Maybe after that you worked out or went for a run and tracked every single calorie you burned through an app that tells you how well you did. Or maybe you browsed and purchased your groceries or something you forgot yesterday online, and it will be delivered to you later today. And while listening to some music through your wireless headphones or Alexa, you may have prepared yourself to hit the day.
Chances are you are reading this article on your smartphone after being on a videoconference call or browsing through Facebook or Instagram liking pictures of people you haven’t met or friends you haven’t talked to in a long while — but their posts made sense to you.
Doing all this seems pretty straightforward for all of us, but we take one component for granted: technology.
Not so long ago …
Let’s head back to a few years ago, not so long ago.
Imagine you are back in the year 2010. Depending on where you were, maybe you remember this year because the Burj Khalifa opened in Dubai and became the tallest building at the time. Or maybe you remember it because the Winter Olympics were held in Canada. Maybe you remember how in Chile, 33 miners were trapped in and successfully rescued from a mine, or because there was a major WikiLeaks release of many top-secret files. Or most likely, you remember it because it’s when the World Cup in South Africa took place.
It doesn’t seem that long ago. But when we look at it from a technology perspective, it has been quite a long time.
In 2010, you were most likely excited about the release of the first iPad; at least I was. The iPhone 3 was on the market (Apple launched the iPhone 4 that year), and the Kinect technology for control-free gaming launched. At that moment, this seemed pretty big; today, it is quite “simple” or “regular” for us.
Technology has made tremendous advances. It plays a key role in helping us and brands create better experiences and simplifying many things in our day-to-day lives. These last five months of 2020 have sped up the integration of technology into many activities and families like never before.
Think about the last 10 years and how your traveling, shopping, banking, social life or industry has been positively impacted by technology. Today not only do we purchase things online, but brands also use technology to create better environments for consumers and experiences. But let us be honest: You probably don’t choose an airline to travel with, a hotel to stay at, a retailer to shop in or a social media network or streaming service to use based on their technology. You choose it based on the one thing technology can’t create or solve: brand affinity.
Many brands make the same mistake.
With this fast-growing technological trend, I witness many brands making the same colossal mistake: believing technology will solve almost every problem they have.
Spoiler alert: it won’t.
Naturally, technology is an excellent enabler and should be considered as a part of the solution. It will help you figure stuff out better, but it won’t figure it out for you.
Let’s say you need to understand your audience. Technology will help you understand them faster and more deeply with more sources of information, but it will not understand them for you. Or if you want to promote your brand, it will help you spread the word more quickly in a targeted way and sometimes more cheaply, but it won’t create an appealing campaign for you. Technology probably won’t tell you why a drop or increase in sales is happening; it will allow you to detect it quickly and react to it. Technology will enable you to create an e-commerce site pretty quickly and easily, but it won’t make a successful product for you.
Next time you build up your brand plan, launch a product or create your brand strategy, see technology as an ally — as your wingman along the journey — but don’t make it your absolute and only solution. There are many things technology can’t solve or build for you and your brand. Those key problems are ones you will have to figure out yourself and with your team.
Remember, technology will help you figure stuff out better, but it won’t figure it out for you.