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5G – Game-changer, or hype?

Commercial Trends Image

It has become increasingly clear that digitising businesses is no longer a ‘nice to have’, but a necessity that if not already completed or underway at your organisation, now essentially needs to happen overnight. Adding to the urgency and need for companies across all sectors to prioritise digitisation, is the rise of Fifth-Generation cellular wireless networks – ‘5G’. Not simply a faster 4G, 5G has been hyped up to be one of the most transformative technologies in the history of telecommunications. 5G is 10 times faster, supports 10,000 times more network traffic and can handle 100 times more devices than 4G networks while enabling one-fiftieth the latency (the time it takes a message to go from one device to another) with zero perceived downtime. Holding the promise of such high data speeds, underpinned by such substantial improvements in latency, capacity and bandwidth – this fifth-generation network technology is truly more than simple hype. It’s the catalyst in an evolution in advanced products and services that includes everything from mobile, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality, the ‘internet of things’ (IoT) and so much more.

5G is a cloud-based network that connects people on mobile devices to the internet faster than previous networks. Unlike 4G which requires cables and infrastructure to run optimally in a suburban or commercial setting, 5G’s cellular towers amplify cloud-based signals eliminating much of the infrastructure and cabling requirements. And these are just what futurists and technologists call ‘first order effects’; those benefits that are directly attributed to 5G’s properties. Beyond these, 5G will help realise the potential of many other emerging technologies, and foreshadow new approaches, ideas and business models that no one has yet conceived of. Fully realised, 5G networks will pave the way to a host of new options for streaming content, live events, gaming, and other high-quality immersive and interactive experiences as well as usher in a sea change in both product and service innovation, experience and delivery.

It is no secret that 5G will open a door to new consumer services and experiences, as well as expand enterprise opportunities across a broad spectrum of verticals and use cases. Increased broadband speeds will facilitate and likely encourage even greater consumption of content. Streaming will become instantaneous and all downloading will happen in seconds rather than minutes. In addition, the massive amount of bandwidth available may see business models around mobile changing in response. For instance, the abundance and ubiquity of broadband could see a future where users are no longer charged for data use but are billed in other ways that encourage them to use their devices more, without worrying about cost. It thus follows, that a new ‘5G marketing mindset’ focussed on use cases, customer experience and immersion as well as product and service differentiation is increasingly becoming a critical priority for marketers. The right strategy starts with asking how 5G can impact fundamental marketing strategies and product mix across multiple industries. Marketers will need to consider abandoning their current tried and tested playbooks and open their imagination to the limitless possibilities of what could be achieved when harnessing the full potential of 5G technology. Marketing with 5G requires a complete rethink of your four P’s: product, place, price and promotion. It need not only be about promoting your product in isolation, now by leveraging 5G marketers

Rethinking What You’re Selling – Product / Service

Things that aren’t readily possible today, like true live dynamic and interactive virtual experiences and tutorials, will become a reality in the 5G world. 4G has served consumers well in some use cases, but 5G will enable vastly richer customer experiences. Want a VR cooking lesson, an in-home mixed reality interior design consultation or to experience a live event through the power of VR? Think about a MasterClass series, but with Malcolm Gladwell for instance, actually being beamed right into your lounge to give you that introduction to writing class essentially in person. 5G makes it possible.

Delivery Where Consumers Want It – Place

Likewise, 5G may realise the possibility of ‘Minority Report’ like adverting. For those unfamiliar with the Tom Cruise Block buster, Minority Report is a movie set in the future where one of the features is personalised in situ advertising. In the film, ad’s are served to customers based on retinal scanning and recognition technology paired with big data to deliver personalised tailored ad content and discounting based on your individual preferences, purchasing habits and location at the time. Marketers will soon be able to deliver what customers want, where and when they want it, as network capacity will no longer be a restricting factor with 5G. Consumers will no longer have to go to a store or open their laptop to find out about, test or buy products. Using 5G, products can be marketed to customers anywhere, leveraging a plethora of newly imagined devices. Take going to the gym for example, advertising could be done directly via a connected health device like an Apple watch or Fitbit. Signup packages could be introduced utilising try before you buy virtual classes delivered ‘in-home’ leveraging AR or VR technology supporting one-on-one virtual personal training sessions.

