Brand Xtreme for 2015
There will be no room or time for brand-bovarism in 2015. Savvy marketers in 2014 encountered colossal change to their marketing platforms and with it their brand investment bets. Brand-making, brand-shaping, brand-taking chores have changed and will continue to do so at hyper-speeds during the coming years. Navigating, articulating and measuring brand and product intentions through a multitude of digital, mobile and app centric twists and shouts while attempting to re-scale and accelerate sell-through is the definition of brand supremacy going forward. Said another way, all brand architects and arbiters have enormous heavy lifting in 2015 in the language of marketing change and platform re-aggregation.
New digital technologies, software and mobile apps underpin a juggernaut of competitive brand levers with mind-staggering amounts of information accessible as never before. Big data under the wide social marketing net of CRM and SCRM coupled with accelerating leaps in smart-algorithms designed to auto-scatter and auto-calibrate buying intelligence across digital networks is at the core of brand building, market taking opportunities. And of course smart mobile devices create instant 24-hour-a-day commerce untethered to brick and mortar stores. Xtreme change in 2015 is all about the internal and external polarized battle between profitable brand acceleration and dangerous brand evaporation fought hard in cloud and physical retail store aisles.
Purse-proud shoppers created and trained through an overabundance of retail couponing, discounting and everyday Black Friday deals will create even more pressure on prices and margins for every brand in 2015, especially through perfect-internet-transparency. Digital technologies allow consumers to switch among retailers, brands, and services instantly. This consumer mounting power easily and cautiously creates commoditized products and services in lock step with crest fallen brand values and shelf positions. New products emerging from the clouds playing for fast scalability also create both havoc and opportunity for mature brands all while challenging last year’s brand assets, brand and human capital investments.
As evolving digital technologies fuel brand momentum they also re-shape brand context, altering or confusing competitive brand and marketing structures: the way we conduct business, the self-commanded performance of shoppers. Our digital tools also lower barriers to competitive market entry causing disruptive product and price boundary blurs for highly mature and invested brands. To command brand demand in 2015 it will take xtreme attention to measured detail, it will take CEOs and CMOs to understand unfolding digital and consumer trends: To challenge their assumptions and pressure-test their strategies. It will take xtreme sagacity in the language of formidable change to re-distribute brand assets, brand investments, brand infrastructure to risk-avoid brand tumble and fumble along the way. As market risk never sleeps, and opportunity pines for new forms of fuel, here are six principles to muscle up and accelerate brand xtreme opportunities and results for 2015:
1. Xtreme Brand War Room: Capturing and enhancing brand and product knowledge sensitivity, movement, measurement and action must be centralized and massaged minute by minute. This room is where brand management decisions are crafted, sanded and polished as algorithms crunch big and small data focused on market results/movements in the language of brand performance digression, brand performance enhancements.
2. Xtreme SCRM Brand Platform: Highly relevant, market valued social exchanges and video offers must be focused and captured for each and every brand touch point opportunity. This multi-modal digital platform needs to address and caress all brand stakeholders: consumers, suppliers, partners, stakeholders, retailers, editorial community and even your employees. It answers your brands Big Data questions: “who are you, who do you want to become, who are you spending your time with?”
3. Xtreme Brand Feedback: With an endless and vast horizon of social connections, social conversations, service/support lines and crowd-sourced opinions, xtreme branding in 2015 must include fluid peer-to-peer, community-to-community product and brand reviews and feedback. So says the people, so says the profitable future of your brand and products.
4. Xtreme Sales and Marketing: In 2015 all sales, marketing, service and communication team members must be cross-department trained, vested and matured into our new world order of digital internet tools and weaponry. Each and all team members must keep squinting eyes, ears and hands on consumer relevant digital data from inside brick and click retailers, across company departments and through outside social and editorial chatter.
5. Xtreme Mobile and Video: Our US audience for digital video watched on any digital device will surpass 200 million in 2015 according to a new eMarketer report. Couple this with 89.7 million smartphone video viewers in the US in 2014 with millions more surfing for brands, products and coupons and 2015 becomes an extreme brand battle for mobile and video excellence.
6. Xtreme Digital Talent Match: Digital software and platforms is disrupting and or displacing human capital. Machine efficiencies and deliverables are out muscling human conventions and intentions. 2015 will be all about ensuring the right human digital-talent advantages the right digital intelligence platforms for market and profit gains.
As brands face and administer mammoth digital technology and commerce transitions in 2015 they will need to be extremely consumer-centric, consumer-knowledgeable and socially consumer-over-valued. Brand engines will need increased capital investments required to create digital and brick centric communities compelling consumer involvement through all product touch points before, during and after their buying journey. 2015 is the year to invest and aggress in xtreme principles, the year to invest in creating your brand xtreme platform.
Peter Weedfald is president of Gen One Ventures a CE centric sales and marketing consultancy company.
Related story: Complexity is the Refuge of the Unsure