Mobile changes the landscape for brands. Not in a scary way, but in an exciting way. 

People can interact with brands on a whole new level with mobile phones. The iPhone led the way with a first class web browsing experience, and Android devices have caught up now too. 300,000 Android phones are being activated per day, an amazingly fast take up rate.

With less penetration of brands in traditional media, brand executions are about the mobile consumer more than ever. Social media has created a whole new consumer: one that can demand interaction with a brand and can negatively influence a brand in seconds.

It is this pressure that can lead some brand managers to enter into the mcommerce hype before taking time to impartially assess what mcommerce will mean to their business.

All brand executions now need to be taking into account the power of a mobile consumer. Without truly understanding the mcommerce customer – what motivates them, what triggers their buying patterns and what promotions they will opt-in for, then marketing spend in this space will be wasted.

Mobile brand executions need to have a personal connectivity and share-ability that no other communication medium demands. It is all about developing a personal relationship. It is about bringing your marketplace to a customer at anytime, anywhere.

It is no longer acceptable to produce mass communications to this market. To get this component right will mean amazing opportunities to take the consumer relationship to a whole new level.  Consumers will reward a brand by buying it, staying loyal and positively sharing it if they have a good experience.

Brand strategists now need to develop mobile executions that connect with consumer communities in an interactive world, so they become integral in these communities. They also need to be constantly listening, learning, innovating and connecting.

For companies like eBay who have invested the time to manage their brand in this space, they are now reporting that sales are growing faster in Australia than any other major market. An item is purchased through an eBay app every 15 seconds – a phenomenal statistic considering the capabilities of mobiles only a few years ago.

Creating a mobile friendly site is all about handling the limited screen size and the differences between phones as well as creating a site that people can easily access ‘on the move’.

Breaking the website content into ‘bite sized’ pieces allows for a great way to handle the smaller screen size. It is often a challenge to find the essential subject matter to use in the mobile site to keep pace with the main website. Then it is just a case of navigating between each section.

Every connection point your company has with a mobile consumer needs to be simpler. From clearer calls to action, less clicks to purchase or to sign up, right through to accessing phone numbers, maps and email addresses that need to be provided as live links (for example links to Google Maps or Skype).

When tackling the mcommerce space for your brand there are a couple of guidelines to ensure usability-

1. Meet the user’s needs quickly

2. Don't repeat the navigation on every page – screen space is precious

3. Clearly distinguish selected or highlighted items

4. Make user input as simple as possible

5. Only show essential information

Brand executions also need to provide a compelling mcommerce experience across device types by offering seamless, in-app purchases and a simple, intuitive user interface.

Going forward it is clear to see that successful brands will be those that listen to and learn from customer insights, both positive and negative. It is this insight that can move the direction of the brand. It’s the ultimate focus group.