Monetisation – Price

5G will enable marketers to offer their customers tiered immersive experiences perhaps spanning from baseline to intermediate and premium or even exclusive experiences for AR and VR. One-size-fits-all pricing models that do not differentiate value will increasingly become a thing of the past as the world of mass customisation finds a delivery channel that will support and encourage dynamic pricing models, much the same as those used in airfare pricing – everyone is on the same plane but almost every individual ticket has a unique price depending on where and when you bought it and the accompanying basket of privileges you are seeking pre, during and post flight. Using 5G, you can offer consumers a new proposition to pay for individualised experiences and subscription plans, especially when considered from the viewpoint of a retailer or event promoter where experience is an inseparable part of the purchasing or consumption act itself. 

Meaningful Marketing – Promotion

5G is new, dynamic and increasingly in vogue offering marketers a catalyst to inject new energy and vitality into their brands, through inspired application and creative execution. But to ensure sustained engagement, marketers must elevate the utilisation of 5G and allied technologies to move beyond simple gimmicks and cheap tricks, shifting application further than fad to becoming a fully-fledged channel for rich immersive experiential delivery. Promotions must above all else resonate with your target audiences. Today’s hyper-connected world makes it imperative to deliver an ad experience that does not ‘feel’ like advertising

We live in a hyper-connected world and while 5G won’t change everything completely, or instantly, it will unquestioningly amplify many of our digital experiences. Marketers and businesses alike must   align our strategies to this new reality, allowing ourselves to explore and apply more of the innovative technological opportunities in our campaigning – especially in the realm of AR, VR, AI, and smart devices. 5G opens a world of new opportunities for marketers and brands unafraid to scrap their old playbooks and buck the status quo to grow customer engagement and brand loyalty.

In concluding, here are just five simple ways 5G will likely revolutionise digital marketing:

  1. Mobile ecommerce will accelerate.
  2. Targeted customer personalisation and CX (customer experience) will get easier—and more accurate.
  3. Segmented video advertising will proliferate.
  4. Augmented and virtual reality (AR & VR) will enhance customer experiences.
  5. Advertising will be more interactive.

At the IMM we’re always connected, always current and always exploring.  Check out all our qualification and short course offerings, each one uniquely developed to keep your knowledge, skills and industry awareness at the leading edge of innovation, best practice and thought leadership.

Appendix: 01

https://www.singlegrain.com/digital-marketing/digital-marketing-trends-2021/

https://recommend.pro/personalisation-trends-2020-part-1/

Commercial Trends Appendix

https://www.roboticsbusinessreview.com/research/the-next-generation-supply-chain-market-75b-by-2030/

https://www.supplychaindigital.com/supply-chain-2/top-10-supply-chain-trends-2021

 

 

From cloud computing to cloud chains – the rise of SCAAS

Supply Chain Trends Image

Ever since Salesforce arrived on the scene nearly 20 years ago, the holy grail of business start-ups has been to emulate the model it essentially created: software as a service (SaaS). There is good reason for this model being so coveted, not only by start-ups but also by captains of industry across sectors where there have been countless efforts to replicate it. The SaaS model allows for amazing margins at scale and predictable annuity revenue streams. For customers, it lowers upfront costs and often leads to better service and product improvements over time. The question being, can the benefits of SaaS be transferred to the world of supply chain management?

Before we explore the answer let’s take a closer look at SaaS.  Software as a service, SaaS, is today often used interchangeably with “cloud computing”, a business model in which customers pay to use software hosted on remote computers. According to Wikipedia, Software as a Service is “a software licensing and delivery model in which software is licensed on a subscription basis and is centrally hosted and controlled.” SaaS may also be referred to as ‘On-Demand Software’.

Today, the most prevalent form of SaaS is customer relationship management software (CRM). Other core business functions across which SaaS has been popularised include office and messaging software, payroll processing software, CAD software, accounting software, content management software, and antivirus software. SaaS differs from traditional software platforms in that your data as a SaaS customer is transferred over a network (like the internet) to the SaaS provider. The application itself is not housed on your computer, but rather it is hosted elsewhere ‘in the cloud’.

