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This is the second in our series of Wednesday Wisdom articles from Consultants Collective on hot topics in business and technology 2019. Have ideas or predictions of your own? We’d love to hear them.

The importance of branding grows more critical and more complex each year. Here’s what I think brand strategists will have to keep top of mind as we approach the century’s third decade.

“Alexa? What’s my favorite brand?”
If you think that Alexa and Siri are just fads to sell more amazon.com merch or more iPhones, think again. Artificial intelligence (AI) is here to stay—and—it’s much further along than most people realize. From bots to robotics, AI will quickly take over soul-crushing and back-breaking work. As that work shifts, so too will your relationship with your customers and employees. Brands will have to stay ahead of those changes to ensure they stay relevant and competitively differentiated.

Content continues its reign
Content has been king for years now and that’s not going to change in 2019. What will change, however, is the form it takes. Content marketing strategies will incorporate more and more video into the mix in order to take advantage of our ever-shrinking attention spans and the platforms behind them (e.g., Snapchat, Instagram, and YouTube). Plus, the power within today’s smartphones puts a virtual television studio in everyone’s hands. Take advantage of that, now.

Remarketing backlash
Europe’s GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) was just the beginning. Consumers’ patience and comfort level with marketers following them around like lost puppies will reach a breaking point very soon. In the beginning, remarketing was seen first as coincidence and then as a slight annoyance, like a fly flitting around your head. Brace yourselves, consumers are reaching for their fly swatters and their aim will be accurate. The challenge for brands will be to leverage data about their markets in ways that are effective yet non-intrusive.

Douglas Spencer is a member consultant of Consultants Collective, and president and chief brand strategist at Spencer Brenneman, LLC, which helps companies articulate who they are at their core, what they should sound and look like, and how best to bring it all to life. He is also the author of Do They Care? –the one question all brands should ask themselves, continually, a book that shows business leaders how they can create meaningful connections with customers, employees, and others. Douglas is a frequent speaker on how strong brands improve business performance through strategic alignment, employee engagement, brand governance, verbal and visual identities, and more.


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