Blink and you’ll miss it. This warning has long been relevant to media viewers. But it matters to marketers, too — especially today. After all, catching the attention of wandering eyes in the digital age is harder than most people think.
Everyone knows how important it is to make a good impression. But understanding how little time you have to do it is equally important, especially if you want to ensure that your marketing materials are up to snuff. Research suggests you have just a matter of seconds to attract the average person’s attention. And that’s assuming the targeted eyeballs in question are even looking your brand’s way. According to a Microsoft advertising report, 86 per cent of people have one eye on another screen when watching TV, gaming or surfing the Web. In other words, we now truly live in a multimedia world, and that’s just one source of consumer distraction.
Simply put, consumer attention has changed as competition for it has intensified and consumer distractions have increased. As a result, if your branding message is too long, outdated, unclear or simply inauthentic, you are probably just blending in with the rest of the noise as consumers click over to the next site, page or channel. So perfecting your ability to jump in, grab attention and deliver your message in a quick, compelling and memorable way is a must if you want to survive and thrive in our blink-and-you’ll-miss-it society.
How can this be done? First and foremost, you must understand how best to reach your target customers. As things stand, most people still navigate digital media in one of the following three distinct ways:
- Sustained attention: Attending to and focusing on one program or message for a long period of time.
- Selective attention: Paying attention to a specific message in the face of distraction.
- Alternating attention: Paying attention to more than one task or switching between two or more different streams of activity.
But it is important to note that navigation trends are evolving as more and more consumers become digital-savvy and engage in both selective attention and alternating attention. And so if your brand wasn’t really designed to surprise and delight, you don’t have a chance at standing out from the noise and it is time for a tune-up. In fact, even if you designed your brand to grab attention years ago, it is still probably time to take an objective look at what’s working and what’s not working to determine what needs a makeover. After all, when you opened your business, you had a specific vision, not to mention a specific budget. But as time passed, your budget capacity and market have both probably changed along with consumer attention trends.
Rebranding happens for a variety of reasons, ranging from a change in company direction to the desire to reach larger or different markets. In some cases, rebranding simply updates a stale image, letting you maintain the best facets of your brand and revamping the rest. Hiring branding experts can deliver a real return on investment. But the makeover process does not have to be all-consuming.
Here are some simple tips to help you get started on your own.
- First, examine your marketing materials to determine if they look current and fresh. A vintage vibe is OK if it’s relevant, but toss out anything that’s simply outdated.
- Next, reflect on your company’s culture and current approach to marketing. If you have made any changes to your company (new names, new slogans, new approaches, etc.) and have not informed the market, then you have some announcements to make.
- Finally, think long and hard about your future vision and direction and communicate them to your audience.
Rebranding lets the market know that you are in the game to play. After all, any company that invests in itself conveys a commitment to its customers — who are looking for long-term solutions to their ongoing concerns. In the don’t-blink age, it is also an opportunity to reposition yourself to address changes in the ways that consumers take time to notice what your company has to offer.