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Skip to 0 minutes and 13 secondsOK. I think we have a question from Dappo. Yes. My question is on impact of technology. I just want to know who has actually benefited from technological advancement in branding. Is it the consumer or the marketer? OK. So the biggest change factor in branding, I guesss, is technology. But who's benefited, Peter? I think the consumers have really benefited in many, many ways, through technology. We've got access to just about any brand from anywhere. So it's become very much a buyer's market, now, because we can buy anywhere, anytime, at any price. Technology also allows us to get unprecedented access to the brands we buy from.

Skip to 0 minutes and 55 secondsThere is this idea of the tyranny of transparency now-- that there's no company that can hide from us, the consumers. Whenever a company does anything, it will immediately appear somewhere, on some network. So there's no hiding place for companies. And that actually improves their standards. So I think, unequivocally, it is the consumer that's benefited from technology. So there's no hiding place for companies anymore, but isn't the same thing true-- James-- sorry, the other way around-- that there's no hiding place for consumers, because they're watching us? They have data on our every move-- our every click.

Skip to 1 minute and 31 secondsWell, I was going to say that there are marketeers and there are consumers, but there are also the companies that are operating this technology-- managing this technology-- companies like Google. They've managed to use the technology and create a very, very powerful position on the basis of the information that they gather. And Peter's right that consumers do benefit a lot from this, but also in ways that could be quite scary. I think, also, Peter makes a very interesting point, which is the technologies have created a level playing field. Big brands and small brands-- brands from all over the world-- can compete with each other in the technological space that the internet and the associated technologies have created.

Skip to 2 minutes and 15 secondsBut in another way, it has a paradoxical effect, which is to make the offline offer of those companies more important. If everybody can have a fantastic wizzy website and deliver fantastic online content, the traditional physical interaction with the customer becomes more important, not less important. So it has some paradoxical effects, I think. So Alfonso-- so a level playing field in some ways, but on the other hand, when you think of category after category, there's one dominant player. So is it-- how level is the playing field? The most successful companies in the last two decades are the ones who actually take into consideration the role of the consumer. Considering them enhances their chances to be more profitable, more successful.

Skip to 2 minutes and 57 secondsBut also, the danger is because they have innovative information that the internet has brought, can immediately put at the brink or bring in a company to a collapse. And there are several examples. You can take a look at BlackBerry, just for one email not delivery, it can just plummet the stock and shares just because of one technological failure. So we need to be attentive of all of these developments between the brand, the individual, the consumer, and the key interactions between them. Otherwise, if we don't see the whole picture, some of the larger companies can actually cease to exist in a very short time. So it may be a level playing field but it's a tough playing field. Extremely tough.

Skip to 3 minutes and 34 secondsBecause the moment you stop being useful, you've had it. Yeah. Absolutely. Great.

Brand and technology - who benefits?

In this ‘question time’ film, students on the brand leadership masters course at UEA put questions to a panel of academic experts: Dr Alfonso Avila-Merino, James Cornford and Peter Schmidt-Hansen. Here the experts discuss the impact of technology. Analyse the flow of the debate – which are the strongest arguments?

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This video is from the free online course:

The Secret Power of Brands

UEA (University of East Anglia)

Course highlights Get a taste of this course before you join: