The Fastest Brand Alive

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Superman comic #199 (1967) introduced geekdom to what is now an age-old question: in a race around the world against the man of steel (Superman) and the human speed demon (Flash), who is the fastest man alive? The answer is irrelevant (it’s obviously the Flash—he’s a man; Superman is an alien). But let’s apply it to retailers and brand marketing: in the race to reach the consumer, who is the fastest brand alive?

This is an age of near-instant gratification. Consumers have access to the products and services they’re looking for right at their fingertips. Mobile commerce and browsing continues to rise and effective brand marketing has the potential to reach target audiences at any time, wherever they may be.

But how efficient is the brand at satisfying the customer’s needs? The old adage of the tortoise and the hare does not apply to e-commerce: fortune favors the swift. But many brands haven’t quite caught up yet.

Just consider one aspect of digital marketing: social media. According to recent research, the average response time for retailer-brands reacting to consumer interaction was 7 hours. That’s an eternity. Retailer brands struggle elsewhere in the digital field and the slower a brand is at adopting digital practices, the sooner they’re going to be left in the dust. Think back on the recent troubles of Best Buy and Borders whose sales suffered as a result of their inability to stay nimble enough in the digital field, with Borders eventually declaring bankruptcy as a result.

Mobile marketing and the web in general have changed the game. In the race to reach the consumer and meet their needs, it doesn’t necessarily take superhuman strength and speed to make it anymore – but it doesn’t hurt, either.

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