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Then and Now: How Branding and Marketing Have Changed
By Kristina Mišić access_time 5 min read

Not too long ago, the world was a different place. Then it happened: a disruptive event that changed the landscape and made people reevaluate their priorities, their perspectives, their ways of life. As it always happens with change, some were quicker than others to adapt, many failed, and the remainder were left behind. Who would have thought, 25 years ago, that we could buy a t-shirt from a store in Japan, have it delivered to our door, just by using our smartphone?

What propelled this shift? It was technology. With the appearance of the Internet, the world was pushed into a vortex of transformation. From living our lives within our local bubbles, we jumped into globalization, and those distant places we used to look at on television or magazines, got suddenly closer to us.

In the business world, everything changed too. From how to start a company, how to run it, how to promote your products or services, to your relationship with the consumers, the digital world has been nothing but a constant rollercoaster of evolution. Let us take a look into the past and see how things were done.

Branding then vs branding now

At the beginning of the XX century, before the digital revolution and the arrival of the Internet and social media, branding was a concept more designed to make a product stand out, to highlight values and benefits, to create recognition.

With time, branding continued its evolution journey, from newspapers to radio stations and television, always looking to get more customers and reach out to new potential audiences. In the sixties, the role of the brand manager was born out of the necessity of making products and brands stand out. These professionals had to find the right quality to create a connection between the product and the customer that would persuade him or her to make a purchase. By using emotion, branding went from being just an informative way to communicate the benefits of a product or service, to sell a promise that would generate a sense of personal satisfaction.

The next decades brought the creation of branding concepts, which nowadays seem like obvious steps in every brand journey but at the time were innovative initiatives to adapt brands to the changing times and new generation of consumers. Using ideas like refreshing logos, and changing slogans, helped companies to keep their brands relatable, recognizable, and attractive.

The arrival of technology brought new tools and innovations that allowed brands to permeate the digital landscape, becoming more visible in the lives of their customers. With the right strategy, businesses can develop awareness for their brands and make them recognizable. But technology also brought a harder challenge: A brand’s reputation is no longer in the hands of its company but at the mercy of its customers, who now have a window to offer input, affect other consumers’ decisions, and influence the perception of a brand.

Branding used to be a one-way ticket, but technology changed that, in consequence, the companies that have succeeded are the ones who realized they needed to adapt to the new times, focusing their branding strategies on a customer-centric approach rather than a product-centric approach. By connecting to their customers on a more intimate level, where experiences, values, and beliefs take priority over a product offering, brands have developed significant relationships with their customers, who now have an active role in the brand-building process.

For brands, the dividends of these relationships translate into loyalty, positive brand awareness, and reputation. To keep succeeding in this ever-evolving world, brands need to keep listening to their customers, adapt to the new demands and realities, while staying truthful and consistent with their values and proposition.

Marketing then vs. marketing now

Like branding, marketing has gone into a radical transformation in the past 20 years. It’s not only that the arrival of social media and digital marketing has made possible the expansion of marketing strategies and techniques into the digital world, or that it has gotten more complex and competitive to capture the consumers’ attention. For marketers, the most significant change that technology has brought is accountability.

Without technology, there was a lack of metrics to measure up marketing and advertising activities and their success. The only way to estimate the benefit of a marketing campaign was by looking at financial indicators like profit. Nevertheless, there was no verifiable way to connect marketing actions with the company revenue.

Thanks to the innovations developed by the arrival of technology, every marketing department -no matter its size- was able to use new resources and tools to effectively measure the performance of its campaigns.

From costs per lead, conversion rates, brand awareness, CTR, return on marketing investment, to funnel conversion rates, there are metrics available to demonstrate how every marketing action impacts your brand and your company in the short, medium, and long term.

Marketers have access to infinite amounts of data that help them to develop more targeted, customer-centric campaigns. Thanks to data analytics, marketers can detect new customer behaviors, trends, and niches to create and execute integrated campaigns with messages crafted to different channels. They also can use data to show results and measure impact in every step of the customer’s journey, effectively proving how their efforts translate into financial gain.  

We hope the above information will help you in making informed decisions about your brand. If you want to say hi or have any questions about naming, branding, and domain names get in touch, we’re always happy to hear from you.

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