Branding

Why Branding is so important to your company?

Create Brands people cant’s stop thinking about.

Consumers expect brands to intuitively know what they need, when they need it, and deliver it instantly.

Yes, the world in which brands exists is in a state of flux. Yes, we hold five times more information every day than we did 30 years ago. Yes, technology has profoundly changed how we interact with the world around us. Yes, customer expectations have transformed, and attention is harder to capture. Yes, we live in an era of category-of- one brand like Google and Amazon that dominate their respective sectors and become the anchor points for entire ecosystems of other players.

Despite all of this, and in virtue of this, the role of brands in today’s world is more imperative and valuable than ever. Branding has shifted from being about ensuring consistency to stimulating desire; from marketing-centric to enterprise-centric; from simply creating functional and emotional differentiation to fundamentally changing the way a business goes to market; and from communicating the consumer experience to actually shaping it.
So, what can we learn from how the world’s leading brands are achieving success in this environment? What sets apart the good from the great?

Leading brands are driven by their desire to be useful, to create products, tools, and services that actually solve customer problems, and to use their marketing to serve and not just sell.

In other words, harnessing the ability to take bold short-term action that responds to the needs of the marketplace while pursuing a clear and aligned long-term vision.
To simultaneously look through a microscope and a telescope,
To have the courage to intercept the future, not just flow with it, and,
To take decisive action that makes a real impact.
Only when you have the sanctuary of a deep understanding of who you are, and where you are going tomorrow, can you confidently make the brave short-term calls needed to win today.
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Where are you really?
“Every consumer can now decrypt advertising messages, so traditional marketing has become less and less significant. Consumers want to know what’s behind the brand - what it can give back to them. Sometimes it’s just a question of value: the best quality for the price. When people buy a very high-priced garment, they want to see the patience and the craftmanship that has gone into it. They are paying to possess a beautiful object. And sometimes, when it’s a famous brand, they are paying to be part of the story.”

10 Brand Strength Factors:

// Internal Factors

01

Clarity

Clarity internally about what the brand stands for in terms of its values, positioning, and proposition. Clarity too about target audiences, customer insights, and drivers.

02

Commitment

Internal commitment to the brand, and a belief internally in its importance. The extent to which the brand receives support in terms of time and influence.

03

Governance

The degree to which the organization has the required skills and an operating model for the brand that enables effective and efficient deployment of the brand strategy.

04

Responsiveness

The organization’s ability to constantly evolve the brand and business in response to, or anticipation of, market changes, challenges, and opportunities.

// External Factors

01

Authenticity

The brand is soundly based on internal truth and capability. It has a defined story and a well-grounded value set. It can deliver against the (high) expectations that customers have of it.

02

Relevance

The fit with customer/consumer needs, desires, and decision criteria across all relevant demographics and geographies.

03

Differentiation

The degree to which customers/consumers perceive the brand to have a differentiated proposition and brand experience.

04

Consistency

The degree to which a brand is experienced without fail across all touchpoints or formats.

05

Presence

The degree to which a brand feels omnipresent and is talked about positively by consumers, customers, and opinion formers in both traditional and social media.

06

Engagement

The degree to which customers/consumers show a deep understanding of, active participation in, and a strong sense of identification with, the brand.

The brands that have withstood disruption and maintained industry relevance are those that have taken bold short-term risks because they have a clear long-term vision.
They have formed a strategic roadmap detailing which direction to grow, and the transformational steps necessary to attain enduring prosperity.

To succeed in today’s marketplace, brands need to continually ask themselves the following questions. 
Are you:

01

Creating a differentiated customer experience across each and every touchpoint?

02

Leveraging your brand for greater business growth and ROI?

03

Creating emotional bonds and instilling a sense of purpose among your target audiences?

04

Challenging your brand to have a competitive edge by entering new categories and markets, forging new partnerships, and facilitating new mergers and acquisitions?

05

Anticipating industry trends?

Brand Strength in the new decade of possibility

Brand Strength breaks down what it takes to build the Leadership, Engagement and Relevance chain by identifying ten mutually exclusive factors, each underpinned by factors metrics. Individually, each dimension provides granular, actionable competitive insights. 
Together, they consolidate into a single key performance indicator that expresses the brand’s ability to drive business results and informs an actionable roadmap for growth.

//Leadership

//Direction

The degree to which there is a clear purpose and ambition for the brand, a plan to deliver on them over time, and a defined culture and values to guide how those plans should be executed.

The shift
It’s no longer just what a brand stands for, but where it’s going next.

What this means
The very role of companies and the subservience of profit to purpose is central to the economic debate
of our times. Brands led with purpose are likelier to make the right moves and take the right stances, attracting choice and talent.
Purpose is necessary, but not sufficient. Translating it into an ambition – a timebound, measurable proximate objective - creates focus and accountability, building investor confidence and generating liquidity.
Converging needs, technologies and competitive arenas make purpose and ambition the compass to navigate the open seas of opportunity.

//Alignment

The degree to which the whole organisation is pulling in the same direction, committed to the brand strategy and empowered by systems to execute it across the business.

The shift
A strong brand is the organisation’s most powerful connective tissue.

What this means
For brand leaders competing in different geographies and arenas, a cohesive culture of clarity and belief becomes the only viable and efficient alternative to control.
Widespread clarity around purpose and ambition create an environment that gives talent motivation and latitude, encouraging innovation and multiplying opportunities.
The Covid-19 crisis will accelerate changes in workplaces, supply chains and manufacturing: distance will become a defining experience. Brands that act as a connective tissue will drive speed and coherence in decision making

//Empathy

The degree to which the organisation is in tune with customers and wider stakeholders, actively listening to and anticipating their evolving needs, beliefs and desires, and responding effectively and appropriately.

