The life of a classic brand in a digitised world
BriefLetter - Issue 06/2017

The habitat and lifestyle of a classic brand have to be adapted in a profound way to take account of the digitisation all around us today. Whatever its form, digitisation always entails comprehensive automation, which directly affects the life of a classic brand.
This digitisation and everything connected with it, be it automation, artificial intelligence or the new way in which humans are being networked with technology, are having an unprecedented impact on businesses of all shapes and sizes in every single sector of the economy and are driving certain processes almost at the speed of light.

The host of answers to the question of what digitisation really means clearly demonstrate that technological, economic and social dimensions are involved that don’t permit the laws of marketing used successfully in the past simply to be transferred to the future as well and then applied there.
The networking of humans with objects, the reproduction of hardware or software objects by similar objects, and the exchange of data and knowledge in conjunction with the analysis and continued development of knowledge and data (‘big data’) are what create these autonomous, automated processes.
A classic brand has particularly good prospects for the future if those responsible for it are able to create a new habitat and lifestyle for it under the circumstances created by the digitisation of our society. Furthermore, they also need to make sure that enlightened consumers stay in touch with the brand.
One thing that also needs to be said here is that digitisation is a chance for a brand to show people what it’s made of.
Corporate strategies need to take all of these points into account. In our opinion at SchmidPreissler’s, the consequence of this is that strong ‘brand personalities’ need to be at the heart of business strategies that focus on specific markets. What we mean is brand personalities with unique DNA that can be expressed by the seven elements of a classic brand we have defined ourselves: its origin, history, profile, positioning, image, familiarity and the protection it enjoys by virtue of its individuality.

We are talking about a brand that accompanies consumer goods on their way to the customer, one that stands for quality and utility and for satisfying a specific demand and meeting people’s needs. And besides that, it largely shapes its relationship to people.
Brands have an influential role to play in a world marked by digitisation and can even have an existential meaning, particularly in their relationship with people. At SchmidPreissler, we ascribe a completely new role to brand personalities.

When it was first created, a classic brand initially only served as a kind of marker – an aid helping to point out the notion of quality the manufacturer had and to tell potential customers what they were being promised as the range of industrial products around them grew and grew. In the course of its life, the brand developed a proper ‘personality’ of its own that still influences the market in practically every single sector of the economy.
Even now, a brand’s maturity from birth to adulthood – and its adoption of a distinguished position in the market – is more or less the same as it was in the past, although we regard the ‘grown-up’ brand as a personality as well.
Brands face some enormous challenges in today’s digital world. Even strong brands find themselves in a position where they need to overcome a hurdle or two if they are to remain attractive in future.
Digitisation changes the way in which consumers use goods. A world of glossy pictures of an impressive range of attractive and potentially useful products and brands is just a mouse-click away if people want to find out more about such things and pick what’s best and ultimately buy it.
This is a scenario that we all are familiar. It can be so dangerous for brands because the internet with its evidently attractive and convenient shopping world – a tiny but perfectly visible part of the digital world that consumers can experience at first hand – distances a brand from potential buyers, with the result that its essential link to customers is weakened and ultimately broken altogether if no action is taken. This phenomenon makes it all the more important, and indeed life-sustaining, for a brand personality to stay in people’s minds and keep on being experienced by them. The world in which a brand exists needs to be dynamic and allow frequent communication based on intelligent, multi-channel strategies that consumers will find interesting.
The life of a classic brand in a world largely dominated by the internet needs to be given a new shape and form. What’s paramount here is that the brand should appeal to people in a persuasive language again.
In the past, the emphasis on a spoken message was upstaged by the language of images, but in future, the spoken and written word will become more important again. There’s no such thing as a brand personality with nothing to say for itself – that’s a contradiction in itself. No, a brand with personality has a story to tell. This is what makes two-way interaction possible between a brand personality and the brand’s target group, and it also makes the bond that has been created between them stronger over time.
A strong bond creates trust and loyalty.
What’s more, a brand needs to have enough room for its personality to unfold in as a counterbalance to the small, one-dimensional images we see on a computer screen. The virtual world alone in no way offers the opportunities a brand needs to communicate with its target group and interact with all its members.
A classic brand needs to orchestrate life together with the other brands that exist in its own world.

In the long term, the price and label that a product bears will fail to provide a message of value about the brand and everything it stands for.

SchmidPreissler SchmidPreissler Strategy Consultants

Specialized in consumer goods related industries, trade and investments.

Independent and personal.

Creative and innovative strategies through intellectual approach: For excellent business results.

Brand equity enforcement and performance, corporate and product brand strategies.

Proven Business Tools:

The Waisted Rectangle©,
the new perception of the consumer market for demand and supply

The 7-Elements-Definition©
of a brand

The ”Enlightened” Consumer©
as target community

The BrandEquity + Performance Program©

The Holistic Corporate Communication Concept©

Special consultancy subjects:

Creating strategic alliances
brand diffusion
joint ventures
mergers & acqusitions

The Waisted Rectangle©


Editor: Dipl. Soz. Maximiliana Schürrle

SchmidPreissler International Strategy Consultants GmbH
The Lion's House
Burgstallerstr. 6
D 83703 Gmund am Tegernsee