ARE the best at XYZ!
So this is the basis of Future-Proofing your brand:
- Build your brand around Community, Authority and Reciprocity,
- Love and focus on the benefits you give people, not your profit margin, and
- Make sure you present a strong timeless brand, through future-focussed professional design across all your touch-points (logo, stationery, website, brochures, ads, reports, staff, product design, email interactions, phone calls, etc).
The main goals and benefits of building a strong perception of Community, Authority and Reciprocity into a brand would include (but not limited to)…
- Increase Brand Awareness (both Locally and Globally)
- Increase Sales, Sign-Ups and Repeat Customers
- Save Time by Automating Certain Processes
- Reduce Budget-Spend and Vastly Increase Readership of Website Content
- Become Perceived as an Authority in your Niche
- Increase the Sense of Goodwill through Resource Contributions (by providing accessible, useful, unique and/or high-quality content online)
- Greatly Reduce the Effort Required to Publish Marketing and Resource Information
- Increase the Perceived Intrinsic Value of Brand
Pre-Determine Your Future Success
It is my definite belief that the future will not contain a monetary system like the one we are currently using (which is presently failing worldwide to some extent). Both now and especially in that future time, Community will make you known, Authority will make them listen and Reciprocity will determine your success.
This article is an excerpt from the eBook “Future-Proof Brands”. Take a look at www.futureproofbrands.com for more information.