A testing time for brands

August 19, 2008 at 9:01 am Leave a comment

Remember the Test Card? It’s hard to believe how things would progress from the days when TV was only on for a number of hours a day with the Test Card showing outside those hours, to today’s always on society of blogging, twitters, and other opportunities to connect and share content around the clock.

But what impact has this development in communication channels had on brands? People used to buy brands. The 30 second slot on TV, the bill boards, magazine and newspaper ads all encourage people to go out and buy a brand. But now, we’re much more about ‘community’. Communities discuss brands, they create buzz around a brand, they engage and promote great brands or discredit a brand who doesn’t engage with them or deliver the value they expect.

In the stationery industry there are both ‘product brands’ and ‘corporate brands’. All have ways in which they can add value to their audience via the supply of information, education or simplification of tasks. This may be through the product, the service or a combination of the two. All can engender loyalty and engage and develop a community, be they PA’s and office managers, office products dealers or high street shoppers.

Building a brand is now about engaging people in a conversation. Many companies rely on press releases…just get one out every few weeks and hope for some coverage and be seen to be doing something. This is not engaging, involving and engendering loyalty. This is only part of the armoury of the marketing person or communicator.

Yes, it is a testing time for brands but getting the engagement of the audience, having conversations and being aware of and interacting with these conversations will help to drive real brand advocacy.

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Entry filed under: Communities, Marketing, New Media, Office Products Market. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , .

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