With the recent quarrel between FBI and Apple, the conflict hit on where we are and where we are heading, with business and technology. Today, it more than handy tools which people use for entertainment and convenience. More focus is given on “identity”.
The reason why Apple was rigid as the hack signified an intrusion on privacy. By hacking phone of Syed Farook, a direct window is provided to his identity and who he is. If Apple would have agreed on hacking the phone, a trapdoor to other iPhone users would have opened. However, FBI was able to hack the phone without the help of Apple and Apple wants to know how it was possible?
Was Apple’s stand for user’s privacy valid? Should companies protect identities from snooping eyes? Or should user’s identities be a fair game for companies that want to use them? So far, more has been witnessed.
Liquidity and Power of Identity
Customers and businesses both have a stake. Today, user’s identity is taken for granted and is treated as a commodity. The touch-point in high-tech business centers on the identity of the customer. Consumer and business alike trade in the liquidity and power of identity. Most of the identity protection issues have taken place in American businesses. As per Square’s guide to EMV(Europay Mastercard Visa), The United States possesses almost half of the credit card fraud. A new processing device should be deployed which will accept EMV cards. Most of the local businesses have compiled while some still haven’t.
As of the new EMV requirement, if a credit card fraud is committed by a magnetic strip card, liability is on the business. Precisely, credit card fraud is basically identity theft. So now, if the organisations want to shield customer identity then they should deploy high-tech systems and devices. Is this ironic or appropriate? Time and again, without providing the customer a choice, organisations trade in customer identity. But now, the organisations don’t have a choice but to safeguard the identities they trade in.
Factors which are linked to user’s identity are spending habits of users; their preferences, location etc. are a part of tech-savvy sales and marketing. These days, data and information of consumers is a hot topic. Our actions determine who we are. Today, what we do, what activities’ we carry out on social platforms and the websites we visit without deviation influences business determinations. Moreover, consumer behavior determines the brand identity of an enterprise.
Consumers Signifying Brand Messaging
Nowadays, the brand owner cannot signify the meaning of the brand. The transformation has taken place and customers are the ones signifying the meaning of the brand. With consumers getting educated, it is difficult to influence a customer and form a perception in customer’s minds. From TripAdvisor to Amazon, social media and websites provide the experience of others in order to mold the perception of a potential purchaser.
Web Technology- basically peer reviews and social media- consumers can have the same power which organisations want to have over them. The power signifies the capabilities of an entity. The intersection of technology and customer perception develops a relative and fluid identity for brands, as brands should react to perceptions of consumers. Organisations are watching consumers, consumers are watching organisations, decisions are determined on the basis of our observations. Dynamic feedback circle is created.
Personalisation has become the key for brand development. With dynamic personalization, brands analyze data which is marketed directly to consumers, witnesses Return on Investment six to eight times greater than non-personalized efforts. Moreover, it is reported that personalization helps in boosting sales by 10%. Consumers undertake their own research before buying something almost 90% of the time. Brands wish to influence research efforts.
There are brands which seek to establish an identity along with users. However, as per Gallup pollreport, 62% of consumers have reported that their buying decision is not at all influenced by social media. Marketers still implement social media strategies like influencer marketing. The most effective channel for customer acquisition is influencer marketing. Facebook is the leader of the charts with 27% of the share. Why still social media strategies are formed and implemented if more than 50% of the people aren’t influenced by it? This clearly shows the dislocation between brand perception and consumer perception
A new playing field is created for business due to the intersection of technologies and identities. The Apple v/s FBI case has witnessed the struggle of Apple in order to maintain a brand image which users associate with user identity protection. Organizations which use data for personalized marketing is a power struggle. Are the purchases of the consumers influenced by brand more than the brand identity influenced by consumers? The answer will eventually define how people identify with brands and what exactly brands do with the data.