Changing Tides: How Digitalization is Shaping Customer-Brand Relationships
Apr. 11, 2023
We live in a constantly changing world with 2023 being dominantly ruled by digitalization. All tier cities of the nation have uniformly adopted Internet technology & have enabled customers to communicate with brands conveniently. The world is evolving; everything is evolving as businesses and customers communicate, interact, and transact- their reliance on digital technology just keeps increasing. According to research, 74% of businesses in India believe that they are data-driven & that digitalization is the blood of business, & has been beneficial as well. Researchers assert that 56% of CEOs say digital improvements have increased revenue.
Digitalization enables better relationships
New technology has empowered consumers. Barriers to information & communication have been reduced over time, enabling unlimited access. Earlier when customers needed to know about a product or a brand, the research was done either by going to the market physically or by connecting on a voice call, which was charged per second. Browsing the internet was a costly affair. This scenario has changed- data prices have seen a significant decline of 96.4% in the last eight years, making smartphones a necessity & information available in just a few clicks.
Currently, there are almost 600 million smartphone users in the country. With more feature phone users switching to smartphones, this population is projected to grow. These users' replacement needs will drive the market in 2023 and beyond. Furthermore, various online communication platforms, Instagram & WhatsApp per se, have made chatting, international calling & conferencing easy- changing the entire landscape of customer service. Social media has given consumers a bigger voice and new channels to communicate with brands and share their opinions with peers. Additionally, digital payment processes, such as various wallets & UPI, have also become safer & securer with time, easing the process of transacting.
So, these transformations have affected the entire marketing mix for businesses. Everything from people to processes functions differently now, compared to how it was just 3 years back. These multifold changes in the external environment call for holistic evolutions in brands internally as well. It is one of the many reasons that various brands have opted for repositioning themselves in the market recently.
Maintaining brand relevancy with accurate strategies
The most successful brands are the most relevant brands. To stay relevant to the ever-changing environment & not lose track of evolving customer behavior, brands must keep changing their look & feel, how they interact with customers & stakeholders, creatively collaborate with other businesses & expand holistically.
Before starting with repositioning, as a business owner, you must carefully understand your target audience, your competition, and the impact of your existing position on your customers. Also, you must have a proper plan of how you will optimize your resources for the purpose. Accordingly, brands opt for either of the following:
Image Repositioning: By refreshing a company's image, either by changing the logo or messaging tone, it can attract new customers and retain existing ones by creating a stronger emotional connection with them & stay relevant in an ever-changing marketplace.
Product Repositioning: Repositioning can help a product appeal to a different demographic or market by changing its packaging, messaging, or even ingredients. It can also help revive the sales of an underperforming product, giving it a second chance at success.
Tangible Repositioning: By working on the tangible aspects of a product, businesses stand out in a crowded marketplace, making their products more appealing to consumers. It also increases its perceived value and creates a more memorable and engaging experience for consumers.
Intangible Repositioning: Working on intangible aspects of a business or its product is the most critical as you won’t know what element has what impact on your customers unless you have deep insights into their minds. When done right, it improves customer loyalty and increases brand recall, ultimately resulting in long-term brand equity.
Case studies of successful repositioning
Very recently, a famous telecommunication brand changed its 60 years old logo to a newer, more abstract & geometric one, receiving mixed responses from consumers. The new identity aims to simplify the logo to create a more dynamic approach to the brand and to signify a shift in strategy and focus. The results of the same are to be analyzed now.
A national bank chose to rebrand. The objective was to transition from the past paradigm to one more appropriate for coping with rising digital goods and services. The challenge was improvising on its character while reflecting the demands of a more digitized environment. It forged a new identity with a youthful, dynamic quality. The brand's primary characteristics are now preserved, with a fresh look and feel that reflects trust and promise.
An online music streaming platform had to reposition itself during the lockdown. The platform relied heavily on earning through advertisements, which declined during the pandemic. So, the streaming app had to find other ways to stay relevant. To do the same, it upped its focus on original podcast content & curated playlists. This helped the platform maintain its customer base & provide them with new content.
Very recently, QDegrees also opted for brand refreshment to strengthen its presence in the market and expand holistically to help businesses better. Our new identity is innovative, collaborative, spirited, bold, flexible, and persistent while remaining humble & disciplined. This change in our brand logo will represent, a smooth customer journey, happy customers, and a resultant healthy pulse reinforcing our commitment to create value for our clients, colleagues, and partners.
Impact on CX
Talking about repositioning’s impact on CX, it is a cautionary decision, indeed. Brands must plan it wisely, as the impact can be positive or negative. With the right approach, it can be a powerful tool for driving growth and success. It benefits businesses by increasing brand awareness, consistency in the marketplace & customer loyalty. For a brand that hasn’t been actively focusing on CX, repositioning is an exciting way to stand up as an entirely new brand, one that more convincingly and energetically conveys the key differentiators. Brands that create an emotional connection with customers stand out and win more market share. Brand renovation & repositioning provides the opportunity to reintroduce the company and actively reshape the customer decision path. Given that CX drives 66% of customer loyalty, a successful repositioning strategy woven with appropriate efforts in CX can make miracles happen.