SaaS in effect has its origins rooted in the 1960’s.  Back then, computers were large and expensive, few small or medium-sized businesses could afford to invest in them, giving rise to the software as a service industry. In the 1960s, the model we know today as “cloud computing” or “SaaS” was simply referred to as a “time sharing system”. A system that involved multiple so called “dumb” terminals (keyboards and monitors without CPUs) that were networked to a mainframe. All applications and data had to reside on the mainframe. In effect, it was an early form of “the internet”, a way of connecting computers together. However, at the time this innovative system made it possible for small and medium-sized businesses, educational organizations, and government entities to access computer systems in a cost-effective way. The transfer of risk and burden of costs, including development, maintenance and infrastructure to a third party is at the heart of the SaaS model, one which has stood the test of time and proved to be incredibly beneficial to suppliers and customers alike. As with any great business operating model other industries, functions and organisations have sought to replicate the concept and in the logistics and supply chain sector this has given rise to “SCaaS” or Supply Chain as a Service.

At its core, SCaaS is a flexible and agile supply chain model that enables organisations to manage their supply chains without the risk of upfront investment in facilities, infrastructure or technology. As you are no doubt aware, there are already many companies providing outsourced services for various aspects of your supply chain. You can outsource your manufacturing, distribution, procurement, accounts payable, transportation management, systems and more.  Meaning that essentially all your supply chain services from storage to transport logistics, picking and packing, delivery and inventory management, could be outsourced to an expert partner who handles all these supply chain logistics as a service.

The model the world is working toward will see SCaaS operating much like a ride-hailing service such as Uber. Ultimately, companies will be able to manage their supply chains via an App, or specific programme, and ‘call up’ particular supply chain services as and when they are needed. This enables far greater operating agility allowing for incredible flexibility, supply chain transparency as well as allowing companies to only pay for the services they use – think of it as A la Carte supply chain service or on demand logistics. Speaking of on demand and A la Carte services, if you’re interested in learning more about the current trends, theory and practices powering modern supply chain management, check out our full time Supply Chain management course offerings at https://imm.ac.za/academic-qualifications/qualification-supply-chain-export-management-qualifications/ or our Supply Chain management short course offerings at https://shortcourses.imm.ac.za/online_courses/supply-chain-export-management-short-courses/?gclid=undefined

From the service provider’s side, increasing demand for SCaaS means a more fluid approach. Costs can be saved by sharing loads and storage facilities between various customers, all contingent on need and capacity. At the end of the day, the operations will be determined by the expectations of the end-user. Businesses will demand that their SCaaS providers adapt to consumer demands, which is going to require a high degree of operating agility. Meaning SCaaS providers will have to work very closely with their customers to ensure that the end-user expectations are met or exceeded. In many ways, SCaaS will require logistics providers to become an integral part of their client’s operations, because close and harmonious working relationships will ultimately lead to the most efficient supply chains, and therefore the best customer service to the end-user.

Current fleet and supply chain companies will need to adapt quickly to keep pace with the burgeoning demand for SCaaS. Those of you who have been in the game for years should however already have implemented SCaaS models in various guises for many of your clients, either proactively or based on growing demand. If you haven’t ventured down this path, as with most things the best time to begin was yesterday, but today is better than tomorrow!

Supply Chain as a Service (SCaaS) culminates in better collaboration, improved quality control, and higher efficiency rates, shipping optimization, reductions in overhead costs, improved risk mitigation and superior cash flow. The advantage of moving to digital supply chain platforms would include: enhanced productivity, greater connectivity, lower cost, greater service, heightened flexibility and adaptability and better asset management.

In order to leverage all available technologies in the future companies will not have the expertise, resourcees, and funding to try to do this on their own. Only the largest companies may decide to retain these functions internally. Furthermore, failing to shift to a digital SCaaS model will result in a lack of competitiveness and financial viability.

