Branding and the Coming Mobile Market Revolution


It seems that every ten to twenty years a game-changer emerges in the marketplace. At first it may seem innocuous, even trendy or “geeky.” For those Gen Y and above, the Internet went from novelty to center stage in a matter of a few short years. Within the Internet, Facebook and social media went from coffee talk to corporate boardrooms in half that time. So what is the next game changer?

In a word … mobile.

By mobile, I don’t mean cell phones. By mobile, I mean a shift in the very manner in which your goods and services are viewed and purchased.

• It means shopping on a park bench not from a desktop
• It means buying in real time from a smart phone or tablet, not at the register
• It means viewing a video of a home’s interior from mobile device vs. waiting for a real estate agent to show the home
• It means gathering additional product info now, vs. waiting for a salesperson

What’s driving this change? First and foremost, the adoption of web-enabled smart phones and tablets. According to Nielsen, the tipping point from feature phones to smart phones is this year. In addition, networks are ramping up with 3G and 4G networks to super serve mobile shoppers.

So just as the advent of superhighways changed the epicenter of consumption from downtowns to mega malls, the emerging mobile age will shift us from desktops shoppers to real time buyers.

What does this mean to you, the business owner, the marketer, the brand manager? Two very important things come to the forefront…

1. Shift your location

Just as stores downtown had to relocate to malls, and then later to the web, you must be ready to take your goods and services and meet your customer in their new location… e.g. walking to work, sitting in an airport, standing outside your door after hours, etc. Having a big bulky web site that doesn’t fit their mobile screen, and is difficult to navigate, is like leaving your store downtown. It puts the burden on the consumer to get to you. And sooner or later, someone will make that process easier. Is that someone you?

2. Adapt your message.

Mike McKearin, a web strategist, likes to say that “if content is king on the Internet, then context is king on mobile.” Think about the setting your customer will be in when making this purchase. This is no time for an “About Us” or company history. You are meeting your customer when they need immediate, pertinent and actionable information. Allow them to contact you, follow you, connect with you. Facilitate the process by creating mobile friendly experiences. Make use of a QR code, tag and or 2D code to instantly link your print media and signage to your online mobile marketing.

Now is the time to circle your team and anticipate the coming shift in consumer behavior. Creating unique, compelling and intuitive mobile experiences will keep your business and your brand relevant and your customers engaged.


Phillip Davis is president and owner of Tungsten Branding, strategic naming consultants specializing in brand development, rebranding and brand positioning.

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