Aldo Agostinelli

How important are brands nowadays? In a recent post, Gianluca Diegoli claimed that  “The hyper-fragmentation of media, the need for self-defense against the informational subjugation imposed by consumers, the peer-to-peer communication characterizing our choices in terms of purchases are the main causes which have led to the decline of the concept of traditional brand, based on one-fits-all advertising”. This means the such concept of brand is bound to dissolve, since, what in the past used to generate the very identity of products is now losing its importance. Read it in Italian

Such an opinion is difficult to refute, especially if assessed starting from the results of the latest survey about e-commerce published by “Casaleggio e Associati”. The report thereof (see my post entitled “e-Commerce: a war among global players who are now targeting new markets”), shows how Amazon, eBay or Alibaba have recently been acting as mediators between buyers and sellers.

And, according to Diegoli, global players, the e-commerce giants turned into megabrands, are actually replacing traditional brands as we have conceived them so far, with their legacy of slogans and ads which have stuck for decades in consumers’ minds but are now succumbing to the atomization and growth of offers coming from micro online merchants.

Diegoli wrote: “Thanks to hyper-connection two new, different types of businesses are turning into brands: those who can provide 24/7 the right suggestions about what to buy and those who can sell the right products at the right time as advertised by the former. Amazon, Google, Facebook, Apple and a few other “connectors” are to become the future megabrands, in the old accepted meaning of the word”.

It is difficult to object to such a statement: since television is no longer the sole medium used for advertising products, internet is filling the gaps of our free time and, even when we are on the go with a smartphone in our hands, global players are our new references when it comes to gathering information about what we would like to buy. Brands are therefore no longer useful, for even the smallest and almost unknown ones may be commented, reviewed, discussed online.

However, brands are still expected to exist despite the fact that now what really matters is no longer “who” sells something but “what” is sold. Amazon, Google or even Facebook are not real brands selling their own products (apart from Amazon which has partially transformed into a proper brand!); on the contrary, they are marketplaces where products can be sold, although this is not openly declared.

If global players are not the same across the five continents (Alibaba or Tmall in Asia and Amazon or Google in the West), they all share a need to communicate, support and market their products through and to a community. The role played by micro-influencers is therefore crucial. As I have explained in my post “Why micro-influencers should be part of your influencer programme”, micro-influencers are people with an audience of a few thousands aficionados – comprising their Facebook contacts and Twitter and Instagram followers – they have established a close relationship with. Basically, their audience is smaller but their appeal is much higher. They are consequently really efficient in creating and maintaining a vital and strong community which is now basically fundamental for small vendors.

What do you think of global players? Tweet @agostinellialdo.
If you liked this post, you should read alsoWhy micro-influencers should be part of your influencer programme

Aldo Agostinelli