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How to meet the challenges of online brand building

How to meet the challenges of online brand building

By Michael Megalli, partner, Group 1066

The Internet is impacting all elements of business and society. As markets change, the practice of branding must change to remain relevant.

We must look for clues for how innovative marketers are using the power of technology to change the ways they build their brands in this shifting market.

Chaos

Often times we experience change as chaos. This map of the "current state" of the major Internet players is published on a regular basis by a group of designers in Japan (http://informationarchitects.jp).

As clever as this map is, it's a crude representation of the real complexity -a state that is changing from day to day. Change has been particularly tough on marketers, and yet there has never been a more exciting time to build brands.

Online?

One of the biggest challenges we all face is to change our perception o words like "Internet," "web," and "online." As marketers we tend to be very channel focused - we want neat labels to organize our initiatives and the channels that we use to deliver our messages.

And yet, these dualities are inherently limiting. It no longer makes sense to talk about "online branding" versus "offline." This is about Branding.

Control

The biggest challenge for brand marketers in this age of change is to reconcile themselves to the idea of having less control over their brands.

We must ask whether "Brand Management" has become an oxymoron in a context where brand messages are often delivered by constituencies outside of traditional branding roles - customers, partners or even competitors

Brand consistency is still important, but all brands have effectively become works in progress-betas."

In this new world, brands are about a dialogue rather than a controlled message, they are about conversations rather than campaigns. An essential distinction is that brands need to evolve continuously rather than in bursts of change followed by prolonged periods of stasis.

AJR
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