The pace of technology adoption and its widespread use is dramatically different than a decade ago. As a millennial, I’ve seen first hand at how my use of adopting the latest or even the more mainstream technologies, has led me to watch TV less and spend more time on Netflix or even YouTube. This is not only the case for me, but also for a majority of Canadians, as a study by Google reports that majority of Canadians find YouTube more engaging than TV.
As technology is changing faster, it’s impact on business strategy and how we build brands is equally important. Will Travis, Executive Chairman of Sid Lee USA, spoke about the expectations of customers being much higher than before. “People get annoyed if interrupted with the wrong message” says Travis. With the advent of seeing hundreds of messages a day and with the ability to hyper-focus an ad to a particular demographic on Facebook, it can be clear to see how this is true. He also notes that more and more companies are reacting to the changes in technology, rather than being proactive.
“The challenge is, when the glitter of tech, social platforms and data and all the other new toys wears thin, you are faced with the unglamorous truth: it all means nothing without that thing called an idea.” says Tham Khai Meng, Co-Chairman and Worldwide Chief Creative Officer of Ogilvy. In order for companies to exist in the future, what they must understand is that in the midst of everything changing, when it comes to people, “they still like to have a good time, to have some fun, to be amused.” say Khai. This means that “in order for brands to stay relevant, they need to be at the leading edge of technology and brands need to be more in charge than they ever have been” say Ashley Konson, from Global Brand Leaders and is a professor of Brand Management at Schulich School of Business. This is especially true with the recent case of the Samsung phones exploding, where bad news travels instantly across the world.
As the channels and mediums change over time, it presents opportunities for the brands that keep staying relevant in the future. Once businesses understand that the riskiest thing is not taking risks. Khai suggests that brands need to make “their ideas timely and timeless.“
With the advent of artificial intelligence automating customer interaction in few companies with Facebook bots, other companies need to have a “framework for innovation” says Travis. He also notes that “companies need to be thinking holistically about the evolution of the product in 10 years time and 20 years time.” This allows for companies to stay true to who they are while adapting to the changes in the environment.
Konson notes about the famous Peter Drucker, considered the father of business consulting, mentioning that a business should be focused only on marketing and innovation. The rests are all costs. As business leaders spend majority of the time finance, sales, production, management, legal and people, they must realize that investing in marketing and innovation, ensures in future growth and sustainability of their organization. As the market, customer and technology changes, the brands that will exist in the future are the ones that consistently evolve.