Modern brands are created when there is engagement with a brand’s content between marketers and customers. The definition of engagement is to attract or involve someone’s interest or attention. How is this done? The answer to that is to define modern marketing. A marketer creates a modern brand by developing a personal friendship between the brand and the customer. Friendship creates loyalty. Loyalty is key to a brand’s success in the social media era because there are just so many brands.
Social media has created an evolution in marketing. Modern marketing is evolving from successful short term transactions to long-term relationships. A baseball analogy would be that modern marketers play long ball (long term relationships hit homeruns. Homeruns happen quickly and dramatically). Old media marketing plays short ball (In short ball you hit singles and takes a lot of time to score runs. It is not very interesting baseball or marketing). Modern marketing is based upon relationships. In the modern social media era, it is far more important to create long-term relationships than to have quick short term sales. In social media, this is why branding is absolutely critical.
Before the Facebook Era, the transaction was the key event. Online activity told a marketer how many people came to the sight and was successfully sold. It was based solely on the product. It was dry numbers. There were no personal relationships that would build long-term brand equity. Marketers got no insight why the transaction took place. This is critical information in developing the modern friendships between brands and customers that are critical to large amounts of sales.
Marketing became a cold, data driven enterprise. At the time, there was no way to count how many people “liked” us, there was no way of making “friends” with people. In this new era, a brand can measure how “friends”, “followers” and how many people “like” us. These are critical numbers and trends. They tell a marketer how successful their brand is.
In social media, both the transaction and the relationship are captured. Marketers can now pursue relationships. Now marketers can concentrate on the long-term relationships. The most successful companies on the social Web are not constantly pushing their products and promotions. These companies are investing in creating friendships and relationships. They are engaging their customers through contests, shared favorite music, trivia questions, things that involve a conversation between brand and customer. Rihanna, the singer, is a perfect example of this. On her site there is a balance between free and monetized content.
Creating new content to engage is a big challenge for a modern marketer. When social media strategy is created the democracy of content allows us to reach a wider audience. The more interesting our stuff, the wider acceptance we will have for our brand. The brand creates a mission for a marketer. The content becomes viral. Through not only our efforts, but more interestingly, by the efforts of other people, our friends and followers, the brand becomes influential. An interesting feature of the social media era is that brands are created and developed by customers.
An example of the creation of a modern brand is how President Paul Kagame is trying to brand his nation of Rwanda. He is travelling all over the world creating relationships with entrepreneurs who will come to his country and create jobs. Rwanda is the site of one of the worst genocides in history. Rwanda has a bad brand. President Kagame is trying to overcome that bad brand and create a new brand with relationships.