You either got it… or you don’t

You either got it… or you don’t

We live in interesting times.

The movement of marketing and media spend to online is gathering momentum. That’s a cliché. It’s here, its dominating. And one can understand why. The spontaneity, immediacy, the cost-effectiveness and open spaces of the online environment has always been attractive to us.

A couple of years ago, some well-meaning friends who had attended the right management courses asked me how I could justify running a brand consultancy and a digital communications company side by side. “Too diverse – focus, focus, focus!!”

I’m glad that I missed those courses because we are now perfectly positioned for the new order. Digital companies understand the technical side of things but don’t understand how to apply brand thinking yet. On the other end of the scale, the traditional advertising and design agencies have never really got to grips with what brands are really about and don’t understand digital. Well, some do understand but their business models are so print-reliant that it’s difficult to tear down.

But be careful of the Digital Cowboys out there who loosely throw around advice like “don’t be scared, just put up a Facebook fanpage” or “get your company tweeting”. They reckon it can’t hurt you. Physically, no, it can’t hurt you and you won’t bring your entire IT system crashing down. From a brand reputation point of view, be careful – consider what you are trying to achieve and get a little creative. Have patience. And always be authentic, real – you just can’t afford to duck and dive anymore (ask Woolworths), the world has got too small.

The online and social media is a place for everybody but those that understand their brands intimately and are transparent and authentic will thrive the most in the new, or should we say now, world.

Gary Hendrickse 
CEO Sherpa
November 2010

Sherpa Brand & Design Agency
admin@sherpa.co.za