BRAND ECOSYSTEM

Hand holding lights - Brand ecosystem
Len Smofsky Nov 18 ,2016

A paradigm shift is happening in brand marketing. Brands within a business are no longer regarded as separate entities. Instead, your business should embrace a new model of interconnectivity – that will eventually become your brand ecosystem.

What does it mean to have a brand ecosystem?

A brand ecosystem refers specifically to the brand experience that you, as the chief marketer, design for your customers – whether B2B or B2C. Much of the backbone today comes from technology – as digital marketing is simply considered “marketing”. When designing your brand experience as a whole – one of many decisions to make involves choosing how your brand message will be delivered, assessed and tracked to your customers and prospects in a seamless and integrated manner across all channels of communication.

Companies like Google, Apple and Facebook herald the era of the brand ecosystem, with services and products that lead organically to more services and products, anticipating and meeting customers’ needs. Once you’re in the fold, everything’s so interconnected it’s hard to leave. And why would you want to.

In a strong brand ecosystem, technology automatically integrates digital aspects of your business with each other, streamlining communications for consistency and transparency. Once the architecture for your brand ecosystem is established, it takes on a life of its own, running your marketing and tracking analytics as a whole. Sectors are integrated with each other into a web of business that functions seamlessly. When one part changes, others are already connected, so they automatically respond – according to the parameters that you set for your brand experience. For your customers, it means a fully connected, integrated seamless experience with your brand ‒ one that is so engaging they never want to part company.

How can you build a brand ecosystem?

It all starts with your brand experience.  What kind of experience do you want to create?

  • Will your brand have a service guarantee?
  • Are there any gaps in your brand’s online experience?
  • Do you track your clients holistically across every channel?
  • Do you support your communication channels with one or more community managers?
  • What systems do you have in place today and are they integrated?
  • Does your current ecosystem merge the segments of your business, so they lead naturally into each other and are organically responsive to change, just like a real ecosystem?
  • Does my brand ecosystem have to be a custom build or are there off-the-shelf products at my disposal?

There are many questions to ask internally, AND you should consult vendors that specialize in this space. Companies sometimes choose to build their brand ecosystems with a Customer Relationship Management foundation, integrating with their website and social media platform, and email marketing services, and try to add legacy systems… but that soon becomes impossible to achieve.

Rather than reinvent the wheel, start with a simple, easy-to-use, proven out-of-the-box solution with options for customization. This can help keep costs down and optimize the integration of various sectors of your business both legacy and new.

What are the steps to build a brand ecosystem

  1. What do you need to move your brand to a more integrated ecosystem?
  • Conduct a needs assessment and inventory of internal resources. You’ll want to establish the pre-existing components of your brand ecosystem before you start. For example, What are the primary communications channels you manage internally? Social media, email, telephone, SMS, etc.
  • How do you manage your inbound and outbound content? Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, a Centralized Repository, Digital Asset Management (DAM) tools, other Deployment Platforms, etc.
  1. Outline achievable brand objectives and your brand differentiator.
  • How can your ecosystem breathe life into your brand – and what promise does your brand make to each and every customer.
  1. Identify actionable items for a cohesive, functional ecosystem.
  • Where can your brand connections be forged and strengthened? Can personalization be a effective brand differentiator? Which touchpoints within your ecosystem would benefit from a personal, human touch?
  1. Choose a technology that can facilitate the process.
  • There are a variety of platforms on the market to forge your brand ecosystem.

Remember, the stronger the connections between different aspects and brands within your business, the more powerful your brand becomes, however you choose to build your brand ecosystem architecture.

I’d like to help you get there! Reach out and I will answer.

About the author: Len Smofsky

Larry Lubin

Larry Lubin is founder of BlueRush and has over 30 years of experience providing strategy and solutions to many of North America’s leading financial firms. Many leading applications for financial institutions were developed by Larry and teams he has worked with throughout his career. As CEO of BlueRush, Larry is providing a much needed vision for a new age of Fintech bridging the realities of legacy and the regulatory environment with unlimited possibilities through advancement in digital technology to empower the consumer. BlueRush is a digital solutions company specialized in financial service and healthcare solutions.

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