Brands and Brand Managers in Virtual Worlds
Who says we aren’t brand conscious? We live in an age where even tiny tots have their favorite brands, from clothes to shoes to toys even accessories, you name it and there is a brand. Come on, you can hardly blame the little cherubs! In fact, we all adore branded things, don’t we? Like the saying goes – “Brand or be branded.” We do get that “Oh! I’m so cool” feeling every time we step out in something that is envied by others. We love the adulation, it gives us a high! It’s the brand that does that, making the product that much more desirable. Business and marketing honchos work hard on creating a strong and positive insignia that would help them stand out in this highly competitive market. One could have hardly missed the first war in e-commerce history – Snapdeal’s routine offer Vs Flipkart’s big billion offer. Who can forget the Coca-Cola ads that are always so mushy? It’s called branding and creating value for the brand!
Prevalent Archaic Branding
A brand builds reputation. In the earlier days, branding included traditional methods like public hoardings, TV and radio ads, ads across movie theaters and newspapers, and for a more personal touch, distributing pamphlets. These are still prevalent, though changing rapidly. Who can forget the old concept that comprised of movie stars, sportspersons or well-known personalities, whose 100-watt smiles and picture-perfect faces were incorporated to make us aware of some new products or to remind us of the almost-forgotten, nowhere-to-be-seen products.
Virtual World Branding
Social media has totally changed the perception of branding. Building a virtual brand community is the new trend as it is a powerful marketing tool. It is interactive as its takes into account both social support and fan following. The bestselling author, Chetan Bhagat, who has nearly three million followers on Twitter, made a smart move by launching his book “Half Girlfriend” on the social media. Wow! Now that’s innovation at its best, as social media is indeed one of the most cost effective marketing tools and a sure-shot chance of being noticed.
Our generation has taken a leap ahead, adapting itself to the virtual world. We spend more time glued to our mobile phones and laptops rather than reading newspapers. We have become tech savvy and love to catch all the latest updates on the Internet, so much so that newspapers have now become a piece of decoration adding value only to the coffee table. The craze of catching up on the daily morning headlines before starting the day has become obsolete. People can easily view the latest headlines on the web browser of mobile phones or tabs 24×7.
Why brand managers are hooked to learn more on what’s happening online
Nowadays, competition is so fierce that it’s come down to the survival of the fittest. That being said, it’s not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive, but those who can best manage change. A company that incorporates change while keeping up with competition will survive in the long run, and promoting their brand is the key to survival. Most companies have a zealous and staunch brand manager to promote their brand on the Internet and especially on powerful social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Some people might think that their jobs are to die for, staying active on social media, how hard can that be? But in actual fact, trying to stay afloat in today’s scenario is tough to say the least.
Brand managers need to stay alert all the time, keeping an eye and ear on things happening somewhere in the corner of the world. Even the smallest of smallest update can be vital and needs to be posted on social media platforms to keep the world updated. Not only that, it’s also critical for them to keep a tab on the activities of their competitors to know what’s going on in their orbit. Consumer behavior can also be gauged from proactive customer interaction.
Where the Future Leads?
The future of virtual branding depends on how well it spreads through social media. However, brands must be innovative, creative and ingenious. But all in all, we need to remember to create a buzz without overdoing the hype. It never works that way!
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