Less time spent on brand selectionJuly 2014
Traditionally, the path leading to a bond between a consumer and a brand was perceived as a straight one – the buyer was supposed to become aware of the brand, and later to learn it closer in order to be ready to consider its purchase. Some part of those considerations was transformed into actual brand sales. It all happened in stages and the whole process was extended in time. It was assumed that a long consideration phase fostered deeper reflection and allowed to confront one’s opinions about the brand in a face-to-face talks with other consumers that took place mainly at home.
Instant decision while shopping at a store
What has changed then? Having a smartphone in a hand, we increasingly tend to showroom. While shopping, one in every four of young Polish consumers check brand opinions in social media and its prices in other stores (thanks to applications like Ceneo, Nokaut Skaner or Skapiec.pl). Sending photos of clothes to a friend, one can easily obtain her opinion even if she does not accompany you in shopping. Starting the application like Gastronauci (or TripAdvisor) one can seamlessly get others’ opinions about a restaurant we want to attend. Mobile applications dedicated to coupon gathering (like Polish BluePocket) or analogous brand applications (like the one of McDonald’s) create an opportunity to save money. And shopping applications (like the ones offered by two leading cinema chains in Poland: Multikino or CinemaCity) enable more spontaneous decisions about spending a night on town, literally “in a last minute”. When you start your smartphone, a long customer journey tend to shorten considerably.
How does it affect an effective brand design?
In a brand building process, traditional approach of “nice packaging plus TV support” is slowly being replaced by “still nicer packaging plus mobile communication”. Contextual brand communication delivering adequate information when and where consumer needs it, is more important than attacking buyers with ads in traditional media, where consumer spends less and less time. Brands with ambitions to succeed on the market will have to provide a mobile version of a desktop site or even a dedicated mobile app and that will mean an obligation to deliver a consistent visual brand identity in much more customer touchpoints than before. The look of the brand will certainly be more important than ever and the information about brand performance will easily be checked on a smartphone.