CEOs need to stay on top of Brand Building

April 7, 2009

Technology is transforming the way brands and customers interact. Wired, Networked and Multiplexed. Today your customers are more in control of your business and brand. Marketing communication must adapt to this change or else your brand will wither.It has become necessary for the business leaders of the company, the CEO’s & CXO’s, to build a strong affiliation with their consumers, investors, employees. This can be done by keeping them updated with information of their business goals, objectives, etc .Instantaneous updates need to be provided as any information older that a year is considered a negative piece of data. An inactive state of existence forbids one from being considered the leaders of the company. Also, wiping off any negative or inappropriate information further helps in easy recovery from what could have been a major case of reputation crisis.

 

The Reality of New Media in India

3,85,00,000 is the size of online audience in India. In other words it translates into 5.2 times the readership of the leading English daily.

Or 2.8 times the combined readership of leading 3 newspapers in India.

Or 3 times the combined readership of India’s leading 5 English magazines.

How can a CEO formulate an agile approach to branding in a tech-driven customer world? The answer is Transparency and Blogging

 

The Advantages of Corporate Blogging

Achieve customer intimacy:

Initiate a communication with the customers and employees. Speak directly to consumers and have them come right back with suggestions or complaints-or kudos.

Influence the public “conversation” and “control” it:

Make it easy for journalists to find the latest, most accurate information about new products or ventures. In the case of a crisis, a corporate blog allows you to shape the conversation about it. The control part is a huge advantage.

Enhance brand visibility and credibility:

Appear higher in search engine rankings, establish expertise in industry or subject area, and personalize one’s company by giving it a human voice.

Leadership

According to CNN “A blog is the perfect platform for a thought leader.”

In this age and time much has changed in the modes of communication. More information then ever before in the history of mankind is now available at the click of a button. Communication in this age and time acquires an altogether new definition.

One of the best examples of a personal Brand is Jack Welch ex-CEO of General Electrics. His high profile earned him respect for being willing to put his own neck on the line. His success has elevated him to the position of Uber-CEO, the man other CEO’s go to when they need answers (after his retirement). That’s the power of a personal brand!!

Corporate Blogging a Necessity

Ten years ago the Internet was called a hype. Mid and late nineties even the world wide web was first called a huge hype, then huge investments followed and it seemed as if everything in the world end with a dot com. Followed by so called dot com crash in 2000 (the giants crashed so they called it “the crash”. Online revenues never did fall). Its 2008 now, the World Wide Web is still there with a soaring audience, revenues then ever before. The World Wide Web is a media of the new generation and a media that definitely cannot be ignored, even if you refuse to open your eyes to it.

Corporate blogging is similar. Today corporates have to adopt it. The fundamentals of corporate blogging are very strong. The broadcasting and syndication facilities are absolutely too powerful and strong. The kind of communication a corporate a can with a consumer or even within a company is too strong to be ignored. Not all of these blogs take feedback, but when they do, blogs open channels to customers to give raw and unadulterated opinions. One is likely to discover insights that can fix, revitalize, advance and deepen connections between brand and customer. In a parity world, transparency is the tiebreaker. Agile brands openly embrace customers. Static brands fear them.

As technologies converge, consumers and brand marketers find new ways to communicate and interact. It can involve them in brand-based games, challenge them to create commercials for brands, bring them together for brand-sponsored events, galvanize brand feedback, energize brand sharing and transform your brand into a powerhouse of convergence.

Leading brands exploit every opportunity to converge technologies and engage customers. You can buy personalized M & M candy in your choice of colors from the Web with your own message on each candy. You can build online your own Ford, Honda or General Motors car or truck before going to a dealer. You can create custom clothing and shoes at Land’s End or Converse. In each case, the company has changed the equation for interacting with customers through convergence of networks and manufacturing. The brand interacts with and is defined by customers who use its technologies. Marketers take their cues from the top. Whether or not you prefer the role, the CEO is the lead brand custodian, the steward responsible for leveraging brands to the fullest. Today’s market space demands that your marketing teams vigorously embrace technology. Your role is not only to encourage use but also to nurture an environment that rewards experimentation.

We at Digiqom add flavor to your Personal Branding by working effectively with the intent to make you communicate as a brand. eOmega, DIGIQOM’S Online Reputation Management (ORM) Service Engine leverages the personality to a higher level where your personal image plays an effective role in the decision making process. Culled out of years of helping global corporates get their brand and leadership positioning right through our service arms- FULQRUM, global media perception and reputation management consulting, and iDQ, digital branding and asset management consulting, it not only adds on to the business profile but also presents you as a trustworthy figure.

So, what are you waiting for, go ahead and ………Be the Brand Yourself !!

 


Curb Reputation Assassination

February 16, 2009

With the increase in online activity no information is limited to the corporate boardrooms and corridors anymore; the companies are thus witnessing a challenge to control the perception being carried across the net. They have now started realizing the importance of protecting and managing their reputation as nearly overnight many companies have got transformed from steel-framed monoliths to glass houses.

reputation-balloon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Opinions about companies are shaped not just by active NGO’s , environment watchdogs, global IPR bodies, but increasingly the whistle blowers are employees, channel partners, community members, not to mention, delighted and harassed customers who are using push-button media to blog out opinions which are creating lasting impressions.

