What the growth of technology means for guru brands

Harvard PR

18 Dec 2017

Gurus are the masters of their art and believe their technology serves a higher purpose to solve some of the world’s most pressing problems. Aware of their responsibility to the world, they want to leave a positive, meaningful legacy by playing a heroic and pioneering role. Happy to teach but less so to share, they see no value in fame for its own sake and can often be little known in the wider world. But in a world where validation comes from awareness and engagement, what's next for the gurus?

A tech-driven world

Tech companies today are facing more scrutiny than ever. Adapting to the growing weight of consumer expectation that comes with this hasn’t proved to be an easy challenge, even as they are enjoying more popularity and mainstream adoption than ever before. The gurus collaborate, but on their own terms. They like to consider themselves the ‘big brother’ in relationships, where they can lead and others will follow. Definitive problem-solvers, they are the brands, like IBM, that will change the world without us even realising it.

Effortless engagement?

Our connection with tech brands, whether for work or play, has become increasingly emotional and social. While there is no doubt that usability is a significant factor in how much we like tech brands today (83% believe it is more important for a technology brand to be useful than liked), to drive long-term loyalty brands need to engage. They need to be seen not only to be driving innovation, but as taking a stand on what they believe in. There is a clear concern amongst consumers that whilst they are is looking to the technology companies to step up and play a more visible role, the companies themselves aren’t doing enough to engage the public. Half of consumers feel technology companies are not making as much effort to be liked and trusted by the general public as well as their customers, and could be doing more.

Get talking

There is much good news for gurus in this research. Today’s consumers see no value in brands that want to be our friend just for the sake of it. People expect a purpose beyond popularity. In many ways, it feels like now is the time for gurus to shine. And as tech becomes more prominent, so does their access to talent that can – alongside them – change the world in the way they envision. The risk is that this talent will choose to work elsewhere, driven by the current lack of visibility of the guru brands. In some ways then, the answer is the simplest for the guru brands: Tell your story more. Many gurus have strong stories of success; they need to look at how they are sharing them. Focusing on the human impact, and using real people to talk about how they have had their lives changed, will allow them to drive rapid awareness. By focusing on simplicity over the detail, on the emotional over the engineering, gurus can too become household names. While many might not think that is what they need, if they are to continue their mission, they need talent. And that will only come through the validation of the consumer. Download our full report or get in touch with us at hello@harvard.co.uk to hear more about what this means for your comms