Posts Tagged ‘react quickly’

Securing brand equity in Recession

by Deepika Bajaj on October 26, 2009

Girl ListeningWe all understand that customer is a priced asset. And most companies have tried to listen to the customer for forging innovation. The only caveat to this is – that how we have listened to the customer in the past is irrelevant now. There is new phenomenon that is emerging with social media. Pushing out “listening to them” campaigns alone is just not going to cut it. You need to adapt to the new skills to listen actively… and in doing so, you need to give up the old ways – because only the adaptive survive in the marketplace.

It is the recession that tests your listening skills. Many companies have suffered because they were not competent in listening to their customers – e.g GM, Linen N Things, Circuit City etc.

Here are some ways you can listen

1.   Engage in a continual dialogue:   A company needs to keep engaged through company’s own Web portals, blogs and experts’ blogs.  The rising chorus of social network users (4 out 5 US adults online interacted with a social site in ‘09 – Forrester) continue to up the expectation for brands and companies with respect to presence and interaction online. The 24×7 consumer and social technologies have enabled new-media users with an ongoing interaction cycle that necessitates attention from brands.

2.   React quickly. A new study that was just released from Cone reports claimed that among new-media users, a staggering 78% of them interact with companies or brands via new media sites and tools — up from 59% the year before… and that these users are conversing with brands more often: 37% say they interact at least once a week — which is up from one in four when Cone did the study last year. There are huge quantities of information and opinion people distribute on the internet. You need to be able to collect and process this information and respond quickly to any feedback or misaligned information that could potentially hurt your brand.

3.   Cut through the clutter: Segmentation and being knowledgeable about your target customer helps you understand exactly ‘who your customer is’. Their psychographic and demographic profiles can help you determine how to listen to them. Acknowledge the importance of cutting through the clutter to reach overloaded consumers.

Securing brand equity in the recession requires companies to add resources and capital to innovation and communication. This downturn will accelerate efforts of agile and smart companies to listen to consumers’ needs to keep their brands from slipping.