Collaborative Brand Building Efforts –Changing patterns and the role of technology as facilitator

Marketing has been very dynamic field and advent of newer technologies has only increased the pace of change in strategies that marketers have adopted over a period of time. From the time of supplier-driven markets, we have moved to the world where customers became the king and then business partners.
Now the customer is taking up more significant role in strategies of the companies. From being passive partners in companies’ growth, they have started scripting the stories, current companies have been forced to adopt for their growth.
From the world of closed room brainstorming sessions, now the companies have moved to the reality of the open world. In this world, customers not only experience the fruits of strategies but help them being carved out. They help them create the most valuable intangible asset of the companies – their brand. It also opens the organization to co-operate with their customers, prospects, competitors and all others to help them build their organizations and establish or re-establish their brands in the market.
Linux, Apache and so many other products have been made available to the market to work upon freely and slowly open source products created a brand of their own. At the same time there are companies which have embraced open source methods lately like Nokia, which made symbian an open source product. This changing dynamics would, in our view, force other companies also to look at their products in similar light. The force of changing paradigm could not be more apparent than the big blue IBM embracing Apache web servers and Linux to save costs and pick speed in web server market and be competitive against giants like MS and Sun.
Growing contribution and enterprise of youth and teen have ensured that the decision making is also shifting towards the N-generation, which prefers open doors rather than closed conference rooms.
At the same time, apart from knowledge sharing, companies can use tools to create their brands in a way unforeseen earlier. The medium for brand building would undergo a change. Print media once used to be the sole source of advertising, which gave way to broadcasting and then to telecasting. Now, with the webcast being a easily available method, platforms like You tube could provide a massive weapons to be used by the companies. Availability of technology like web 2.0 and platforms like wiki, blogs, twitters etc would provide a platform for these organizations where they would be at advantage over the traditional methods. Blogs can be used as a strategic tool by the companies for inviting customers to share their views, which would be more creditable than the company sponsored advertisement.
All these changes would impact the way companies build their products and their brands.
There also is a flip side to it. Being open to all, these platforms may not ensure quality. The same platform can be used by other people for counter-advertisements. Since anyone with a camera can shoot something and post it on the net and the same can be made available to anyone sitting in a different corner of the world using You tube, the organizations face a risk unforeseen in the future. Lack of control may also mean unauthenticated material being available on these media.
However the positive side is that any low quality, unauthenticated, unwarranted and materials published with mistakes can be corrected in a jiffy as compared to the same action being taken on the earlier media. For example, any mistake on Wikipedia can be corrected in minutes as compared to months that it used to take to correct encyclopedia.

The paper would analyze this impact, comparing tradition approach with the newer ones and the analyzing the thrust that technology would have in shaping the market as well as mimndset of marketers. The paper would be based on analysis as well as inclusion of opinions of people at the fore of technology and marketing to extrapolate the iugjhjhkjhijh and would postulate some hypothesis on which way the world may go and what may prove to be beneficial to survive and progress in the chaging scenario.

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