Globally, companies are being forced, either due to financial, resources, timing or competitive reasons to outsource more of their Supply Chain activities – meaning the adoption of SCaaS is likely to increase exponentially over time. Consequently, there will likely be increasing opportunity for Supply Chain as a Service consulting firms and providers to become more integrated with their customer base in the provision of their offerings. If a client company needs to go to different outsourcing companies for every single aspect of their supply chain the management of numerous third-party organisations will become their biggest challenge. The age of integrated, full and A la Carte supply chain management is truly upon us – welcome to the age of the cloud chain.

Supply Chain Trends Image Resources

 

Life’s always been about creating moments. But now it’s all about the ‘micro’ moments! It’s an impulse thing…

Marketing Trends Blog Image July

Depending on your age, you may remember as a youngster being dragged around supermarkets with one or both of your parents for the monthly or weekly grocery shop. Precious moments you’d no doubt rather have spent with friends or quite frankly any other way imaginable. The highlight of these trips was typically the moment your captor (aka parent) headed towards the tills as this meant your torment was almost over. For your parent(s) however, they knew that for them ten minutes of their own unbearable and unfortunately unavoidable (thanks to marketer’s) personal hell was most likely about to begin.  The dreaded wait in the often long and winding queue which conveniently and frustratingly for parents meandered for what felt like miles – not accidently I might add – past every known form of confectionery (sweets, chocolates, candy), beverage or fad toy imaginable! Child heaven. The impulse isle, where every child on the planet perfected their powers of persuasion, through tantrums, bribery, false promises of being good and any other form of manipulation they could muster. Precious moments indeed.

Marketers and retail marketers in particular, tended to exploit the impulsive shopping urge which is inextricably tied to the basic want for instant gratification. An early definition for “impulse purchases” came out of the DuPont Consumer Buying Habits Study which ran from 1948 to 1965 and defined impulse buying quite simply as: “unplanned purchase made by a consumer”. The definition was later updated, to explicitly refer to the intense urge that a consumer feels when they want to buy an item right then and there, often causing cognitive dissonance for the consumer. Marketers recognised early on that kids were great targets for impulse buying and although often not the direct purchasers themselves, they were a direct catalyst to securing a share of parents’ wallets via impulse triggered purchasing.

There’s a specific psychology behind impulse buying, it disrupts the normal decision-making models in consumers’ brains. The typical and usually logical sequence of a consumer’s actions is replaced with an irrational moment of self-gratification as impulse items generally appeal to the emotional side of consumers. Some items bought on impulse are not considered functional or necessary in the consumers’ lives. Like chocolates at the check-out counter. Although most parents trying to pacify a ranting toddler may argue the sweets are all to necessary to retain their sanity.

For generations, marketers and retailers have capitalised through impulse purchase displays and clever store layouts on the psychology of “I want it now!”.  But thanks to technology and the ‘trade craft’ perfected by marketers over decades of having watched generations of toddler temper tantrums in the impulse isle, the concept of Impulse purchasing is rapidly going mainstream on what can only be described as an industrial scale.

Enter the “micro-moment” – Micro-moments occur when people reflexively turn to a device – increasingly a smartphone – to immediately act on a need or want.  The impulse isle is now firmly in the palm of almost every consumer on the planet’s hand. Smart phones and tablet devices have ushered in an era where consumers’ every desire be it – to learn something, do something, discover something, watch something, or buy something – can be immediately satisfied. These “I want-to-know,” “I want-to-do,” “I want-to-go,” and “I want-to-buy” moments are what Google calls “micro-moments.” (visit https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/marketing-strategies/micro-moments/ to learn more about Goole’s research into micro-moments)

 

“When we act on our needs in the moment, our expectations are high and our patience is low. This makes the quality, relevance and usefulness of marketing more important than ever.”- Joei Chan, author at Mention

 

We want things right, and we want things right now! Technology has re-awakened the terrible toddler sleeping inside all of our minds. Instant; accurate gratification is an expectation, not a nice to have. The computers caried in our pockets have trained us to expect brands to immediately deliver exactly what we’re looking for, exactly when we’re looking. If the impulse strikes, it must be fulfilled.

