These days the division between traditional and digital exists only in the minds of marketers and techies. Consumers simply see digital as part of their daily lives. What this means is that a brand that is encountered online is no less a real world encounter than when it is seen in a store. The gravity of this digital status quo holds a lot of significance for brands that are seeking long-term success.

Regardless of what industry you operate in, as a brand manager you have to create the experiences you want people to have and subsequently share. This in turn goes some way in reinforcing your brand promise. The first step to achieve this is to ensure that every touch point of your brand is streamlined to deliver the same experience.

With popular social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube (& others) making it as easy as possible for a user to immediately share with their networks what they are doing, where & with whom – in whatever media form —once published it too becomes a shared experience. Ironically this notion of shared experiences has always existed, more in the form of offline/real world conversations between neighbours, colleagues, friends, etc, albeit: 1) they’ve been limited to some extent by the proximity between the sharer & her/his recipient audience, 2) by not tuning in many brands have missed the opportunity to defend themselves (if needed) or even leverage a would-be customer’s positive experience by trying to upsell. So today this digital status quo is such that these conversations, which did indeed exist before technology, are now searchable, retrievable and building on each other. Shared experiences, whether solicited by the brand in aggregate, become the brand.

Through messaging, creative campaigns and maintaining service delivery or the quality of products sold, if brand managers spend more time designing how to bring the brand promise to life instead of just talking about it in elaborate and budget-backed ad campaigns, this would definitely go some way in matching the expectations of the target customer. At the end of the day, the volume of positive shared brand experiences, both online & offline, would contribute to continued brand success.