By: Elizabeth Urbic
With the astounding and steady growth of modern technology and the ever-increasing sophistication of marketing tools, it is clear that companies cannot afford to rest on old paradigms. Aided by technological innovation, the social consensus upon which these paradigms stand is in a constant state of evolution—and so must the companies who wish to remain competitive be. This is not to say that companies are tasked with mastering each new technology, but they most certainly must prioritize identifying the relevant modern tools and adapting to the shifts, being willing and able to employ and integrate them into a cohesive, contemporary strategy.
Much like certain companies, individuals themselves can understandably feel overwhelmed by new technologies. The importance is in making the effort, no matter how outdated you feel you are, to assimilate the tools into your toolbox. Our parents tried to sit out that whole “Facebook thing” for as long as they could, but as the social networking giant’s recent reach of 800 million users speaks to, these new technologies are becoming established social necessities and so even the most reluctant dads are realizing the value of setting up that profile.
The greatest proponent of the current market paradigm shift is undoubtedly social media. But even social media sites themselves must be on guard, keeping an eye on what advancements other sites are making and where the technology is likely headed. The recent flood of significant changes to popular networking sites, even as ill-received as they’ve been, are necessary adaptations to the constant technological evolution.
Check out more about the hot topic of Facebook’s unfavorable facelift
So once they’ve recognized the importance of evolving, how do companies do it right? Well, as I concluded my post about online music distribution with the high praise of iTunes, I once again find myself singling out Apple as a company who not only adapts but has positioned itself at the forefront of the technological innovation competitive environment. Their success is derived from an unmatched union of excellence in technological growth along with an excellence in how they market their technology; Apple has mastered innovation, both within their product development and branding campaigns.
This infamous 1984 Super Bowl Apple commercial was revolutionary in both senses of innovation, laying the “foundation for both the brand’s communal or user-friendly orientation and its aggressive pursuit of cutting-edge technology” (Rucker & Sternthal, Kellogg on Marketing, 2010):
The aspects which established the company decades ago still resonate and distinguish Apple today. Their latest advertisement for their newest technology shows these exact same strengths in a modern way. Apple manages to exhibit a brand identity that reaches beyond their company; their campaigns embody both the evolution of Apple’s technology but, more incredibly, that of our society and culture as a whole. Apple subtly and assertively positions their products as more than a tool or a toy—they are hallmarks of our lives and staples of our social evolution. As this commercial says, “we’ll never stop doing the things we love, but how we do them will never be the same” (and Apple products will help you stay relevant, of course):
Technological innovation is merging with our social structure in a profound and powerful way. It’s survival of the fittest in the marketing world, and companies (as well as individuals) must use technology to keep up.