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The technology of branding

My writing journey with Mufaro Zhou continues to reach dizzy heights and I dare say in the not too distant future readers will experience a great coming from us. It is true, iron sharpens iron.

Brand Savvy with Stha

In this article my role was simply to enjoy this great read. I trust you will be equally intrigued with this piece.

Technology continues to improve significantly as the days go by. This improvement is forcing companies to continuously review the way they do business and to relook at the methods of delivering information to customers.

The branding and advertising industry is also affected by the impact of technology with major deep pocket companies continuing to thrive on technological advancement.There is now so much competition to position a brand in the customer’s mindset given the new competitors around the corner while the old ones get tougher and tougher.

The information technology age is promoting the way brands, customers and technology interacts.

The Coca Cola Company recently created a “drinkable” advert (whatever that is) for Coke Zero by creating an illusion where viewers see Coke Zero pouring into the screen of their smart phones and filling a glass. This phenomenal advert partly communicates that marketing must adapt to technology or the brand withers.

The brand must follow technological trends to produce and present exciting content to augment its identity. An article published by The Wall Street Journal in 2015 shows that the technology a company employs for branding is just as important as the brand name itself.

Using up to date technology can help a brand stand out as it also provides a platform for developing and maintaining a relationship with customers because that is the same technology that the population is using in their day to day activities.

As parents watch their children engaging in technology to connect with peers and products is a great eye opening experience and a leading indicator of the technology centric behaviour within the current generation and generations to come. Our attention in this day and age is now turning away from TV and print media towards electronic devices (mobile phones, tablets and laptops).

Attention to TV is now so limited in Zimbabwe where ZTV commitment is near dead except from 8pm to 9pm and even then, mainly by the older generation who are interested in current affairs of the country. In this regard Zimbabwean companies must make use of alternative technologies to advertise as airing adverts on the much watched DStv and free-to-air channel is either very expensive or does not attract the much needed wide local viewership.

It is also key to ensure that brands maintain transparency as technology now makes your brand observable and publishable around the world in seconds.

The Donald Trump brand became the subject of talk world-wide after the plagiarism accusation went viral with TV stations going as far as showing Melania Trump and Michelle Obama side-by-side, making their speeches. Brands, therefore, have to be managed in line with technology as a bad review can go viral.

Instant feedback on brands through customer opinions can be used to inform how a company can fix, revitalise or advance their brand. Look at how comedy has a new following on multiple technologies making Anne Kansiime or Baba Tencen famous online. If these comedians waited to be made famous through TV, they would be non entities and definitely not known.

Technologies are converging with predictions that in the near future all communication will be mainly on and from one device that is the phone or phablet of late. Who needs a phone, tablet, laptop and TV when you can get it in one device (phablet)?

With this smart TV concept what is left in the near future is to be able to instantly click on an impressive brand while it is being showcased on TV and pay for it immediately. Innovation needs to be the game of the day. Creative marketers have to work alongside technical staff (mathematicians, statisticians and computer experts) as marketing has been transformed by the digital era in terms of speed, relevance and reach of campaigns.

A brand conscious organisation must, therefore, fuse younger and older talent within its marketing department who can explore, debate and share possibilities hinged on older personnel experience and young personnel experimentation. The marketing department must now be turned into an incubator for change rather than a department to keep the product moving.

Marketing teams should vigorously embrace technology to take advantage of a fast changing array of marketing channels. Of late, I have noticed the coming on board in Zimbabwe of a number of websites hosting online flyers and catalogues.

With Zimbabwe gazetting “ban this and that” laws who knows if the Environmental Management Agency will not put restrictions on distribution of paper flyers which most organisations exploit to increase brand mileage. Till next week, keep reading and remain brand-savvy.

-Stha Magida is contactable on stha4235@gmail.com. Her co-writer in this article is contactable on mufarozhou@gmail.com. Please share with us your opinions and comments.

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