Following the recession came the digital revolution and a new species of competitor: the Disruptor. Since then, in today’s consumer culture of the shiny-object syndrome, every industry and category has seen disruption. Unseating corporate giants is no easy feat, but the ideas behind brands like Rent The Runway, Dropbox, Snapchat, Spotify, Airbnb and Uber have revolutionised the business landscape.
The hyper-competitive market and the ease with which a start-up can put something on the market leaves companies with some questions – what should they be doing next? What does brand longevity look like today?
Consumers are constantly evolving and adapting. The 50-plus consumers of today are loyal, but they too are now increasingly behaving like Millennials in terms of their appetite for technology and what it can enable. Generation Z think, act, and behave differently again, are yet another demographic to pace with.
In this constant, fast-moving market, how can brands maintain and keep hold of their relevance? Here are some key tips:
- Bigger is not always better! The size of a company is no longer a benefit to remain relevant – it’s what you say and how you say it.
- Finding your balance between change and consistency. Lego can boast one of the most consistent products in history, with pieces as old as 1958 still fitting with today’s products However, they have collaborated with relevant brands and embrace technology within their product proposition to remain relevant. Coca-Cola has fulfilled its promise of light-hearted fun over the past 130 years, with its bottle, logo and flavour becoming ubiquitous with the brand. But they continually have fun with their graphics to maintain their edge over competitor Pepsi.
- Place emphasis on longevity. Evolution and continually moving forwards is key; successful brands are re-evaluating and pivoting, knowing what to keep and what to evolve.
- Focus on your customer. The customer is the foundation and centre of strategic thinking. Take time to understand the emerging behaviours and insights of the changing customer and focus on how to engage, involve and interact with them.
- Perception is everything. In the hyper-sensitive world of social media, f a customer has a negative feeling about a brand, this is difficult to change and spreads quickly. Lidl challenged this by creating #Lidlsurprises, highlighting their focus on good quality products at reasonable prices, flipping the perception on cheap products.
- Be authentic. Believe in what you say! Stay true and commit to your vision, mission and your values. The customer today looks for greater authenticity and provenance in their brands.
“Brands who live their purpose win hearts; brands who are different, innovative and authentic win minds! Today is about integrity. Understand your brand, understand your customer, live your purpose and your values and use them as your compass; success will follow.” Lynette Deutsch, CEO of Endaba.