The digital landscape is sounding a wake-up call for brands who are struggling to transform and adapt their proposition and relevancy.
More and more brands find themselves operating in ever competitive sectors being disrupted by ever more leaner emerging brands who are successfully delighting customers and offering that extra value, take a look at Blockbuster being taken out of the game by the little known start-up, Netflix.
And this Disruptive innovation has continued to gather pace, looking to re-map and re-invent any market sector that has not embraced technology and innovation.
The more established brands need to adapt. Fast. One key area that they can play to their strength is to start to look inside their brand and the opportunity to re-invent through digital channels. For example, an organisation’s history and background is a valuable asset in how they are perceived to a wider audience and which can be used to its advantage.
This provides an opportunity for brands to become knowledge centres, re-inventing themselves as the go-to authority for their sector.
A good example of this is National Geographic and their innovative use of Social media, particuarly their use of Instagram – It’s a great example of an established brand, playing to their strengths,what they stand for as a global authority but at the same time, working and collaborating with their loyal followers by helping wannabe journalists and photographers promote great content through their branded social channels.
What National Geographic have realised is that through their innovative use of social media, why not engage with their audience and work with them to drive brand engagement, formed as a partnership. They’ve understood the importance of not hyping endless, mind-numbing content but providing something that’s useful, enlightening and relevant – what better way to work out what content that resonates by working with your own audience.
Brands should be re-inventing themselves as knowledge centres, a strategy supported by author of the book Ctrl, Alt, Delete, Mitch Joel, who said “many brands fail to realise that the branding opportunity is not of broadcasting the messages but that the true marketing story is to tell a great brand narrative, a story that takes place over time and through different channels” A brand that exemplifies trust provides the user with an affinity and helps to build a relationship by engaging with the consumer’s emotions through imaginative associations such as user-generated content.
But to do this successfully requires the brand to think differently about their market-place, the situation they are competing in and rather start to think laterally, to create new, uncontested market places rather than competing against the same competitors, this framework is known as blue ocean strategy.
Created by W. Chan. Kim and Renee Mauborgne, Blue Ocean Strategy suggests an organisation should look to create a new demand in an uncontested market space. The opposite to the Blue Ocean is the Red Ocean, which is where the existing competition is fighting it out for market share with one another
Rather than controlling media content and its perception, brands should instead focus on becoming more transparent and seek to build engagement, credibility and collaboration with their users. It’s the audience, the user, that is seeking reassurance from brands that can provide that authority, relevancy and trusted content, product or service – this provides a great opportunity for brands to re-invent themselves as knowledge centres and provide that level of service.
We’re seeing content factories being established and with it endless streams of content being churned out, pushed and promoted through whatever digital channel possible in the hope some of this will convert by brands following the competition.
So there needed a drastic call to arms by Google and the recent algorithmic changes deployed to flush out poor performing sites and untrusted domains, this also in turn has created an opportunity for brands to create digital knowledge centres, to become go-to destinations for information, content and advice, creating an oasis of trusted, authoritative content that existing customers and prospects will be delighted by.
All brands should want to do is to create content that drives affinity, emotion, knowledge and conversion by building their own authority and trust. Put simply, know your audience