How brands have become ‘publishers’

Amrita Nair-Ghaswalla Mumbai | Updated on February 28, 2019 Published on February 28, 2019

Dove’s #LetsBreakTheRulesofBeauty campaign has also crusaded the idea of real beauty by encouraging women to redefine beauty ideals and reveal their true selves   -  Bloomberg

An increasingly saturated and diverse competitive landscape, discerning consumers, and dwindling attention span is pushing brands to the brink in their effort to stand out and break through the clutter.

Strong brands create an emotional connect between a business and its customers, and can generate substantial value, so it is imperative that brands integrate the reality of the digital age into their design, an academician has said.

Different approach

Brand-building should be done differently from the past, said IIM-Calcutta faculty member Saravana Jaikumar. “Gone are the days when brands had complete control over the message that is communicated to target consumers. In this digital and social media age, brands are increasingly losing control over the narrative as customers are proactively engaging with each other in a ‘sense-making’ process,” he told BusinessLine on the sidelines of an event in Mumbai.

Noting that marketing teams need to rediscover the power of brand strategy and ‘reboot’ for the digital age, the Assistant Professor of Marketing said brands have “shifted their roles and have become ‘publishers,’ focussing on content that could help start a conversation online.”

Jaikumar added that there has been “a significant move from ‘here is a product and here are ‘x’ number of reasons why you should buy it’ to ‘we care about this social cause and if you care about it as well, then come join the initiative’.”

Redefining beauty

Citing an example, he said Dove found its way into consumers minds with its widely successful ‘real beauty campaign’.

In 2004, Dove set out to challenge the world of beauty advertising and had women breaking free from archaic stereotypes to champion the ‘real’. Dove’s #LetsBreakTheRulesofBeauty campaign has also crusaded the idea of real beauty by encouraging women to redefine beauty ideals and reveal their true selves.

Jaikumar added the evolution of digital and social media have made consumers increasingly wary of sales pitches and have made them more brand conscious.

Changing attitudes

“Consumers are increasingly keen to associate themselves with brands that understand their concerns. For instance, American Express has focused on creating an image as the source of trusted and useful advice for small business owners. Majority of American Express’ online content strategy is geared towards resolving the plights of small business owners.”

Adding brands can no longer stay on the sidelines, he said and added that they need to engage with consumers online, especially on social media.

Published on February 28, 2019
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