Five Tips to Build a Brand in 2015

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Share, Don't Sell

All social-media platforms in existence today rely upon one basic principle: people like to share. Brands, too, can benefit from sharing — but many are still too focused on selling. Sharing, for brands, means connecting customers with information, ideas, and resources that can help customers improve their lives. The "selling" is done by associating the brand with related networks of information that may or may not have much to do with the brand's products. The term of art for this approach is "curated content," but it's really about offering help to people in ways that don't feel like a direct sales pitch — because they aren't. They're just useful pieces of information that you gave them, with no strings attached — and for that, they will remember you, all the way into 2016.

For the past 70 years, business branding has been largely guided by principles developed in the 1950s and 1960s — when there were only three television networks, messaging through advertising was easy to control, and information flowed from a few "trusted" news sources to millions of people.

This one-to-many model of information flow has been upended since the advent of the Internet and social media. Now, information flows in millions of different directions at once — to, from, and by people all over the globe — in an all-to-all free-for-all for eyeballs and market share. Some of the well-established rules of branding still apply in this new, hyper-connected environment. But that doesn't change the fact that building and differentiating a brand is harder than ever and will only prove even tougher in 2015.

In the coming year, the technological connectedness of everyone on Earth will reach a level never before experienced by humanity. The old rules don't apply in this world. New rules must be developed.

Owen Shapiro is the author of "Brand Shift: The Future of Brands and Marketing." Shapiro is a market researcher, strategist and speaker and spent more than 30 years in customer insights and market strategy. He has a career-long interest in helping launch innovative start-up companies, several of which have become well-known brands, including Staples, PetSmart, Sports Authority, Ulta and Five Below. For more information, please visit, www.brandshiftbook.com.

 

Related Topics : SharePoint, Web Video and Voice Conferencing, UK, MySpace, Intranets

 
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