Media fragmentation, globalization and expanding social networks are changing the way we view and follow brands. Leaders need to respond to these changes and challenges, taking a comprehensive approach to satisfying an increasingly diverse set of stakeholders in an ever more competitive environment.
The field of brand management is undergoing a metamorphosis as the pace of change in our world increases. The brand-building process we used to take for granted, particularly in terms of communication, has changed irrevocably. No longer can leaders and their marketing teams rely simply on slick advertising campaigns to market their products, boost the bottom line, and grow their brands. New technologies, expanding social networks, emerging markets, a globalised economy… all these and more are producing a more competitive and challenging environment.
Consumers are in the driving seat, dictating how they are communicated to, and choosing when to absorb that communication, at a time that suits them. ‘Shopping around’ has never been more meaningful a phrase, with easy online access to huge amounts of information, including reviews and testimonials.
The effect of such change is a shift of focus, away from the product brand – and its primary aim of customer satisfaction – towards the corporate brand, with its goal of ensuring loyalty among all stakeholders, not just customers, but also employees, suppliers, the media and investors.
A major challenge for leaders and their brands is how to interact successfully with these multiple stakeholders. Everything you do has to be consistent with your brand message, from the types of events you sponsor or support to the nature of CSR activities you get involved with – everything has to reflect a brand experience your stakeholders identify with. By adopting a multiple stakeholder approach to brand management you can expect to achieve greater loyalty and preference – get everyone on board and the brand will thrive.
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