This year I had the opportunity to attend the 2019 Portland DigitalSummit, with some of my teammates from Anvil Media. And I would definitely recommend this event to anyone who wants to expand their skill set in this industry. Last week, I wrote a summary of Kent’s experience at the conference, and you can read that here. But the conference had about 50 different workshops, so we went to completely different sessions and had different experiences. And in this blog post, I will talk about 3 Key Takeaways that I got from day one of DigitalSummit Portland 2019.
How to Make Your Brand Successful in 2019
Even though the workshops I attended on the first day of the conference were on different topics, as the day went on I noticed a few common threads between them. And these common threads centered around the concept of an “Old Brand” from the days when such things as landlines and dragons reigned supreme over the earth, verses a “New Brand” that has shown to be successful in today’s modern age. And throughout the day these common threads began to clearly define the differences between the two.
Takeaway 1) The New Brand focuses on Experiences not Products
In this new digital market, things are more crowded and faster paced than ever before. As such, it is also more competitive than ever before. Because it is so easy for people to quickly search and find a new product or service, brands have to focus on creating great experiences that give customers value at each stage of their consumer journey. Otherwise they will lose business to their competitor who does, and they will not grow.
According to Lorena Crowley from Google (who pulled the statistic from Harvard Business Review), “30,000 products are launched per year and 95% of them fail.” That’s a staggering amount. And throughout multiple workshops, various speakers stated, in one way or another, that the most successful products and the most successful brands choose to focus on creating great experiences along every step of the consumer journey, and not on their product or their brand itself.
To create “great experiences” means to create moments that give value to your customer. How well your brand does this is directly tied to how successful your brand or product will be. Every brand is different and has a different audience, so there is no one size fits all approach to doing this. It is up to you to find out how to create great experiences for your customers.
Takeaway 2) The New Brand Listens
The next takeaway that I gathered from day one of the Digital Summit Portland 2019, ties in with the first takeaway mentioned above – the New Brand Listens to their customers.
Listening to the data is extremely important, as all of the speakers strongly advised against making buying decisions based solely on instincts and gut feelings. However, the speakers also mentioned that the data is not the entire picture. This is because people can never fully be boiled down to data points, because humans will always have an element of unpredictability that data cannot fully account for. And as such, The New Brand, listens to their data and their customers directly.
Some of the ways the speakers mentioned on how to listen to your customers included:
- Reading your reviews
- Reading your comments on social media
- Going out to places your customers buy your products and asking for their feedback
But again, because every brand is unique, with a unique audience, there is no “one right way” to listen to your customers. It is up to you to decide the best way to do that for your business. As long as you listen to both your data and your customers, you will be able to make the types of informed decisions that will keep your brand thriving.
Takeaway 3) The New Brand is Human
Perhaps the most insightful takeaway that I got from day one of DSPPDX 2019, was finding out what the New Brand looks like. In 2019, the new brand doesn’t look like a green mermaid with two tails. It doesn’t look like an apple with a bite missing. It doesn’t even look like a mouse with perfectly round ears. No, in 2019, the new brand looks like… you. It looks like your best friend, your significant other, your family. In 2019, The New Brand looks like the people it is serving.
Now don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a brand logo and brand colors. Those things help differentiate your brand from other brands in the minds of consumers. So they are still important. However, when you want to engage with your audience, you should remember that people want to engage with other people. They don’t want to engage with corporations.
If you want to take the next step from having customers, to having a community. Then you have to stop thinking like a corporation, or even like a marketer, and start thinking like a consumer. Give your brand its own face that your audience can relate to, with things like brand ambassadors. Give it a personality that comes through on everything from your brand’s social media, to your brand’s packaging and marketing materials.
Every person has their own personality that they express in different ways, and when those personalities click, friendships take shape. The New Brand, knows how to humanize itself and develop its own personality to resonate with its target audience. And how well your brand humanizes itself will have a drastic impact on how big your brand can grow in today’s market. Thus the New Brand is Human.
I definitely learned a lot from this conference, just in the first day alone. And this is just the tip of the iceberg of all the insights that I gained from this experience.
Hopefully these tips on how to make your brand successful in 2019, provided you with a good understanding of how, and where to get started when building your brand online. But let us know in the comments below if this was helpful, and what was your favorite takeaway?