JUSTIN THOMAS-COPELAND, PRESIDENT, RAPP NY, SHARES HOW BRANDS CAN BETTER CONNECT WITH CONSUMERS

Before the internet, companies built their brands through a top-down approach, with consumers operating as recipients rather than participants. Today's digital age has reversed that paradigm. Consumers now hold the remote, and when brands ignore consumer needs or just shout louder, audiences flip the channel.

Take, for example, the demise of Nokia. Ten years ago, Nokia was a leader in the mobile phone space — an innovative company with a lot of brand love and a strong stock presence. But Nokia failed to anticipate consumer demands and adapt the way Apple and Samsung have, and by the time Nokia recognized this shortcoming and attempted to change, consumers had moved on.

While data-driven personalization through customer relationship management may have once been an optional bonus for brands, it's now the marketplace norm.

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