Hi, I’m Paul Roberts welcome to my PODCAST Channel “THE FUTURE” where I cover BREAKING TRENDS FROM AROUND THE WORLD.
In our ever accelerating times, keeping ahead of the latest breaking news and trends from the world’s of fashion, music, film, art, tech, activism, is a time consuming daily challenge ? Sure the information is all out there, but it is a time consuming ordeal to scan all the necessary sources. As Darwin said survival depends on how quickly you can adapt.
The future belongs to those who prepare today.
In today’s PODCAST FIB’s Trend Report No 88, I want to look at six tactics that can help transform a common product to a Hot Brand with a loyal cult following.
Whether it’s a sustainably sourced beauty product, healthy, convenient snack or an ethically-minded fashion label, an innovative, meticulously designed product, in and of itself, is not enough to succeed in today’s hyper-competitive market. Success relies on more than the product you’re selling— it’s about enhancing the consumer’s way of life.
It’s no secret that buying habits, customer expectations and the path to purchase have been re-imagined by today’s consumer. They crave a personal connection with brands, seeking out those which support a characteristic or belief they see in themselves. A brand then becomes a personal extension of its consumers. So how do you create an aspirational brand worthy of following?
1. Stay focused on what you do best
Focus your time, energy and money on what you do best—innovative, meticulously designed product.
Every image, every word, every product must be reflective of the lifestyle you create.
Keep your finger on the pulse of the market’s ever-changing desire—today’s consumer is loyal to the image not the brand.
Don’t let employees get bogged down—endless workarounds and manual processes kill creativity.
Understand your core strengths and seek strategic partnerships to outsource the rest—for some it might be creative design or marketing, others accounting and financials.
2. Be authentic
This means knowing what your brand’s values and purpose is, and having everyone in the company understand this and follow it each day with a a religious fervour. Apple the world’s most valuable brand does this brilliantly. They know that their purpose is to ‘realise their customers creative potential’, and this makes them far more than a digital consumer electronics company. And this mantra informs every single element of the company and employees purpose.
- Alphabet/Google is now the most innovative company in the world according to BCG, unseating Apple’s 13-year dominance of their annual rankings.
- Strong AI innovators are over three times more likely to have deep expertise in Big Data Analytics.
- The ten most innovative companies in the world extensively use AI and platforms today to grow faster than competitors and markets.
- Fastest movers include Adidas, who jumped from 35th to 10th, SAP who increased from 42nd to 28th and Phillips who improved from 49th to 29th.
These and many other insights are from the Boston Consulting Group’s 13th annual report defining the world’s most innovative companies in 2019.
Can you see the nexus between success and rate of innovation ?
Would you rather stand out or blend in ? Before anyone can have an opinion on you, you first need to be noticed.
In today’s ‘attention economy’ standing out is a business survival skill. And differentiation can come in many guides. Differentiated style, messaging, product, packaging.
Some would argue that the rise of Donald Trump was largely due to his positioning as a ‘not the usual’ politician. And whatever you may think of him and his ethics, he undoubtedly is a differentiated product to his competition.
Sometimes successful differentiation can be something really simple. Apple wanting to be seen as a differentiated offering versus all it’s competition, introduced white and even coloured computers when all the other products were black.
5. Optimise the customer experience
Understand the type of experiences your customers crave, as well as the people, places and things that motivate and inspire them.
Reinforce your brand lifestyle at every customer touchpoint.
Capitalise on the fact that consumers make the majority of their purchases in-store. They want to see it, touch it, feel it and try it on—seize this opportunity!
Make it easy to do business anywhere. If you can’t bring the customer to the store, bring the store to the customer.
Empower your associates to represent the lifestyle and add value to the customer experience.
Ensure all selling channels have a single consistent voice and message—from Instagram to your ecommerce site, to the pop-up shop to your brick and mortar.
6. Build an engaged community
Your brand is only as strong as the employees who run it. Every associate is an ambassador, from CEO to stock clerk. Empower them to represent! Foster and leverage influencers to promote the lifestyle.
Ensure you are engaging across the social media spectrum.
• Encourage customer feedback and make customers feel they are a part of your brand. Give them the voice to influence the brand’s direction.
• Use event-oriented promotions to entice and create excitement.
These recommendations reflect on the successes of today’s hot brands. The best companies are imagining, designing, building and promoting the lifestyles that their customers want to live. They are engaging with those consumers across a wide variety of influencer and selling channels. And they are taking their brands to their customers, where ever they are. So, whether it’s a Times Square six-week pop-up, a corporate lobby fashion show or a social ‘meet the designers’ session, customers reward a unique community experiences with greater wallet share.
The key is in the execution of these strategies. The best laid plans are for naught if the customer experience falls flat due to out-of-stocks or delayed shipments or uninformed store associates. Successful brands also have to invest in the technology necessary to engage with their customers whether it’s across social media or ecommerce, mobile apps or in-store experiences. They need to be nimble and open to new ways of doing business and to quickly adapt to changing market conditions. Too often companies are hindered by their business platforms and held back by an inability to change.
FIB Trend Reports: Breaking News From Around The World
Charles Darwin said “It Is Not the Strongest of the Species that Survives But those Fastest to Adapt”
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