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Brand: Why Big Data won’t grow your brand – and what does.

The trend for Big Data over the past few years has been valuable for businesses from the perspective of gaining quantitative data and other relevant information, details and metrics that aim to reveal what customers are doing and what they actually buy.

Taking the focus away from important privacy issues for a minute – with the right analysis, Big Data can reveal vital information that may inform strategic marketing decisions and assist in wider business decisions as well as the overall business direction. Information is power after all right?

The ability for businesses to gather, track, access, report and obtain data has been both unparalleled and transformative to think tanks and analysts alike. Crunching the numbers and accessing the data has never been easier – yet at the same time it’s also never been harder.

Because having access to all manner of information creates unforeseen problems – and two BIG problems in particular.

Problem #1: a lot of the data is based on factual, objective or empirical data – that’s to say – information gathered on a more superficial level, which reveals plenty of facts but no real insights. Big Data still requires people – the human element – to disseminate and draw conclusions from the data itself. The conclusion is that there’s a core misunderstanding about data: it can only tell us so much. Customers don’t actually give us the insights: businesses need to look for, interpret and discover the insights themselves.

Conclusion: Big Data serves as a really useful and objective business tool, but it merely present us with just that – data – and lots of it. Its about efficiency, range of information and data.

Which brings us nicely to problem #2.

Problem #2: Volume. The sheer amount of data gathered quickly becomes debilitating to the businesses in question who have no capacity to process or refine the data. Because there’s too much info, many businesses simply leave the data stored away – unused. The result? Mountains of data and no-one with enough time to sift through it. Big data can quite literally be too big a mountain to mine, and threatens to become too big a weight on the shoulders for most businesses to analyse and benefit from. Could it really be that knowledge in this case is weakness?

Sophisticated CRM tools aside, most businesses dismiss the vast majority of data and focus only on what information they deem to be important at that time – rather than identifying what actually is important and relevant in the moment. The shadow of analysis paralysis rears its head once again: a confused mind does not act!

The ironic insight in all of this? Despite the wealth of knowledge and information Big Data provides, it struggles to reveal those core human truths or insights that businesses need to drive business innovation. In other words: business growth.

The reason for this is that data alone offers limited use when building an effective brand – because people build your brand, not data. It is the human hand that is missing in this equation. Without people, thought, belief and agreement your brand will not exist. Your business will not grow.

Many businesses are slowly realising that the data collected is great at telling us the ‘What’ – i.e. what is happening (which is useful) but not the ‘Why’ – which is the far more important question when it comes to building a brand and growing your business.

‘Facts tell, stories sell’ is the mantra.

Why is this? It’s because stories (or brands) harness a uniquely human voice and form that resonates on a subconscious level, unlike facts which appeal only to the conscious mind.

In order to grow a business with a brand, there needs to be a focus on the needs of the customer. We need to get below the surface to reveal those all-important customer insights and human truths, then turn them into stories that engage and resonate to attract your tribe. Data and facts won’t do that for you.

To conclude: when it comes to creating, growing or maintaining a brand, big data is simply not enough. Most companies are in no shortage of data on their customer.  They all generally know what their customers are buying. What they don’t know and what they’re not asking is Why? – a question Big Data simply can’t answer.

Be fact-driven
Be insightful too
Believe in your brand for business growth.

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The Brand Experts blogs’ purpose is to inspire, educate and impart brand knowledge and insights that help businesses see themselves and the world differently.

We hope you learned something new, insightful or useful from this blog.

At The Brand Experts, we believe that perception is everything. Its why people recommend you, why people know, like and trust you and why people buy you. This drives us to help professional services build a ‘brand blueprint’ for business growth. We do this through a series of brand workshops designed to help professionals realise what drives their ‘Why?’, identify their true identity, and what matters to them and their customers most. The ultimate reason? To make their difference in the world.

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