Please note! This essay has been submitted by a student.
This report evaluates the marketing theory topics of Virtual Brand fest, and how it relates to one plus as a company. For this essay, Virtual brand fest can be explained as the process of communicating a brands message or launch of a new product line with the help of visual media communication such as social networking sites or live streams or even on your television screens. (Muñiz and o’Guinn 2001). This essay relies on the use of secondary information from a variety of academic and non- academic sources. Both ethnographic and quantitative empirical research (McAlexander et al.2002) illustrates that: Engagement in brand fests (marketer-facilitated consumption activities) nourishes each of the modules of customer relationships, enhances individual customers integration in a brand community and thereby strengthening the general community. The influence of a brand fest is greatest for customers who have fewer involvement with the brand and less obligation to it, making the brand fest a strategically powerful tool for constructing customer loyalty.
In the modern world the consumer can connect to whatever they want whenever they want, which makes it difficult for the brands to interconnect with their target segment. Consumers are spending more time on the internet searching for the niche categories that interests them the most. Less than 10 years ago there was less than 1 million websites on the internet, but the now the numbers have sky rocketed to almost 100millions sites, blogs and social media outlets giving rise to influential voices across the web. These sites are curated by devoted enthusiasts who have a wealth of knowledge and opinions. They have a voice, they have the audience and are deeply interested in what they do. They are known as influencers.one of the best way to build a brand community is to find a person who has influence in the company’s target audience which would help them to make a long-term relationship.
A brand community is a hand selected fellowship of independent, passionate influencers who communicate with the companies target audience in a highly engaging environment. With a brand community the company can tap into the burgeoning fan base of influencers to draw consumers together to a trusted relationship with the brand .This isn’t a mass media monologue, but instead a dynamic personal relationship that gives the company un parallel access to the most invested customers, which allows the company to spread the brand image and brand message to the masses in a direct but conversational manner. Access, influence, and rewards are the lifeblood of a thriving brand community. This can be highly motivating to influencers because they will have greater access to their favourite brands and direct insight into new updates and product launches. They will gain greater influence from brands and consumers eager for their opinions and their category leadership will resolve in both financial and cultural rewards.
A few analysts trust online networking give an interesting chance to brands to cultivate their relationship with clients, while others trust the contrary. Today a growing number of organizations are binding the power to take advantage of on the wealth of ideas among other customer. This have helped the consumer to gain some power of marketing and can even construct economic value. (Kucuk and Krishnamurthy, 2007). The brand sphere has had a dramatic change in the recent number of years because of internet and social media. A decade ago it would have been unbelievable to say that a brand called google with no physical presence would find its way to the top the global ranking of 2008 with an estimated brand value of $86.1billion which overtakes market leaders such as coca cola. In the early era of internet, it was difficult for the marketing teams and manager to replicate offline branding techniques through internet which lead to ‘brochureware’ websites (de Chernatony, 2001). Which failed to capture to full potential of the new found medium of communication, mainly in terms of customer interaction. Brand strategies have undergone drastic changes with the introduction of internet and its interactive technologies. Indeed, successful brand strategies in computer enabled environments involve inter alia building relationships, have provided us with interactivity, and better tailored experience (de Chernatony and Christodoulides, 2004).
Internet has provided a grate platform for brands as they provide them with a platform where they can talk to their customer as a whole or a community and receive feed backs from the masses and talk about customer requirement and needs. One of the greatest advantage of visual marketing is that they can do so in a cost efficient manner personalisation and customisation of their marketing needs. For instance, MacDonald’s where the customers can go online from anywhere in the world and customise their order as they please.
This is also a great place to develop online brand communities, where the brand can talk to their loyal followers. Brands are using visual brand-fest to increase their customer loyalty by posting regular updates and information of their products as well as conducting small games, quiz and puzzles based on brand products, its history and procedures where there brand followers can participate to win goodies or discount on the latest product as well , it helps to increase customers knowledge of brand products and helps to aces the no of followers a company have. This creates a personalised felling for the customers which in turn will help the brand to increase its brand community and thus increasing the number of customers. But like every other thing, visual brand fest marketing techniques have two sides to it.
The negative part being the customers have a huge influence on the brand and even to an extant where the consumers can interfere with the brand values. The customers have the power to vote for or against its products and this will have a huge impact on the brands idea for new products. The Brand managers who once had a control of a brand are now merely a host whose role is not to control but mainly to facilitate sharing of information. For instance, a customer can upload a video about the battery issue of Samsung which has led to millions of dollars’ worth of loss to the company. Visual Brand fest acts as a media platform where the brand can spread its brand ideologies and brand messages to its targeted segment audience with the help of company developed sites as well as social media platforms such as youtube, twitter, Instagram and so on. These brands also use pop up events in such social sites such as youtube, where the customers can click and go into another link where they are introduced to a brand, its products and its components. This has a huge reach as more number of people are using the world wide web daily. when a customer wins a free merchandise or goodies from a new brand, they develop a trust to the brand and helps the brand to build a repeat and loyal customer. Some brand provides customer with loyalty programmes where the customers are given points for each purchase they make, and these points can be redeemed at certain point to get huge discounts or even sometimes get the products free of cost. This is a strategic way of increasing clientele by building trust towards a brand.
How One Plus uses visual brand-fest as a marketing strategy. One plus is a small start-up Shenzhen-based Chinese mobile manufacturing company that started in the year 2013 by peter Lau. They have released numerous number of phones amongst other products through the years. The organization’s primary objective was to produce a cell phone that would adjust top of the line quality with a lower cost than different telephones in its class, trusting that clients would “Never Settle” for the lower-quality gadgets delivered by different organizations. The company started out by using visual brand-fest as the main source of its marketing strategy. They send invites to few prospective customers who showed interest in its primary advertisement. Their first device was the one plus one which was only available through their invite system. They started providing invites to customers who went to their sites and answered quiz and customers were eager to get invites from them. This was quickly accepted by customers even though it had its fair share of drawbacks and it also helped the company to find out who their loyal customers are. Then they started the one plus forum where customers can talk about their issues, they wanted in the next range of smart phones, they could send invites to friends and so on. This created a very personalised service for the customers. The company still uses customers feedback to better each device they produce. This has helped the brand to produce phones with emphasis to their customer’s requirements. This has helped one plus to acquire one of the most powerful brand communities with loyal customers.
One plus community also host visual brand-fest where the community members can participate in QNA session to win prizes and goodies. The company also used visual brand-fest as tool to introduce their new products through live streaming, where their prospective customers from around the world can watch the live footage of their new devices being unveiled at the same time as the people sitting at the event with just a click of a button. This marketing strategy of using visual market has helped the company not only to gain a huge number of customers but also helped he brand to reduce cost of marketing drastically which helped them to make the produce affordable to the customers without sacrificing the quality of the product now one plus is one of the fastest growing smart phone manufacturing brand in the world.
From the above article it can be presumed that a visual brand fest is one of the real piece of brand’s promoting technique, it is both cost effective and having an immense reach to a brands purchaser section .It makes an individual ordeal for the client and causes them to create learning about the item and furthermore helps in self-improvement .This aides in expanding client devotion which thus helps in expanding benefits. The accomplishment of a visual brand fest is just because of the quantity of individuals’ cooperation in it and brand networks assumes a noteworthy part in doing as such.