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Danijela Gašparac, Head Of Market Research - CEO Advisor, Telekom Srbija And Marketing And Communication Consultant, Srbija Voz And UNDP

The Brand’s Essence Must Remain Intact

Danijela Gašparac is the winner of the Mark Awards in the SUPER HERO OF THE YEAR category. She tells CorD in which direction brands should transform, bearing in mind that we live in a hyper-personal era.

What does consistent brand management mean today?

It means not to change the essence of the brand due to gusts of “wind”. A good brand is consistent with itself, and the team that runs it is consistent with it. No crises, competition, internal and external changes can disrupt what it is. It’s okay to change communication, it’s okay, after a while and if necessary, to change communication platforms, focuses or channels, but consistent brand management assumes that the essence remains intact. And this is the key item that allows brands to be successful and stable in the long term.

How has the COVID-19 crisis affected brands? Did superhero brands stand out on the market during the crisis?

Superheroes are perceived in various ways. For some, superheroes are brands that donated money to those threatened by pandemic conditions, for some, they are brands that provided encouragement and motivation in difficult times, and for some, those that took care of their staff.

For me, all of these are superheroes, as are all brands that have managed to survive without harming anyone, in any way.

Do consumers appreciate brands that continuously communicate with them, regardless of market developments?

Do consumers like honest brands? I think continuity is important, but the consistency I mentioned is more important. Even when its frequency is lower, consistent communication will give a stronger impact and better results. Honesty is crucial in all relationships, including between the brand and the user (the customer). This is also the strategy that I personally prefer to choose.

In what direction should brands transform, bearing in mind that we live in a hyper-personal era?

I don’t think that brands need to drastically transform themselves, just to monitor the market(s) and trends carefully. We are seeing a huge shift in what marketing really is. It’s no longer about trying to convince people to buy from or work with your company. Instead, the priority has shifted to providing the best user experience that will keep people coming back for more. In addition to personalized advertising messages, it is necessary to find a way to listen and answer their questions, which today more than before implies coordination of the primarily digital advertising team with customer support and sales. Whatever next year or the following years bring us, one thing is certain – the future of marketing and business lies in inclusion and connection with the real needs of customers. The user experience must be found in every aspect of an advertising campaign, and will increasingly be crucial for the perception and survival of brands.

What does the Mark Awards recognition mean to you and how will it affect your further career?

It’s always nice when your effort and work is recognized, especially when it’s by renowned experts. Professionally it makes me very pleased, and I am sure that it is important that there is an award like this, which also recognizes the work of marketers, who are mostly always in the background. And the reward is just an additional incentive and responsibility, to keep learning and try to always be even better!

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