The world around us is transforming at an incredible pace, impacting how consumers engage with everything around them, and that includes brands. The digital age continues to transform the way we live, shop and pay – including how and where brands show up. By redefining the way they engage with consumers, brands can establish more meaningful relationships with them.
The evolution of communication
Take the example of Mastercard’s Priceless’ platform – it is a single word that is embedded within the DNA of our brand and drives differentiation. While it has been a constant, critical element for more than 20 years, what it stands for has evolved tremendously over the years.
What started out as a storytelling tool is now something that engages our consumers in new and innovative ways.
Corporations today should encourage and inspire consumers to create their own stories, their own memories; this ensures that the brand resonates with them on a more personal level. As part of this approach, paying greater attention to how you engage with your consumers and enabling them to make their own memorable moments is paramount. This is more pertinent than ever before given that today, people expect action, not advertisements, from brands.
The power of brand identity
Research shows that today, 84 percent of people say that brands have a strong identity and a clear role in the world, while 87 percent say that brands must stand up for what they believe. This is a clear indication that there is a necessity for brands to evolve and touch the lives of their consumers— passive brand identities will not remain relevant for long. A brand needs to connect to people on several levels and be able to appeal to their various senses, therefore the need for continued transformation and innovation cannot be overstated.
In addition, the digital age is creating completely new definitions of consumer needs and experiences. As the lines between digital and physical blur and the number of consumer touch points continues to increase, consumer’s brand expectations evolve in keeping with the rise of new technologies — some, like ad blockers, increasing challenges, and others, like voice technologies, opening up new possibilities.
It’s with this in mind that we recently launched our sonic logo, which comes on the heels of our recent transition to a symbol brand. Our interlocking circles are a powerful visual cue and encapsulate the brand better than any word could.
Speak to your consumers as you would to a real human being who might be standing right in front of you. The age of impersonal communication with a one-way stream of messaging is all but gone.
The writer is Senior Vice President, Marketing & Communications, Middle East and Africa - MasterCard.