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Are We Technology Obsessed..?


#inlovewithmyphone #andmybrand

There comes a time in every Millenial’s life when you realize your mobile is actually your best friend.  It knows all your favorite bands, your hopes and dreams, and who you were flirting with at the pub yesterday.  It makes sure you get to work on time, stay on your diet, and scolds you when you miss a meeting.  Every once in a while, it becomes possessed by your disapproving mother who thinks you should maybe chat up that nice boy from down the street.

Even though most people are not as technologically-obsessed, there’s no denial that technology has changed the way we communicate.  No longer do we need to meet a friend face-to-face, we can call, e-mail, post, tweet, check-in, IM, text, or blog.  Technology graced us with instant information, which sparks instant gratification.  

This has changed the way we relate to each other. Technology is no longer for contacting, but connecting. We can now make more superficial connections faster than ever before. Online communities gave people a forum for discussion and relationship building. It even led to marriages, revolutions, protests, "hacktivists," and the occasional hamster on a piano. Now, we can gather the opinions of millions of people with the click of a mouse.

The only way to keep up our thirst for information is the "multi-screen" culture. Multitasking between multiple screens radically changes the experience of consumption. You can now watch a show on TV, tweet live reactions, and scroll through the TV blogger's live critiques of the episode. We bring these instantaneous connections to all of our relationships because we rely on technology to forge the bonds and keep them strong.

Brands need to understand this new paradigm or risk lost loyalty, social blunders, and destroyed images. A brand is now a person, with personality, thoughts, and traits. The consumer expects and wants this relationship, which in the long run can keep customers loyal during times of crisis. 

However, some brands strive for the old sense of control from traditional advertising, although they have lost control of the brand image. Anything a company does or says can go viral in an instant, and keeping up is nearly impossible. Take the #McDStories catastrophe.

While cheeky and hilarious, the blunder showed the burger giant that it is at the mercy of Twitter.  

But technology also gives the brand a way to influence the conversation. A reply to an angry customer's tweet or a reblog of a consumer's photo can make leaps in brand loyalty. JetBlue uses its social media as customer support, which rates it high on satisfaction. Old Spice goes viral  with "The Man Your Man Can Smell Like" and sales rose a whopping 106% over that period. Fan interaction (from personalized videos) on Facebook grew 800%.

Traffic to OldSpice.com grew nearly 300%. Technology is a great way to gather consumer feedback and make them feel as if they are being heard.

Technology has become the bread-and-butter of our relationships. We can now be so connected and integrated in our social world, while physically disconnected from actual people. Brands have become another connection consumers yearn to interact with. I know I can never go back to a world without mobiles, Internet, or Old Spice Man, and neither can our brands..

Written by Kara Romantez


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