Who needs a brand in the PRECISION targeting era?

Digital sharp targeting is great news. Some marketeers get so excited about it’s possibilities that they believe it has not only made old-school mass targeted brand campaigns, but also brand thinking in general redundant. Which equals to saying “Consumers don’t care if we are unknown and unremarkable, they’ll will pay attention and prefer us over our competitors anyway”.

To quote Google’s Joris Merks- Benjaminsen: “If you sell online and don’t believe in brand because you can’t measure short term conversion so well, try to create an unbranded copy of your site and see how much you still sell”.

Let’s face it: your competitors have the same digital weapons. They can target the same people via the same channels on the same moment. If you’d only look at data, everyone would reach the same conclusions and use the same strategies and approaches. This would inevitably result in loss of differentiation – vital for long term business success.

Once a potential customer is faced between the choice between your brand – or another, he should have a clue of what makes it special. Making clear what makes a brand special is not a matter of ‘old school brand campaigns’ or ‘brand design’, but of systematically making your brand essence tangible for customers in everything you do. It’s the sum of little moments of differentiation that makes the difference between being remarkable and memorable – or just another wallflower.
The battle for market space is a battle for attention. People make snap judgments. It takes them only 0.02 – 0.05 seconds to determine whether something (like a brand message or ad) is worth to keep looking at. If your message (whether in content or form) doesn’t stand out and intrigue them immediately, they’ll shift their attention as quickly. Never mind how much media-budget you have invested to reach your target-audience; if they divert their attention your investment is down the drain! People tend to pay more attention to brands they recognise. And to remarkable messages. Regardless of how well a campaign is targeted, its overall success will depend heavily on the strength of the creative.

Last but not least: your brand is also internally a great tool. If well defined and managed, it’s the organizing principle that defines what products you make, what features you highlight, what people you engage with, what you communicate and how.




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