The risk which was not so prevalent even a few years back, has become more complex with the reach and interactive of the digital medium via blogs, social networking sites, RSS etc. With the online activity picking up everyone has the medium to voice their opinion –positive or negative.

Corporates now need to move pro-actively as players in the digital space not just to overcome the fear of defamation and reputation crisis, but also lead and shape opinions about themselves and also the environment in which they exist.

A few of the concerns and measures to be adopted to overcome reputation crisis is highlighted below:

  • Multiple Negative Search Results.

By far the greatest perceived cause of reputation damage is negative media and blog coverage captured and showcased on popular search results. In a heightened economic crisis, the threat level rises with increased distrust in a company and its performance. To regain the trust, positive information needs to be added along with steps being taken to re-position the negative information.

A corporate website is no longer just a medium to transmit information and keep the corporate audiences updated with the ongoing activities of the company. Increasingly, more evolved corporates are using their public websites as social networking tools with suppliers, customers, alumni, and channel partners. The content on the site needs to be a source that not only delivers the right message across audiences, but also encourages desired action.

  • Image Management

Along with the company’s reputation, maintaining and enhancing the Personal Profile of the management team holds equal importance as it is also one of the major factors which builds a company’s reputation.

  • BLOG-Influencing All

Blogs or weblogs are a communication medium being used for expressing opinions and extracting views from the readers. Developing your foothold in the Blogosphere helps you show your side of the picture and stay in constant touch with your audience. It also helps to listen in on the informed chatter of opinion makers and afficianadoes in your core area.

  • Community – Sense of Belongingness

Social networking sites have become an important emerging source for key stakeholder engagement. The two-way relationship also helps in inculcating loyalty in consumer behaviour. To be present in such networking sites not only acts as a positive reputation builder but also strengthens the relationship with your audiences.

The above mentioned are but a few tools to maintain and manage your Reputation online. The need of the hour is to spread awareness about your online presence and communicate to inculcate trust among your stakeholders – customers, vendors, channel partners, investors and employees on your business direction and offerings. The process of reputation management through pro-active online engagement not only helps you drive your agenda but also manage quickly the fallout of negative opinions and media coverage which when ignored can cause costly and time- consuming reputation disasters.. The pain points observed can be handled well by understanding the perception being carried across the net and by taking action steps to Curb Reputation Assassination from happening.


Marketing in Downturn

February 13, 2009

recessionIn an ideal world, innovative marketing initiatives are executed to reach out to every potential buyer and all possible efforts are made in every sense for effective implementation of the strategy. However, in times of economic turmoil marketing budgets slash down eventually leading the companies to look for cost cutting measures rather than innovation as a survival tactic.

The businesses clearly see little choice but to slash marketing budgets to avoid an inventory buildup in the face of demand contraction and conserve cash to fuel future growth opportunities. The greatest challenge being faced by businesses is realigning the marketing strategies to achieve business objectives and focus on long-term branding strategies, while keeping the sales targets within achievable limits.

Marketing strategies, therefore, need to be modified to suit tough market conditions.Evaluating multiple options, testing viable solutions, and implementing the right option at the right time is what a marketing manager should best judge.

The History of the Great Depression of 1929 holds some examples of successful companies which sought to think differently during one of the world’s worst economic downturns ever recorded. During the 1920s, Fords were outselling Chevrolets by 10 to 1. In spite of the Depression, Chevrolet continued to expand its advertising budget and by 1931, the “Chevy 6″ took the lead in its field and remained there for the next five years. Another Company to have a philosophy of not reducing their marketing budgets during times of recession is P&G. When their competitors were swinging the budget axe, P&G actually increased their spending. While the Depression caused problems for many, P&G came out of it unscathed. Radio was one of the fastest growth industries of the depression. P&G virtually built daytime radio with its advertising budgets and programming.

Radio took P&G‘s message into more homes than ever.

Both Chevrolet and P&G rode on the new communications technologies of the day- Talkie cinemas and radio.

Does this hold a clue for marketers in the 21st century where the new communications technologies are ubiquitous mobile access for mass brands and broadband video quality streaming for niche and class brands.

The question of how the companies came out of the downturn can be answered by their continuous innovation and implementation of ideas. The question is not how to cut down on your budgets but on how to optimally utilize the resources available.

To conclude, think of options which makes you stand out of the crowd in the already crowded customer mindspace- innovate, Go Online, talk to your consumers, build relationship with them, make yourself available to answer consumer queries, maintain your reputation across audiences, give relevant information about your business. These are just representation of thoughts that might have come across your mind; the real magic is in implementing and generating results. We call that “communicating for results” at DIGIQOM.

“Tough times don’t last, tough people do”. So don’t let the recession anxiety stop you from stepping forward and innovating. Proving your credentials at times like these is a means to showcase your caliber and expertise in your field.


Your Opinion

February 10, 2009

Welcome to Our World

February 10, 2009

Hello People,

We from Digiqom Solutions will be sharing insights on innovative marketing , communication,branding,advertising strategies (to name a few) and all the information that you as a knowledge seeker would be interested in.

This blog will not only be a medium for us to share but also to keep updating you with the recent activities at Digiqom.

We would want it to be a collaborative effort ,so join hands with us to celebrate the Freedom of Expression !!

For more details log on to our website or write to us at info@digiqom.com


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