Brand Management: Staying Relevant as Markets Evolve

According to McKinsey, one of the ten growth rules is to ”make the trend your friend.” Simply put, businesses must go with the flow in today’s shifting landscape. As the market evolves, so should your brand. 

A market evolution occurs with a change in consumer behavior, technological advancements, or the emergence of new competitors. Anything that disrupts the status quo can be a market evolution. Businesses must stay on top of these changes and adapt. If they fail to stay relevant, they will fall behind. 

However, market changes are happening so fast that many businesses fail to keep up. Other challenges, such as resource constraints and legacy systems, make adapting quickly difficult.

So, how can you stay relevant in a shifting landscape? Proper brand management is key. We explain this concept in detail below.

Identifying Trends and Shifts

The first step in ensuring relevance in an era of market evolution is identifying the trends and shifts. Look at your consumers first. 

What are their needs? How are these needs changing? What are they saying about your brand and its competitors? Conduct market research and data analysis to answer these questions. Your market research could include surveys, focus groups, expert interviews, competitor analytics, etc. 

Besides market research, you can use social media monitoring and trend forecasting tools. Read industry publications and reports to stay informed about new technologies and competitors. 

An example of a recent market shift is the rise of social media influencers. A decade ago, celebrities were the primary form of influencer marketing. But today, consumers are more likely to trust recommendations from micro-influencers they can relate to and trust.

Similarly, the rise of e-commerce has changed how consumers shop and interact with brands. Consumers want quick and free deliveries, personalized experiences, seamless returns, and 24/7 customer support. Brands have had to adapt to these changes. For example, many brick-and-mortar retailers have invested in an online presence. More and more brands are offering next-day or same-day delivery options, too.

Adapting Your Brand Strategy

With changes in the market landscape, you have to tweak your brand strategy. The key is to remain flexible in your brand positioning and messaging. That doesn’t mean deviating from your brand’s root values and principles. It means understanding how to evolve and grow as a brand while staying true to your core beliefs. 

Agility and responsiveness should be at the core of your brand management strategy. Suppose you’re an apparel brand and notice that sustainability is becoming increasingly important to your target market.

Your response could be to incorporate sustainability in your marketing materials. Let your audience know how you’re a sustainable brand. You could run a social media campaign highlighting your sustainable practices or partner with an environmental organization.


Leveraging Technology and Innovation

Technology drives market evolution, so it makes sense to use it in your brand strategy. Businesses can use technology to stay relevant by: 

  • Understanding consumer data to identify trends and preferences
  • Reaching a larger audience through digital channels
  • Creating personalized experiences for customers

You also need to adopt new platforms and tools. For example, brand asset management can help you organize all your visual and non-visual brand assets. Similarly, brand management software can streamline your approval processes and ensure consistency across all touchpoints.

As you embrace innovation internally, offer it externally to your consumers. Innovate your products and services to meet your customers’ needs. A customer service chatbot can speed up support on your website. You can also use augmented reality to allow customers to try out your products virtually.

Communicating Change to Your Audience

When change arises, two stakeholders must be informed about it: customers and employees. Use authentic and transparent messaging. 

Let your customers know if you’re making any changes. For example, Netflix has a Newsroom where you can track its latest updates, including new releases and service improvements.

You can also leverage social media to keep your consumers up to date. Share your progress and get feedback through comments and reposts. For instance, when Google renamed its AI-powered chatbot from Bard to Gemini and introduced new features, it shared the transition on the X page.

It’s important to take customers along when you’re going through a transition. Address their concerns and manage expectations. Don’t leave them in the dark, because they might feel alienated and lose trust in your brand.

Measuring Success and Iterating

Even after you evolve, you want your brand identity to remain. Use key performance indicators to evaluate your brand’s relevance. Some important ones include: 

  • Brand awareness: How recognized is your brand now compared with before? 
  • Customer feedback: Are the changes you made enhancing or degrading customer satisfaction? 
  • Customer lifetime value: Have the changes influenced customer loyalty?
  • Market share: Has your market share changed since the implementation of the change? 
  • Net promoter score: How likely are customers to recommend your brand to others? 

Establish feedback loops for a continuous cycle of performance measurement and improvement. Base your iteration strategies on the market feedback and performance metrics you measure. 

Suppose you replaced your company’s support team with a chatbot. A month later, you measure customer satisfaction and find people are not satisfied.

Your next move could be to retrain the chatbot. A month later, measure satisfaction again and compare it to the previous score. If the score is still unsatisfactory, you could implement a human-chatbot hybrid approach. Keep this cycle going until you find a solution that works.

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