Strong brands deliver on a promise of value over a sustained period of time. They become known by consumers for something they do well on a regular basis.
Many brands, particularly in retail, have relied on being known as THE place to buy certain types of products. For them, it’s been about access.
Some of those bricks and mortar-based entities were good merchandisers too. Consumers found value in that and actually visited those stores very early in the purchase funnel to gain awareness of products and to get inspired to buy them. Remember window shopping?
But now, gaining awareness of what’s new and getting inspired to buy is something that largely happens online. In many cases, it is driven by algorithms, search terms and influencers. Influencer marketing has become what window shopping once was – a powerful way to build brand loyalty by attracting attention and offering inspiration for consumers.
So, if you’re a retailer, how do you regain control of the customer journey and continue to be relied on as a place where consumers can find out what’s new and gain inspiration to spark the desire to buy a product? Furthermore, how do you stay with that consumer after a purchase, not just to see how they liked what they bought, but to help them get the most out of it and ensure their happiness?
The answer? Launch your own media network. Here’s why you should:
1. The barriers to entry in media are lower than ever. Media used to be kept to companies who had a lock on media distribution to consumers. Not anymore. Building on your online presence and social media following, you already have direct access to your consumers through your owned channels.
For a long time after the technological barriers to media distribution were reduced, there were psychological barriers. Consumers relied on media brands that had established thought leadership in specific categories. But Millennials and Gen Z have grown up accessing (and putting their trust in) an endless number of voices and experts through easily accessible digital channels. The old psychological barriers have eroded.
Now, the key is having category-specific expertise. If you do, you bring real value to consumers and they will seek you out.
2. We live in an increasingly video-dominant world. Consumers much prefer accessing information in a video format vs. print. Those under age 45 grew up in video dominant environments; it’s how they learn best, what they find easiest to consume, and it’s a robust media that can deliver emotion – an attribute that’s far more difficult to convey in print or with static content or messaging.
Bringing your brand to life through video and video storytelling is more crucial than ever. It’s also the best way to convey your unique domain expertise and brand essence. And when you’re in control of your content, you can ensure that it allows for brand advocate participation and the authenticity consumers crave. Real brand advocates. Not Insta influencers and their bot armies.
3. Developing video content is easier than ever. Consumers are used to – and therefore more accepting of –man on the street-style videos recorded on an iPhone. In some cases, it’s even preferred – again, it’s all about authenticity. Producing a lot of video content is no longer daunting or incredibly expensive. Magid has worked with scores of companies to bring them the people, skills and technology available to develop content that’s compelling, effective and affordable.
4. Developing your own media network is an imperative for conveying the unique value your brand offers consumers and for creating and driving your brand image. In an expanding sea of information, entertainment sources, and messages, breaking through is exceedingly difficult. This has been made harder by the dearth of quality video GRP’s available for brand advertising (a topic we’ve spoken about many times before).
Delivering on the value you offer to consumers is almost impossible if you don’t have a media network of your own that gives you the time and space to convey that value to your current and prospective customers. After all, how do you deliver on the incredible value consumers find in knowing what’s new if you don’t have a media network of your own to communicate this information, stir emotions and stimulate the desire to want to buy something?
Leading consumer brands of tomorrow will be defined by using their own media networks to showcase unique and valuable information, guidance, inspiration and image creation. In this way, they will lock in consumer loyalty by conveying value upfront, making buying the right product both easier and more exciting, and following through to ensure customer happiness. The actual transaction and product delivery have become commodities.