The Importance of Brand Control for Internet Sellers
Your Image, Your Identity, and the Importance of Your Brand
Empowery, the first-ever co-op created specifically for internet sellers, understands that the internet has upended how consumers engage with brands and products. It is transforming the economics of marketing and making obsolete many of the function’s traditional strategies and structures. For many companies, the old way of doing business may unsustainable.
Today, consumers are promiscuous in their brand relationships. They connect with a myriad of brands through new media channels beyond the manufacturer’s and the retailer’s control or even knowledge. Consumers may even evaluate a shifting array of products, often expanding the pool before narrowing it.
After a purchase these consumers may remain aggressively engaged, publicly promoting or assailing the products they’ve bought, collaborating in the brands’ development, and challenging and shaping their meaning.
Consumers still want a clear brand promise and offerings they value. What has changed is when, at what touch points, they are most open to influence, and how you can interact with them at those points. Touch points have changed in both number and nature, requiring a major adjustment to realign a company’s strategy and budgets with where consumers are actually spending their time.
The Consumer Decision Journey
New research shows that rather than systematically narrowing their choices, consumers add and subtract brands from a group under consideration during an extended evaluation phase. After purchase, they often enter into an open-ended relationship with the brand, sharing their experience with it online.
Evaluate & Advocate
New media make the “evaluate” and “advocate” stages increasingly relevant. Brand investments help consumers navigate the evaluation process and then spread positive word of mouth or online through reviews oftentimes, about the brands they choose can be as important as building awareness and driving purchase.
A Customer Experience Plan
As the executive team at Empowery suggests, a deep investigation of the decision journey often reveals the need for a plan that will make the customer’s experience coherent. This experience may extend the boundaries of the brand itself.
The details of a customer experience plan will vary according to the company’s products, target segments, campaign strategy, and product mix. But when the plan is well executed, consumers’ perception of the brand will include everything from discussions in social media to the in-store shopping experience to continued interactions with the company and the retailer.
The brand control changes are happening at a rapid pace as technology expands as do marketplaces. From our perspective at Empowery, brand control is not incremental, it is fundamental. That’s why we developed a vast amount of infrastructure for our eCommerce members.
The perception of a brand during the decision journey has always been important, but the phenomenal reach, speed, and interactivity of digital touch points makes the brand experience essential.
Now is the time for you, as an internet seller, to seize this opportunity to take on a leadership role, establishing a stronger position in the online marketplaces that exist making consumers’ brand experience central to enterprise strategy.
Please contact Empowery today to learn more about our members’ tools and benefits.