Live it, love it, be it. Are you truly living your brand through the eyes of your customer? Do you experience your brand like your customer? Are you broadcasting your brand or working with your customers' conversations?
It depends on which questions that you answered ‘yes' to that will determine if you are living it, loving it, and being a part of your brand and if your social media is about we and not me.
The channels of communications that we have today have empowered customers to be a part of the action and provide their input into shaping what they see and how they interact with it. But, there are companies that abuse their power of communications and still dictate their message and define social media as "me, me, me" and forget about being social and the 'we'.
They say you need to hear something 20+ times before it "sinks in" to your mind and you recall the concept [brand, product, etc.]. So, let's say it, "the Internet and Social Media is about Relationships," which I can safely say has been mentioned many, MANY more than 20 times across different mediums for more years than I can remember.
Thus, it boggles my mind that so many brands continue to think first from a marketing and sales position while ignoring the relationships and people they are trying to reach. Many companies are reactive since they are not engaging the relationships that are available to them, and they are not creating positive experiences.
You can only create a positive experience if you live your brand from the consumer's position by showing understanding and compassion. The emphasis in marketing tends to be on driving new and creative campaigns to keep things moving for fear that stagnation will set in. But if you do not know what your experience is in the eyes of your consumer you cannot see what needs to be fixed, and without the consumer's vision, you do not know what the experience should be.
The term I heard recently was that marketing personnel need to be "Experience Architects." Titles are fun, results are reality, but in this case maybe the title will shake up the marketing person to take it to heart and be the architect of experiences that ‘build a connection between the brand and the consumer' (aka Experiential Marketing). Sometimes you come full circle in areas; for example Experiential Marketing has been around for decades, but maybe a title like Experience Architect is what it will take for someone to move in the right direction.
Change is hard, but if you live your brand, if you feel the touch-points that connect with consumers, then the changes you make to your brand, will just feel right. In the face of the axiom "society and technology change with or without us," we have to see things from a customer's perspective or a brand will fall back to their prior experiences and things will seem to change faster than they really are.
Recalling the Tolstoy quote, "Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself." You do not need to blaze a new path as much as listen to what the consumer is saying as well as see it from their perspective and the path will fashion itself.
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