The shift
Data reveals the what. Dialogue unearths the why.

What this means
As expectations move faster than the businesses, creating an ongoing dialogue with customers and constituents is critical to make bold moves with confidence reducing risks and multiplying opportunities.
Technologies such as IoT and AI create enormous amounts of data. Organisations that combine this with a deep human understanding of their customers’ mindset create the conditions for exponential growth and unfair advantages.
Deploying systematic, technology- enabled customer listening and co-creation builds a culture of learning, fostering agility.

//Agility

The speed to market that a company demonstrates in the face of opportunity or challenge, enabling it to get ahead and stay ahead of expectations.

The shift
Fixed long-term ambition, flexible short-term action.

What this means
As sectors blur into arenas and brands bloom into ecosystems, the speed, scale and stakes of decisions surge exponentially. Underpinned by agile organisations, the strongest brands constantly build new business engines, multiplying revenue opportunities.
As the current crisis has shown, it is possible for entire categories to bottom out at zero revenue in a matter of weeks. A well- exercised reinvention muscle is critical to mitigate a brand’s risk.
A well-designed brand governance model with the appropriate balance of (de)centralisation is often the unsung driver of business performance.

//Engagement

//Distinctiveness

The existence of uniquely ownable signature assets and experiences that are recognised and remembered by customers and difficult to replicate.

The shift
From what you say to what you do.

What this means
Communication overload and enduring uncertainty mean that distinctiveness – traditionally pursued chiefly by communicating a promise – is less about what a brand says, and more about what it does.
While assets and communications are still important, the strongest brands today grow by making Iconic Moves that rise above the noise, turn heads and sway perceptions
– at times changing categories and creating monopoly windows.
Thinking in terms of moves rather than touchpoints elevates the role of brand leadership to an orchestrator of product innovation, partnerships, collaborations, new business models, and so forth.

//Coherence

The degree to which customer interactions, whilst varying depending on channel and context, remain authentic to the brand’s narrative and feel.

The shift
From a consistent implementation to a coherent narrative.

What this means
The strongest brands are not ‘positioned’ – they develop along a clear trajectory – ‘big idea’ platforms – that inspires and unites their every move, writing a coherent narrative over time and accelerating the achievement of the brand’s ambition.
Bringing a brand to life today is less about touchpoint implementation, and more about interaction innovation.
The expansion from touchpoints to moves requires brand leaders to shift their focus from consistency in assets (“does it look the same?”) and pursue coherence in feeling (“does it feel the same?”).
As a result, ensuring the attribution of diverse interactions requires the development of
a vocabulary of flexible and memorable sensorial signatures

//Participation

The degree to which the brand has the ability to draw in customers and partners, create a sense
of dialogue and encourage involvement and collaboration.

The shift
Unlocking the power of collaboration.

What this means
Hyper-connectivity has changed the way people expect to interact with organisations – no longer as passive consumers, but as active constituents.
The strongest brands don’t see customers as targets or data points, but as partners. They are inspired by what inspires them – their hopes, their dreams, their realities.
With the acceleration, convergence and increased sophistication of technologies, collaboration
is the new currency, enabling brands to achieve more, better, faster for existing customers –
as well as providing access to new audiences and arenas.

//Relevance

//Presence

The degree to which a brand feels omnipresent to relevant audiences, is talked about positively, and is easily recalled when a customer has a need in the brand’s category.

The shift
Strong brands lead meaningful conversations.

What this means
With media fragmentation and increasingly sophisticated data, the strongest brands are not simply known to many – they are an active and welcome part of conversations that are relevant to very specific segments.
The permission to engage with consumers beyond transactions derives from these brands’ ability to reframe what they do in the light of what is emotionally or functionally relevant to people.
At times of crisis, people may
be in the same storm, but are on different boats. The strongest brands consistently show up with the right emotional dress code, showing a deep understanding of their audience’s reality.
Following the current disruption, the journey for many brands
will be to make their presence context agnostic.

//Trust

The extent to which a brand is
seen to deliver against the (high) expectations that customers have of it, is perceived to act with integrity and with customers’ interests in mind.

The shift
Trusted to do right, not just deliver well.

What this means
The age of surveillance capitalism has created a new asymmetry between people and businesses, with rising concerns around privacy, ethics and behavioural modification. The traditional currency of brand trust – satisfaction – is still necessary, but it is no longer sufficient.
As ecosystems and platforms become increasingly interconnected, pervasive and powerful – more
so than many sources of public authority – trust starts from acknowledging individuals as constituents, not merely consumers.
With growing transparency, it’s hard to unpack people’s trust in a brand, the company or their leadership. Aspects of the business once of little interest to the public are now an integral part of consumers’ conversations and judgment.

//Affinity

The degree to which customers
feel a positive connection with the brand, based on the functional and/ or emotional benefits provided, and/ or a sense of having shared values.

The shift
Playing a worthwhile role in people’s lives.

What this means
With fast changing expectations comes a continuous reassessment of what people value and what truly matters. At times of great change, the strongest brands build deep relationships by being clear about the role they play in people’s lives
– from doing a simple job well to helping express who they are.
As people become communicators themselves, they see through communications. The most effective way of creating affinity
is through moves that represent a commitment on which the business is forced to follow through.
Increasingly, affinity comes from an uncompromising stance on the issues of our times, sustained by tangible moves

Source: interbrand

{ Branding. The Ultimate Strategy to Conquer the Business World }

Disrupt. Grow. Change. Repeat.