Mobile Consumers and Brand Engagement
Technology has been a constant driving force towards the evolution of different fields and industries, including marketing. However, one thing that remained constant in the field of marketing is the concept of brand engagement, the key objective of which includes connecting the brand to its consumers. Brand engagement utilizes different touch points, or means of contacting and connecting to their consumers. These touch points can include advertising, points of sale and retail environments, word of mouth, experience of the product, and these days, through mobile means. Brand engagement is important in developing affinity for the brand—the bond between consumer and brand can be forged through emotional or rational appeal, and it is this bond that makes a customer loyal or more likely to purchase a product from the brand again. Every brand in the world wants to build long-term and sustainable relationships with their consumers; a relationship with a community based on trust and great marketing communication.
The field of marketing still sticks to the concept of brand engagement, but the rules are slightly different with the mobile landscape. Even though brand managers can reach more consumers through a platform that allows users to stay connected 24/7, the consumers have more control over their connections—they can easily weed out the things that are not relevant for them, and keep the ones they find relevant and useful. Thus, brand managers have to step in their mobile engagement strategies to maintain their connection with their consumers. Research shows that a majority of mobile consumers equate their experience with a mobile app or service with the brand itself, and will ditch the brand once they have an unpleasant or poor experience with the app or service. The priority for brands now is to create a unique, relevant, and pleasant experience to engage the mobile consumers.
Almost every brand in the world is exerting effort in engaging their consumers on mobile platforms. However, while there are plenty that have experienced mediocre “success” on engaging mobile consumers, there are a few who have met great success on this front—and plenty have also failed.
One of the ways that you can step up your game in engaging mobile consumers is to anticipate their needs, without compromising the identity of your brand. One great example is Seattle’s Hointer, a retailer of men’s jeans. Upon visiting their store, a customer can use his mobile phone to control and customize his shopping experience. The store itself is rather unique—a customer will not find racks and stacks of jeans, no obtrusive salespeople, and no mannequins that display the clothing. The customer will download an app, choose what he likes from the 150 different styles, scan the barcode attached to this choice, select his size, and his selection will be ready for him in one of the fitting rooms. This is a great use of a mobile app—not only does the brand provide the consumer with a unique experience, but also reduces the overhead and maintenance costs of the store. That is a great mobile moment that other brands can have for themselves, through understanding the possibilities of the mobile landscape.