Future proof your brand

Published: March 2018

We’re in exciting times and there’s no better time than to future proof your brand. Disruption is turning markets on their heads, and technology is moving so fast that no one can begin to predict what amazing solution will arrive on our shelves next. But within this incredible digital age, we’re also seeing well-loved brands vanish before our very eyes.
Let’s take a look at how you can embrace our ever-changing digital world and avoid being a victim of it.

Protect your brand from your own future first

Where do you see your business in five years? Does your current brand, its values and its look, fit in with your vision? Do you expect to have the same audience in five years, or would you like to reach a whole new demographic?

If your brand doesn’t fit in with your plans for your business, it might be time to work on it now. Engage in some strategic roadmapping and from there, put together a rough marketing plan to show how you will take your customers through the transition from your brand as it exists now, to where you want your business to be.

Case study – Take a look at how we continue to brand develop one of the biggest suppliers of slush in the UK market – Snowshock.

Future proof your brand

Prepare for disruption

Market disruption is not something that might happen. It is something that will happen. Disruption is no bad thing either. It solves common problems and breaks down barriers, usually with incredible tech.

It can only be a good thing for a consumer – but is that good for your business? Look at the issues in the market today. Will your product still have value if those issues are wiped away by another organisation? Start planning for disruption now.

Diversify your traffic

If your traffic is coming from only one source, you have a problem. You can’t rely on one source alone, as it could disappear. SEO is a big deal right now, but what if we stopped using search engines – just like we stopped using MySpace? It sounds ridiculous, but anything can happen in this exciting digital age we live in.

Take this example: Online advertising has been utilised by millions of companies every day for years, and many see incredible results. However, did you know 11% of the world’s population block online ads? If your target audience is millennial men, you’re going to start to really struggle to reach them with ads – as they are overwhelmingly the most likely to use adblockers.

Adblockers are gaining traction, and whilst we wouldn’t recommend you ditch ads – this is a great example of how public reception of digital marketing strategies can change rapidly, so relying on one source is a huge gamble.

Follow your audience to where they like to spend their time online, and start building recognition on a variety of online platforms. That way, if one platform loses popularity, you don’t lose all your leads! Consider offline advertising too as a combination of powerful marketing.

Case study – Take a look at how we used various marketing mediums to support one of the most prestigious care homes in the UK for over 8 years.

Future proof brand

Your tech needs to be one step ahead

Or at the very least – up-to-date. Only 30% of small businesses have a mobile responsive website. This statistic doesn’t mean too much on its own – but when you also learn that mobile browsing overtook desktop browsing way back in 2016, it becomes worrying. Think of it this way – every customer who tried to reach your website via mobile probably gave up and went straight to your competitor instead. The same can be said for your checkout process. If you aren’t offering several ways to pay, and if checkout is lengthy and confusing – that’s another customer you’re waving goodbye to!

There is no excuse for being so far behind technologically. It sends the brand message that you’re not forward thinking and therefore, not destined to be part of the future. Ideally, you should be a step ahead of your competition, and always first to engage in new technologies. But, at a minimum, you should at least be able to match competitors in their digital offering, because if you can’t, you could find your brand being left far behind.
What are your brand values – and how will they fit in with the future?

Nobody knows what the future holds, but be aware that even your brand values could be under attack. Look to update them as time goes on and as public perception changes. Honesty and integrity are always fashionable – but authenticity is something that has really come into the foreground. Ten years ago, consumers loved a slick, expensive marketing campaign – now authenticity carries far more value. Be ready to update your values every few years.

Case study – Take a look at how we created a responsive ecommerce website for a chocolate shop to reach their online customers. 

Future proof brand

Customer loyalty and retention

How many loyalty cards do you own? Most of us have more than we can count, so I think it is safe to say that as customers, we really aren’t that loyal after all!

However, customer retention is possible, and many of us do go back to the same brand time and time again for the feeling of safety and familiarity. By providing a consistently fantastic service, and offering great deals to your more devoted customers, you’ll develop a customer base you’re unlikely to lose, no matter how much disruption comes your way.

If you want to have a chat about your brand, come and see us. Urban River is more than just a web design Newcastle agency – we can support you with all aspects of your marketing campaigns, online and offline. Get in touch.

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