Chief Executive of Vodafone, Patricia Obo-Nai has charged brands not to betray their core values and essence if they are to stay relevant in the current digital age.

The age of digitalisation is changing everything. Innovative disruption is wielding a strong authority in the marketplace; changing the way customers think and approach purchase and loyalty.

Before the age of digitalisation, brand communications was organised. It was controlled. There were rules of engagement.

The situation is different currently; where the code of conduct is subjective. The democratisation of knowledge and information now means that the internet has made everybody a journalist, an opinion leader, a brand expert or an advertising executive.

Brands, therefore, have a very challenging task of sifting through the maze of complexity and sustaining their relevance amongst current and potential customers.

Delivering a keynote presentation at the just ended 2019 Africa Rising Conference by the International Advertisers Association (IAA), Patricia said: “Brand consistency is key. Customers make choices based on relevance and not necessarily price. A brand must understand and continue to reflect what it proclaims to instil into the buyer even in the current digital age. You need to be relevant across all touchpoints including aesthetics and content. Embrace new concepts such as data analytics; machine learning and augmented reality. And remember that in all these, don’t change your very essence because of digital. Let the customers trust you. Adapt to technology but be flexible. In fact, be you.”

The Africa Rising conference brought together senior leaders in the Advertising industry across Africa and parts of Europe for a two-day session in Accra. Amongst the key personalities were Ghana’s Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, who presided over the opening ceremony on Monday, May 20, 2019.