Sure most of the people of the world are asleep in their beds, and probably so are you. But no matter what, your brand is still up and about. Whether it’s roaming the streets as litter from the latest flier you distributed, or it’s flashing across the screen on a TV station, you need to know.
In today’s technology-driven world, business is constant. Even if you haven’t put it there, chances are your brand has been written about in some blog post or forum online for millions around the world to see. With the Internet available all day, everyday, control of your brand image and activities is no longer limited to when you open your office doors at 9 AM and close them at 5PM (or whatever varying office hours you may have these days).
So now that you have been sufficiently scared into believing you have lost control over your brand to the Internet, it is time you learn how to regain control and continuously portray the image you want your consumers to see, even when your store doors are closed.
Firstly, if it’s online, you need to know about it. Search engines are great for that. A daily or weekly search (depending on the popularity of your brand) should be done to ensure you know who is talking about you and what is being said. Twitter also has a search facility which is very useful for this kind of thing. You can even check if there are any hashtags being used related to your brand, product and industry. This, however, is just a reactive approach.
Instead of simply reacting to what people are saying, how about creating it instead? Developing a website and a social media presence – especially on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn – are key to establishing a solid online presence for your brand. You control how these operate and you can even start your own buzz about your product, rather than waiting around for someone to bring it up.
Taking it even one step further, turn your product into more than just a brand; make it a lifestyle instead. The brands that have the most positive image(even after dark) are those that have gained loyal customers by engaging their consumers and being a part of every facet of their lives, not just when a sale is being made. A quick look at Harley-Davidson’s approach will clarify this point. A more local example of this is Digicel Jamaica. Rather than limiting their marketing to selling phones and credit, they go much deeper. They find out how consumers’ days are going through Facebook and Twitter. They ask ‘where are you going this weekend’ and they show up. They find out what is most important to the nation and culture and they help to build and preserve it. No matter where you are, their presence is felt.
It’s your turn now. Find out what your brand is saying while you sleep. Are you okay with it? Or does it need to be changed?