Yesterday, Toronto passed a law to ban all plastic bags. Which got me thinking, how many other brands are fighting to stay relevant in today’s environment?
For some services and products like plastic bags, it will be quite difficult to re-establish brand relevance with their most critical stakeholders.
There are also mailing houses, which are trying to stay relevant. It was just less than 10 years ago where we as marketing professionals used this service extensively, it was an important and relevant tactic.
Due to technology and environment movement, traditional direct marketing programs don’t appear to be relevant. Today, outside of our own personal use like receiving fashion magazines and bills, do we as a business add this service in our marketing plan?
Then we have some brands that are still relevant but suffer from a fatigue, its image looks out-of-date and losing interest from its target audience. A perfect example is the Old Spice. It didn’t change its fragrance blend, it changed its image and added a spicy advertising program to support its image.
Some women leadership programs and charities are suffering from brand fatigue with Gen Y. Most of these organizations are still relevant but need a dedicated communications program that includes repositioning of its brand, education on its current services and a ’cause’ to connect with its target base, all this without losing its original foundation of why these organizations came about.
However, some brands simply need more exposure. Sometimes, lack of sales can simply mean not understanding your customer shopping behaviours, not taking advantage of all the shopping channels or technology available to your business and proper sales training for your staff.
Take a look at JCrew, they have a customer service staff to help you find something if you can’t find the piece you like on their website. They send you a quarterly magazine to make sure you don’t forget about them, in addition to their emails and social media platform. They offer multiple ways to shop, telephone, online and brick and mortar.
Yes, JCrew has great fashion designs but they are also at a mid-to-high price point, which needs this level of promotional effort.
Staying relevant means listening to your customer, understanding market and technology trends and keeping an eye on your competition. Easy, right?
Probably the biggest challenge today is social media and the ability to understand the level of communication, human connection and engagement your audience has and expects from your brand.
I am one that advises companies to take it slow. If you don’t have the staff, just use one platform and do it well.
Because we don’t know where social media is heading and quite frankly if I would take an example of today to see in the future, social media is taking an ugly turn with cyber bullying, twitter attacks on brands (McDonald’s, LaBatt) and a lot of empty posts that is making us isolated.
Lastly, ensure that all you do fits with your brand message and with your target audience.