Increasingly, our preferences and purchase decisions are being shaped in these micro-moments and brands that do the best job of addressing customers’ needs in each micro-moment, most notably on mobile, will enjoy huge competitive advantages. By being there in these “micro-moments”, your brand has the chance to address consumer needs at the perfect and most precise time to help move customers along their decision journey. The linear sales funnel and accompanying customer journey is being disrupted and along with it the tried and tested idea of needing dedicated content for the awareness, consideration, and decision stages of the funnel. Returning to our retail store analogy, store success was reliant on foot traffic, and certain sales reliant on impulse buying. In the digital world impulses trigger buying scenarios, and micro-moments are the equivalent digital footsteps that lead customers to your virtual store. Your Brand must be in the moment with the customer.

Every time a customer needs or wants something, it is an opportunity for you to provide – provide information, provide options, provide a solution and thus be more than just an option but rather to become a trusted partner and an answer to the requirement. Micro-moments are intent-rich windows of opportunity when your audiences want to know or do something; when and where decisions are being made and their preferences shaped.

As marketers start identifying your prospects and customers’ buyer journeys, identify those “micro-moments” that matter most. Where do prospects want to find information about your products or services? Where do they want to learn about what it is you offer? How can you help them in the moment? How can you positively influence or affect those moments? What content can you deliver to engage them in a meaningful way right then and there? While we’re in the moment, if you’re interested in learning more about the current trends, theory and practices powering modern marketing check out our full time marketing course offerings at https://imm.ac.za/academic-qualifications/marketing-qualifications/ or our marketing short course offerings at https://shortcourses.imm.ac.za/online_courses/marketing-advertising-short-courses/?utm_source=GoogleAds&utm_medium=SearchWithDisplayNetwork&utm_campaign=Brand&gclid=CjwKCAjw_LL2BRAkEiwAv2Y3SW7g_LtYKVJ_r6sWgBLQvm0-L-nGRf8HEAKEsJGJQHXPe95ii828OBoCJPQQAvD_BwE

When all is said and done, it simply comes down to showing your prospects and customers that you can help in their daily lives, not just when they are present in your office, store or on your website, but whenever and wherever they are experiencing that impulsive moment of need. To win in the micro-moments, you must understand your prospects’ intent, provide them with relevant, useful and high-quality information, directly addressing their need and most importantly maximise the ways you can find to be present in the moment.  The strongest brands will capitalize on these micro moments and evolve to match these moments with valuable content.

Marketing Trends Image Resources

Resources:

https://www.veriday.com/blog/micro-moments-marketing/

https://mention.com/en/blog/micro-moments-marketing/

https://medium.com/@Chadvertising/googles-zero-moment-of-truth-the-shift-to-micro-moments

https://www.singlegrain.com/digital-marketing/digital-marketing-trends-2021/

 

Benefits of online short courses (2021)

Online short courses in 2021

Will a short course take your career to the next level?

The job market is becoming increasingly more competitive regardless of the industry you are in, this means that having a certain expertise is no longer sufficient and to truly thrive in your career it is recommended to take an approach of continuous learning.

There is nothing employers seek more than employees who are committed to self-improvement. If you are adamant to take your career to the next level, there is no better way to do it than online short courses.

What is a Short Course?

A short course is a learning programme that gives you combined content or specific skills training in a short period of time. Short courses generally are more practical of nature and have less theory than a university course. Short courses therefore leave you with more practical experience within your specific field. The duration of the short courses depends on the discipline, the workload and the aim of the programmes, but are not longer than one year.

Short courses play a pivotal role in developing South African job seekers and those already in the workspace. They are generally affordable, easy to take, and provide a way people can become skilled, upgrade their current skills if they need to, or acquire different skills.

Why should you do a short course?

Short courses are designed to teach you a new skill that you can easily apply in your working life, short courses can be a great help to anyone who wants to upskill themselves. Short courses give you the opportunity to learn a new skill that you can apply to your work or use to find a better job. You will also receive formal recognition upon completion of a short course, which can bolster your CV.

It can be disheartening to think that if you want to pick up a skill you must complete a whole 3–4-year degree or diploma just to get started. Fortunately, short courses are the solution to this problem. Short courses will help you upgrade your skills and knowledge and help you ensure that you have chosen the correct field of study.

