Branding in the New Normal

By David Radcliff

Not too long ago, the ability to send someone “electronic mail” through the computer was a mind-boggling novelty. Instantaneous mail? Without stamps or paper?

(Some of us can still hear the whir of our dial-up modems.)

Communication has changed dramatically since that experiment in message swapping.
Today, most of us know exactly what it means to “Facebook” or to “Google” someone.
Many of us have smartphones and GPS devices and personal websites.

Online services such as Amazon and EHarmony have quietly revolutionized the way we find entertainment or love or anything in between. In one way or another, we are each constantly “connected” to the world around us.

But amidst all these connections, how many of us are truly ready to be heard?

As you read this, in “the new normal” of the Information Age, an endless parade of anonymous, college-age coding wizards is busy building a new wave of billion-dollar businesses that will soon be household names.

Meanwhile, seasoned corporate juggernauts are doubling down on their brick-and-mortar endeavors, circulating their brochures at trade shows, refining the figures on their PowerPoint presentations, changing their logos, competing on prices, and wondering why the kids out there still aren’t biting.

The brick-and-mortar crowd is gradually realizing what the coding crew already knows:

The language of business has changed.

In an age of constant connectivity, the new normal demands speaking with an audience, not to it. And only the most accessible, targeted, and honest language can win.

In short, the gap between business executives in tailored suits and wunderkinds in hooded sweatshirts can be bridged only with the help of savvy brand strategy.

Today’s world of social media tools demands each of our efforts (whether professional or personal) be more honest, more transparent, and more targeted than ever before. The winds of social media are not only changing the way we do business, they’re changing the way we think and speak about business and ourselves.

These winds of change are blowing open the kimono on every government, every industry, every campaign, and every rebranding effort under the sun.

These winds are causing everyday consumers to question, research, and interrogate the brands and businesses that shape our world.

If you’re at the helm of a brand or business, don’t run from this interrogation. Engage.
Inform. Teach.

And whatever you do, resist the urge to dig in your heels while waiting for the new normal to slide back to business as usual. Instead, look to master these winds of change.

Who knows where they might take you?