We are all in the throes of a digital explosion that is fast changing the way we live and consume information. It will obviously have an implication on some of the traditionally accepted branding and marketing practices.

Moving on from the historically well understood 4 P’s of Marketing, there are likely to be 3 new P’s. PURPOSE, PRINCIPLE & PARTICIPATION.

  1. PURPOSE: Brands will need a PURPOSE that will be far more compelling than a product. Product differentiation alone will not provide a sustainable advantage. Brands must move from a product proposition to a brand purpose. In effect “MAKE THINGS BETTER’ rather than ‘MAKE BETTER THINGS’.
  2. PRINCIPLE: It’s also increasingly becoming clear that BRAND VALUE is more compelling than PRODUCT VALUE. Consumers cite authenticity as an important discriminator. Brand propaganda is being seen through by consumers. Transparency will have great value. How brands deal with issues is more important to consumers than the issue itself. What the brand does is far more important than what it says. The best advertising appeals to people’s emotions and values, not just to their heads.
  3. PARTICIPATION: Finally, participation is becoming a lot more effective than promotion. Much of our efforts are directed at grabbing consumer attention. Aren’t we confusing the need to create attraction versus getting attention? Consumers should say “I care” vs ‘I’m aware’. We must engage people with the brand, not its communication. The brand’s role is not just to broadcast, but to listen, participate and inspire action. That is how long-term trust is built with the brand.

By H V Subramaniam.

Next : Be Assertive

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