Education is one of the fundamental building blocks to success by way of broadening your skillset and expanding your knowledge. With many different institutions now offering an array of online courses, it provides people with exciting opportunities to expand their knowledge and expertise, in the process making them more employable in South Africa’s competitive workforce.

Short courses allow you to continue your current lifestyle while improving your skills and your CV.

What are the benefits of taking an online short course?

Affordability

Education is expensive and not many people can afford longer expensive programmes. Online short courses take care of these issues as they allow professionals and students to learn in the most affordable way. Less costly does not mean that these courses do not offer quality education. They are developed and delivered by experts of their field.

Flexibility

Online short courses are conducted via correspondence which does not require you to be physically present. One of the main benefits of online short courses is that it provides flexibility where students can access their course materials and the lessons as and when they need it. Students also have an array of different mediums through which they can communicate with their lecturers and fellow students.

Mobility

Physical education requires that you commute every day and, in some cases, even have to relocate in order to study. An online short course only requires a stable internet connection and offers mobility, which means you can browse study material on your laptop, tablet or phone even while on the go.

Variety of options to choose from

There are short courses suited to everyone’s needs, budget and fields of interest. Ranging from anything between 1 and 12 months, at different costs and in any subject you might be interested in, short courses are definitely the way to go when looking at options to upskill yourself and further your knowledge.

Short Courses are for everyone

Whether you’re already in the working world trying to improve on your skills or you’re fresh from high school, everyone could benefit from short courses.

For individuals who just completed matric, doing a few short courses is a great opportunity to determine what field of study you want to enter.

Instead of not doing anything during a ‘gap year’, short courses are the best way to help you move forward without losing your momentum. During a gap year it’s easy to forget how to study, write exams and do assignments – short courses keep your mind working, and improve your knowledge simultaneously.

Short Courses make you more valuable

Even though short courses are not always accredited, they do show your employer or prospective employer that you are proactive and that you value continual learning and you don’t allow yourself to become stagnant.

Courses that focus on self-development, leadership, workplace communication and conflict resolution could show your potential employers that you are in fact ready for a more important role in the workplace.

Conclusion

While the idea of partaking in University education is merely a dream for most and not possible, there are other viable alternatives. The most practical way in which one can build on their skills or learn something entirely different is through online short courses.

Doing a short course is the smartest move to make to improve your knowledge, skills, and marketability within a specific field. A short course primarily develops and enhances your skills. While also helping you to continue your education and become a lifelong learner, someone that is consistently growing and developing.

Persons who rely on experience alone oftentimes learn by making mistakes before learning how to correct it, and in a corporate or business environment mistakes can be extremely costly. When climbing the ladder to a management or leadership position without preparing yourself to make the move will leave you short-sighted, as even if you have a good understanding of your current position, the lack of formal input may mean that you lack the necessary knowledge needed to excel. A short course can be the perfect option to help you close that gap if you feel like you might not have the necessary skills to progress your career.

IMM have developed an array of online short courses across a wide variety of subjects including marketing, project management, international trade and more. Reap the many benefits that online short courses offer you and take your career to the next level with our industry leading short courses.

Follow the link to browse our variety of short courses, sign up, or utilise our try before you buy option to ensure the short course contains the content you are looking for. https://shortcourses.imm.ac.za/

 

5 Reasons why brand management is important

brand

$84.02 Billion US Dollars – the brand value of Coca Cola in 2020.

1.9 billion – The estimated number of Coca Cola sales per year.

94% – the percentage of the world’s population that can explain what the Coca Cola logo is associated with – joy and happiness.

So, what’s the key to Coca Cola’s longevity and resilience? Brand management!

What is brand management?

Brand Management is a series of techniques that increases the perceived value of a product, service or brand over time. Successful brands are built on the foundation of a meaningful brand strategy that provides the framework for what a brand stands for and how it will be communicated to the marketplace. Strategic brand management involves the design and implementation of marketing programmes and activities to build, measure and manage brand equity. It also builds brand Identity which represents how the brand wants to be perceived.

