Insights January 13, 2021

Future proofing a brand

Living Word
By Living Word

With access to infinite sums of information 24/7, today’s consumers are more empowered than ever before. The number of digital channels to invest their time in is growing by the day, but while this presents a lot of opportunities for brands to connect with their target audience, said opportunities also demand a lot of them…

How can a brand keep its head above water when consumers are flooded by digital channels and brand messages from every corner of the internet?

  1. Get to know your target audience and market with social listening

Getting to know your target audience (no, really getting to know them) is a good start. Every interaction made on social media adds to the mountain of data available to marketers – data that offer insights into how the brand is perceived, how people talk about it, what they like and dislike, and so on (including the same regarding competitors, by the way). When done well, social listening can help a brand crack the code and win over audiences – assuming they act successfully on these insights, of course.

  1. Think beyond product benefits and features

While achieving it is not necessarily an easy feat, consumers increasingly value brand authenticity. This is especially true for young consumers, according to research from McKinsey. In other words: brands that weave their values and identity into their campaigns successfully are likely looking at a brighter future than those that merely focus on product benefits and features. Needless to say, you’ll only win over hearts if you walk the talk across the board – in how you handle you communication, your people, and your products.

  1. Global yet local execution

You’ve heard it before: the big world has become smaller and smaller as the internet has evolved – and while it’s important to think globally in many aspects of business operations, tailoring your communication to each local market is probably more important now than ever before. Research has shown that people are much more likely to buy a product if they read about it in their local language. But depending on the type of communication, translation might not be the best way to make the brand stand out in a competitive space. Brands that have invested heavily in developing creative campaigns tailored to drive action and win over hearts should make sure that they walk the talk – without stopping halfway. This means taking cultural nuances and sensitivities, do’s and don’ts, and other quirks of the target market into account when taking these messages across borders. And for this, they need skilled in-market linguists who combine their linguistic know-how and creativity to make campaigns fly across borders. In other words: they should turn to transcreation, as translation doesn’t always cut it. When a brand shows its target audience that it understands them, it’s more likely to stand out as authentic – and that’s bound to go down well with consumers.

In summary, if you apply social listening, remember to stay true to your values, and do localisation well and properly, your brand will stand a great chance of breaking through the noise on crowded platforms – even in a future of an overwhelming choice of digital platforms and increasingly discerning, demanding customers.