What The Brand Is… And What It Has Become

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The inventor hardly knows what the invention will really be used for.

It’s a known turn of phrase, but when it comes to mobile, technology, social media and consumers of today, it’s a whole other story. It’s also a narrative that we, as business leaders, often forget. A very senior marketing professional quipped to me the other day that mobile is a very expensive platform, and it’s only getting harder and harder to justify the costs. For brands, there exists a massive chasm between the development of native apps and the usage of the mobile version of their respective websites. That, coupled with mobile advertising, and there is a sentiment of “what really works?” when you layer in the marketing opportunities that exist in places like Snapchat, Instagram and, yes, even Tinder.  

What choice do you have?

For years, I have been writing, talking and more about the “mobile-first posture.” In short: your brand experience needs to match the current customer expectation. They have been exposed. They are swiping, buying, learning, messaging, and sharing more than ever on their mobile devices. Your mobile brand experience can no longer afford to simply be a watered-down version of your desktop website. Think about it like this: they can get a car (Uber) with a simple flick, and the same motion for a mate (Tinder), with little complication. They’re not going to stand for cumbersome Web user experiences that were halfway adapted for mobile (pinch, click, enter data, etc.)… Don’t believe me? Read this: 85% Of Shoppers Unlikely To Go Back After A Bad Mobile Experience; 95% Want Issues Resolved On First Try.

From the MediaPost article: “…a company gets one shot for resolving issues with a mobile shopper. To add icing to that, a large majority (85%) of consumers said they are unlikely to do business with the same organization following a bad mobile experience. On the other side, 72% say they are likely to do business with a company in the future following a good mobile experience.”

Beyond current consumer’s usage, expectations and experience (which is massive), consider this…

Things are changing. Things will always change when it comes to technology. The concept of a mobile phone was created as a way for people to speak on the phone and be reachable outside of their office and home (untethered). When it was first commercialized, many wondered what the point was, many laughed/made fun of those who used them, it all seemed so absurd the time. Now, not only has that hurdle been jumped over (and, in the blink of an eye), but hardly anybody uses these devices to talk on at all. Voice/call usage is dropping, as messaging, streaming and mobile data explodes. Think about the timeframe between the creation of mobile devices to now. Amazing. The main reason that the technology was created and adopted, has become the least important functionality that people care about. The problem, of course, is that businesses are the ones left having to build on that infrastructure… and deal with it.

Simply complaining that it’s expensive doesn’t solve for the consumer or future-proof your brand today.