The generation is ever-evolving. Have you heard them talk about BTS all the time? As much as it perplexes you, it perplexes me. But it’s imperative to keep pace with them. One another thing that has been reformed is the way the world shops. Every possible thing you can think of is available on the www. Information is at the fingertips of the consumer. There was a time when every sector had few trusted brands and shoppers had their loyalties. Even when new brands started coming in, the role of branding used to begin at the advertising stage and if it captured the customer’s attention and sensibilities, it would lead to the customer going to the point of purchase and close the deal. With the internet reigning over our lives, the consumer has myriad choices. If you intend to capture a fair share in this digital era, you have to stand out.
For example, if the thought of buying the latest skincare must-have- vitamin C serum has crossed the mind of the consumer, they will immediately start looking for the best options available. And that is where the buying process begins. And hence that is exactly where the branding process should begin. Capturing the consumer’s attention, communicating the brand’s promise, and delivering it with a visual that creates an impact is central.
If you look at the traditional branding funnel, it consists of the following stages:
But in the digital area one very crucial step gets added is:
- Evaluation or Comparison
Taking the previous example of the Vitamin C serum, you have brands like Kiehl’s in this segment, Garnier also has a similar offering with Sara Ali Khan promoting the product. And then there is a sea of brands doing well in this segment. The purchaser is spoilt for choice. So putting it across as simply as I can, if I am looking at buying a good quality serum that does what it promises, you will have to grab my attention from the moment I start looking. And if I am someone who is price sensitive looking at a mid-range product you will have to convince me how your serum if not better than the most expensive one, but at least somewhat close to it.
The branding stages need to evolve because the way the buyer arrives at his or her decision has changed. The marketing budget has to be allocated to promote brand visibility and to create visuals that stand out and have a lasting impression on the potential consumer’s mind. Not last but another important factor is the consumer’s experience in buying the product at the sales point has to be seamless and the product should be what was promised. The final aim remains the same, customer retention, so find a way to connect with the shopper and make them feel important.