‘Know thy consumer priorities set in their minds’ is a basic principle of brand management and of marketing generally. Consumers change is better defined as existing consumers of a brand develop new needs, change their preferences, alter their habits and acquire new skills for engaging in purchasing and consumption. Moreover, fresh consumers come into new and established markets, with their own needs, preferences and skills. Further, these momentous changes didn't have implications for the way consumers think about brands and the way brands will be managed in future. Individuals in all their roles such as “consumer”, “employee”, “citizen” will benefit greatly from person centric services companies offer in their branding strategies.
As someone who combines areas of competency particularly technological sophistication, network competency and marketing/advertising with empowerment especially self-confidence and self-efficacy can implement this brand management strategy. Competency refers to practical skills and acquired knowledge to respond to a constantly changing environment. It is seen in the technological sophistication of consumers as they are ready and willing to adopt new technologies from SMS to more interactive devices. Consumers like a shift from the old static view of knowledge to a dynamic, contemporary view of knowledge. Consumers are skilled problem-solvers, exhibiting confidence in their procedural knowledge and even in the absence of sound declarative knowledge. The impact on brand management of changing consumers is evident in various ways. Not least is the willingness of consumers to adopt new technologies in droves, creating staggering opportunities for certain players to become mega-brands from online stars to re-packaged, re-invigorated, and hybrid off/online businesses. Online Commerce Law
Novel brand attributes come into play like consumers of an online social network site want to share content, communicate easily, and interact in real-time to profile. Ease of use, speed and interactivity are valued attributes. Any brand that cannot match consumer expectations in terms of these attributes is likely to find its future very bleak. Information diffusion about brands is rapid through offline and online word-of-mouth communication, through marketer-controlled and uncontrolled buzz and viral communications. Positive news travel faster, but so too does negative news.
More and more opportunities exist for consumers to engage with brands — through brand communities, product sites, forums, and blogs. Technological sophistication and network competency combine to reduce information asymmetry which has traditionally been biased toward the firm, giving the upper hand to consumers. Indeed, among marketers there is a tendency to focus on the upside rather than dwell on the downside. Many marketers even fail to recognize that there might be a downside. Relationships are at the core of this engagement model. ‘Brand engagement drives directly to what the marketer is trying to do get the customer involved with the brand’. However, the reality may be far less comforting for those in brand management a fragile, fractured and fragmented landscape, where it is increasingly difficult for brands to be neatly aligned with well-defined, identifiable and stable groups of consumers.
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