Whow! Innovation Festival was held in São Paulo from July 24 to 26, discussing various topics on innovation and promoting visits to projects carried out by companies and organizations. In the panel that discussed BRAND COMMUNICATION AND INNOVATION (*), several important aspects were raised as to how fundamental and necessary are changes in the communication of companies and their brands in the digital and highly technological world. According to the participants the main trends and changes identified in the current context are as follows:

  1. BEHAVIORAL CHANGES: Customers and other actors who interact with brands and companies have changed their behavior and posture. They are no longer just passive actors and receivers of information, they are now active players and interact in all kind of media. And that makes a huge difference in brand communication, in branding.

  2. RELEVANCE OF INFORMATION TO WHOM BRAND SPEAK WITH: relevancy is no longer guided by the interests of the company, the brand, or a product to be launched. Relevance must be fully determined by those with whom the brand communicates and this presupposes a work of the companies and their different areas to actually understand what is relevant to each of their niches (customers, partners, suppliers, etc.). )

  3. DIALOGUE APPROACH: Companies need to build and foster their ability to listen and have dialogue with their different audiences and respond and act that take into account what they are listening to – after all, it is no use hearing, knowing and do nothing with it. Twiter has become, increasingly, a platform and an extremely important space in the construction of this dialogue between brand, companies and different actors.

  4. NEED TO CHOOSE: Brands and companies need to reflect on what topics they should and want to talk about and which topics they do not want to talk about. Even topics that are relevant to society do not necessarily need or demand communication or positioning from the brand and the company

  5. POSITIONING ON THEMES AND ITS IMPACT ON THE BRAND: connected to the previous point. The company, when dealing with a themes and positioning itself  must know how to deal with the positive and negative reactions and their unfolding. No doubt there will be haters who do not identify with the theme and the positioning of the brand or the cause that the company decide to support. And this can have impacts on the perception, sales and results of the company. But the company needs to be prepared for it and need to be comfortable with its positioning. That is the reason communication and positioning have to be consistent and well performed.

  6. RESPONSIBLE DATA USE: The impact of new technologies is very similar to any impact generated by other previous technologies created by man (press, radio, TV, internet). When something new comes along it seems that everything and everybody wants to deal with and work with this technology. It will come to an end in itself and technology will be the great solution. Technology is a tool and the new technologies have a relevant aspect that is the obtaining of data and information. The collection and use of data must be done in a careful and responsible manner by the markets and companies and has been raising important issues from the point of view of legislation, complience, transparency. It is also part of human rights and is one of the key points of corporate responsibility of companies in the 21st century .

  7. BALANCE BETWEEN STRATEGIC AND OPERATIONAL PERSPECTIVES: Brands and companies need to maintain balance in building information and contents that can respond to the daily and operational demands and needs, but also from a strategic vision for the brand. It is important to remember that we still have in the 7.2 billion people World, we have 900 thousand people living in extreme poverty, 2 billion in poverty level and 2 billion with resources for their mere survival.

  8. UNDERSTANDING THE ROLE OF DIVERSITY: Brands and companies need to be open to human diversity and to consider issues such as gender, ethnicity, religion, politics, culture, periphery, regions. This understanding should not be restricted only in the positioning of your brand and its communication, but also to treat and develop it internally in the company so that its position is reflected in the employees, in the way the company produces, in the way in which it develops its products and services

  9. UNDERSTANDING THE ROLE OF DIVERSITY: Brands and companies need to be open to human diversity and to consider issues such as gender, ethnicity, religion, politics, culture, periphery, regions. This understanding should not be restricted only in the positioning of your brand and its communication, but also to treat and develop it internally in the company so that its position is reflected in the employees, in the way the company produces, in the way in which it develops its products and services .

  10. POLARIZATION EXISTS: The consumer is polarized, and this is a significant challenge for brands and companies. Branding is about positioning and choices and this process will obviously result in preferences and connections with one group or niche and with others not totally and with others still partially. This also means that the brand and the company will “give up” some consumers or potential customers. And they must know how to live and prosper yet. The way is to strengthen the posture of dialogue, that is, the ability to listen, to change, to interact despite different positions or perceptions. The way is also, through dialogue, to educate, transmit knowledge and culture because not all people are on the same level on a certain topic – and not even companies achieve this consensus.

  11. RECOVERING ANALOGUE: innovations, technologies, information and data are important and fundamental. They are tools that help a lot, but it is necessary to recover the habit of communication, of the relationship also “analog”. Relationships are built over time, are confusing, often with ups and downs. Therefore, brands and companies can not believe that they will have a quick response and a quiet way in building their relationships. As Harvard University’s “Human Development Study” (*) – which was conducted over 75 years of follow-up with the lives of 724 men – maintaining good relationships throughout life makes us happier and healthier. But when we talk about relationships we talk about: (A) maintaining social connections with family, friends, and society over time – because loneliness kills us (B) the quality of close relationships matters more than quantity – living in relationships conflicts (whatever their nature) is not something healthy for humans – and this does not want the absence of “nitpicking” between people and (C) relationships with good quality protect our body and our brain.

  12. PROVIDE ANSWERS TODAY: we need to give an answer today to the different actors with whom companies and brands communicate and relate. These answers, as already stated, need to be customized. And at this point, technology, information and data can help us a lot and support us in this process.

  13. PEOPLE FALL IN LOVE WITH BRANDS: building the relationship and positioning of the brand and the company in a continuous and consistent way helps build the relationship with the different actors, also helps to give voice and amplify brand and company purpose and cause and, consequently, also amplifies the voice and presence of the people who identify themselves or who are part of these causes and these themes.

 

(*) About communication strategies and brand building see the Programs Impact Ideas by Radio Geek on the topic: Program 1 – Do we make a decision by emotion or reason? Why is this important for a brand, company, small business and for our personal and professional life? https://youtu.be/IRzwylbCaWU, Program 3 – Generating experiences and memories in people helps them remember you, your company, your business and your brand. Find out how to do it well in this program: https://youtu.be/q5hr_1V7WlgProgram 4 – Tips to help you get your hands on the ground: https://youtu.be/NJLeuugJb40
(**) Human Development Study / Harvard University: to learn more about the study and its main findings see the video: https://www.ted.com/talks/robert_waldinger_what_makes_a_good_life_lessons_from_the_longest_study_on_happiness?language=en&utm_campaign=tedspread&utm_medium= referral & utm_source = tedcomshare