What do brands need to prepare for a year of full recovery from the pandemic and witness the resilience of creativity and changed customer value chains after the pandemic? Share with us Ms. Pham Thi Thu Hang – founder and CEO of 5S Media brings comments.
Don’t be slow on the journey of digitization
Thanks to digitization, our world has changed a lot, especially after Covid-19, and changed in a way that is more beneficial for customers. While this is great news for consumers, it also means that developing brand loyalty becomes a task, even a challenge, in the face of so many market variables.
The fragmentation of communication channels opens up many opportunities for strategists to have more opportunities to increase brand awareness among customers. However, this is also a challenge for brands that are still stuck with traditional channels.
According to Nielsen’s Annual Marketing Report 2022, marketing executives who participated in the survey shared the following: Their top priority in 2022 is still increasing brand awareness. In terms of business goals, increasing the number of new customers is at the top of the list.
In the current context, brands must combine a variety of channels to optimize their ability to reach audiences and increase brand awareness at scale. To attract new customers, brands need to reach as many potential customer groups as possible with communication activities that match their changing behavior.
Be a brand with purpose and innovation
Innovation now plays an important, pioneering role for a brand. David Aaker – an American brand expert, famous for his brand value model – Brand Equity (published in 1991) recently shared the following: “Brand strategy requires breakthrough innovation in a purposeful way, to help prolong business strategy” (Disruptive Innovation + Purpose-Driven brand name).
Today, consumers are more picky than ever when choosing brands. Much of that is due to the saturation of the market and the rapid growth of digital marketing.
One of the best ways for brands to stand out is to grow and lead with a strong, authentic brand purpose, mission-driven and values-oriented.
In the context of many economic and political fluctuations that make the people-people relationship more fragile than ever, consumers are interested not only in the goods themselves, but also in the brand’s social contributions, seeing how the brand interacts and contributes to global issues. Not only important in attracting customers, the social activities of the brand are also an important factor in winning over the new generation of employees.
According to recent Deloitte labor market surveys, Gen Z and millennials share that they don’t want to join or stick with organizations and companies that don’t have lofty purpose or are uninspiring. A growing number of investors and investment funds also take the corporate social purpose into account when assessing and making investment decisions.
LEGO is a good example: in a campaign with the World Wildlife Fund WWF, LEGO has committed itself to reducing its overall carbon footprint and is working towards 100% renewable energy by 2030. In this way, LEGO wins great favors from consumers who to environmental problems. This grand mission also enables LEGO to continuously innovate, improve product development and change materials and manufacturing. Brand strategy and innovation are now a dialectical relationship, they influence and complement each other effectively.
According to Hang, there are some notable brand communication trends in 2023.
1. Personalize brand interactions on social networks
From 2021, social networks have grown better than during the pandemic. In 2023, brand communication on social networks will still be an important tool. Other platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are constantly improving new features: Live Streaming, Video and Podcast…
It is no longer appropriate for brand marketing to send the same mass message or message to millions of customers. New personalization is the new way to earn a place in the hearts of consumers. Therefore, methods such as Conversational Marketing, applying AI and machine learning in the process of interacting with customers across multiple channels are something that enterprises should not miss.
2. The influencer trend continues to thrive
According to Hubspot, 34% of global marketing professionals say they will invest more money in influencer branding by 2023 and make it their top priority strategy. Marketing, brand communication using influencers, has seen significant growth in 2020 and 2021 and Ms. Hang believes that this growth will increase even more in 2023.
This trend is growing as influencers are “masters” of the fields and platforms they operate in with a large audience of interest and an enthusiastic following for their content. As a result, companies can use this strategy to increase brand awareness and drive more customers from the influencer’s audience when they collaborate with the brand.
3. Creating Communities
Due to COVID-19, online community building has become an important part of brand promotion. This is a pandemic and post-pandemic need to meet the need to connect socially in a safe, familiar environment, to interact with others and the brands they care about.
These online communities serve as platforms for your customers to communicate with each other. Interactions can take the form of social media comments, instant messages, phone calls, emails, or even via hashtags on their posts, as we discussed earlier. It allows you to connect your customers with like-minded individuals and create a deeper relationship between them and the brand.
Plus, building an online community can be beneficial to your business’ ROI. The ongoing pandemic also highlights the importance of online communities at a time when people rarely go out to shop (Higher Logic, 2020).
4. Tell little stories for little moments
We’ve seen the rise of Instagram by allowing users to post stories that are 15 seconds long and now a minute. That’s because Instagram has allowed everyone to share “micro-moments” – small engravings of everyday life, rather than having to post a “status” status on Facebook.
The arrival of TikTok, YouTube Shorts, Instagram Reels shows that people’s attention spans are getting shorter and shorter. The preference for information in the form of short videos, smart images (infographic) has delivered on an emerging trend that brands should not miss: micro-story telling. In fact, brands only have a few seconds to attract and hold the audience. This can be done very effectively by telling stories on a micro level.
Many people choose to believe that: a brand should build consumer love, while Byron Sharp – author of How Brands Grow has a different opinion: there’s no need to call it brand love, it’s actually a manufacturer. The strategy should focus on two goals: physical availability – customers can find the brand wherever they go, and emotional presence (mental availability) – prioritize in the hearts of consumers that are used when they need to buy something.
Anyway, maybe both opinions are correct. In certain contexts, with certain groups of customers, brands need to present themselves with an attractive, fresh, inspiring look to achieve their marketing and business goals.
On that journey, brand communicators can unleash their full creative potential in a new year of opportunity.