A brand for one mattered in the past, matters now and will matter in the future. No two ways about it. However, a few years back, say during the first digital decade, it did lose its importance, even though it was only for little while. This was the time when all sorts of new devices came into the picture – devices that many believe empowered the consumers and truth be told, they did, but that’s a different story. By the end of the noughties, things did change (for good), with the new decade marking the beginning of a new journey. Today, i.e. in 2013, a brand matters more than ever, period.
A brand is shorthand for what you are. – Lois Geller
Then and Now!
For starters, back in the 2000s, there were no social networks and on top of that, there were no review sites that people could head to and discuss a business. Even worse, word of mouth did not play as important a role as it does today because whatever people heard about a business could not be shared with others easily. In fact, the lack of channels that could help in this regard also prevented them from actively shaping a brand. Yes, online forums were there, but then, they were of little to no help. So, a business owner could more or less control people’s perception.
The current scenario, however, is totally different.
Keeping Up With The Times
Today, customers build a brand. So, it makes sense to engage with them, wherever possible. Simply put, a business must take advantage of the available social media channels as well as invest in brand and reputation management. In a world where everything a customer says online can make or break the bottom line, that’s the least a business can do
Brand Reputation today is not just a prerogative of big businesses with big advertising budgets but is important to every SME now. You don’t have to spend millions in advertising. A well-planned and executed online strategy can help you generate a buzz around your brand and develop positive brand reputation.