Given the number of social media users and social media trends soaring fantastically. Harvard Business Review magazine discusses branding on social media.
The cover story titled “Social Media and The New Rules of Branding” explores how social media plays a role in the process of boosting people’s awareness of brands.
Actually, it’s been widely discussed. David C. Edelman—the columnist who wrote the HBR cover story—pointed out that the internet has changed the way consumers communicate and view brands. This has transformed the marketing economy and made old strategies and structures less relevant. For marketers, the old marketing ways do not have sustainable value.
What is interesting about David’s writing is none other than the assumption of marketers in consumers. The old paradigm marketer said that initially consumers were treated to a variety of products from various brands. After they choose a product in a brand, the relationship between the brand and the consumer is limited to the function of the product and its services. But, says David, now it’s no longer relevant.
Consumer Decision Journey (CDJ)
David termed it “Consumer Decision Journey” (CDJ). After buying, consumers are still involved in interactive communication with brands through the internet, especially social media. Consumers can conduct an evaluation on the brand and discuss “word of mouth” with other consumers and this affects the purchase of the product.
CDJ consists of four stages:
Consumers begin to consider a brand that they will buy from the various information they obtain.
They will explore those brands by finding out information and recommendations from many parties.
This stage remains influenced by the place, availability of goods, sales interactions, and so on.
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At this stage, consumers will continue to interact intensively online through the internet. They engage in brand communication on the internet, having conversations about products with other consumers so that it can influence other consumers to buy. Conversely, if they are disappointed, they will also give bad recommendations to other prospective consumers.
Also Read: The Influence of Social Media Marketing for Companies
As colleague David of McKinsey wrote, more than 60 percent of consumers of skin care products do online research on the product after purchasing. In my opinion, what HBR reviewed has been discussed in the discussion about New Wave Marketing. Here, brands communicate horizontally with customers.
Promotions and advertising are no longer powerful weapons that lead people to purchases. Now, consumers are confirming with other consumers including launching criticisms and errors if the product is disappointing. Let’s say consumers are now more powerful than consumers in the pre-social media era.
HBR also raised brand challenges in the midst of this transparent era. Including how they manage competition in the middle of conversations between consumers in digital media, such as Social Media Twitter, Facebook, blogs, YouTube, and so on. From that medium, the brand’s reputation can be quickly lifted but it can also fall. Understandably, as HBR said “nowadays everyone is armed with hundreds of digital cameras and connected to the internet” that can at any time publish about products and so on.
Also Read: How to Build Personal Branding
Inevitably, as discussed in loperonline.com, Marketers should be able to maintain brand reputation by building brand character / Branding, one of which builds consumer trust. To get there, marketers also need to new wave themselves by jumping in social media communities to listen while understanding what their hopes and anxieties are.