“A ‘brand’ is not a thing, a product, a company or an organisation. A brand does not exist in the physical world – it is a mental construct. A brand can best be described as the sum total of all human experiences, perceptions and feelings about a particular thing, product or organisation. Brands exist in the consciousness of individuals and of the public.”

James R. Gregory, “Leveraging the Corporate Brand.

Here are five reasons why brand management is important:

1.    To buy your brand, consumers need to know your brand.

Brand awareness is one of the key components of brand management. Customers won’t think of your brand when it’s time to make a purchasing decision if they don’t know who you are. This will result in them rather purchasing your competitor’s product or service.

 

2. First impressions are important.

Have you ever heard the saying “you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression?” The packaging of your brand for example, is the first contact point between your brand and your customer. Brand management gives you the opportunity to keep your branding fresh and memorable, making a lasting impression on customers, throughout their journey with you.

Consumers offer their trust and loyalty with the implicit understanding that the brand will behave in certain ways and provide them utility through consistent product performance and appropriate pricing, promotion, and distribution programmes and actions. To the extent that consumers realise advantages and benefits from purchasing the brand, and if they derive satisfaction from product consumption, they are likely to continue to buy it. In certain product categories, customers perceive significant value in brands as they enable them to communicate something about themselves. In such cases brands are used as symbolic devices because of their ability to help users express something about themselves to their peer groups.

3. Consistency is key.

Brand management in highly competitive and in dynamic markets will only be effective if the brand itself stays close to its core values and uniqueness. It’s therefore extremely important for brands to have a consistent tone and feel in every brand touchpoint. Brand management gives you the opportunity to ensure that both the intangible and visual aspects of your brand are aligned.

A brand that is consistent and clear puts the customer at ease, because they know exactly what to expect each and every time they experience the brand. According to branding author Keller, a brand is more than a product, because it can have dimensions that differentiate it in some way from other products designed to satisfy the same needs.

Here’s an example of how Coca Cola has evolved over time, while maintaining a level of consistency and brand recognition.

4. Brand loyalty.

The world has become smaller with the rapid growth of e-commerce, and more and more consumers are buying products from outside their countries. It is therefore important to look at managing brand equity in different types of market segments and to also consider international issues and global brand strategies, where relevant.

If consumers recognise a brand and have some knowledge about it, then they do not have to engage in a lot of additional thought or processing of information to make a product decision. Thus, from an economic perspective, brands allow consumers to lower the search costs for products both internally (in terms of how much they must think) and externally (in terms of how much they have to look around). Based on what they already know about the brand – its quality, product characteristics, and so forth – consumers can make assumptions and form reasonable expectations about what they may not know about the brand.

Therefore, when your brand is managed successfully you will see a definite increase in brand loyalty.

5. Brand maintenance never ends.

There have been various changes in marketing in recent years. The customer has changed drastically and the benefits they derive from the products sold by companies have changed. Modern marketing has had to adapt to the digitalisation of the world.

Once you have your brand, the real work begins.  Maintaining your brand is a continuous task.  Logos, taglines, and editorial messaging should obey brand guidelines. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram updates should express a similar brand tone and feel as brochures and mailers. The responsibility of brand management is to continuously enhance and improve the brand over time.

The shift to digital has decreased the extent of control that a brand manager has over brand meaning. With today’s many-to-many communications model the growth and proliferation of large social media platforms has ushered in an era in which dynamic and real-time conversations are taking place among consumers on a massive scale, making the control businesses have over brand message and co-creation of brand meaning limited.

As a digital age marketer or brand manager, you must consider online branding in your strategy and how you can use online channels to support your brand.

Do you want your brand to be the next Coca Cola, or even better?

 

Enhance your brand management skills.

The IMM Graduate School has a cutting-edge up to date 6-week Strategic Brand Management online course that is perfect if you want to become a better Brand Manager.

It contains four fast-paced modules and will help you to develop practical skills in branding and brand management.

Follow the link to sign up for our Strategic Brand Management Course today <https://shortcourses.imm.ac.za/online-course/strategic-brand-management/>