How To Prepare as a Better World Emerges

Experience-led brands will have to be authentic and relevant to sustain growth

When we emerge from the current times, we’ll seem the same, but we’ll be different. From a modern marketing perspective, we’ll be transcended into a new era where there will be no tolerance for being the same as we never were. The new business world will demand clarity, relevance, honesty, and transparency. Words won’t be wasted, white noise will have died down and we won’t be building or doing something with marketing or tech just because we can.

We’ll have some of the same customers, but we’ll have new ones too. And they will be looking at us – practically through us – looking and listening for truth and meaning. What will we say? What will we do?

Branding will be at the Core of Growth Strategy

Comprehensive brand strategy will position your brand dominantly in the market by building a brand that lasts by being relevant and sustainable. Your brand’s identity will have to make a connection, rise above the noise, and sustain a particular relevance while remaining true to brand authenticity. The elements in your brand’s core is the foundation of what will set it apart from other brands in the market and conveyed by your entire brand strategy—from visual packaging, to marketing communications, to brand experience, customer journey, and brand promise.

For brand enthusiasts and experts, this thread on branding sounds similar to pre-March 2020. So what’s really the proposed delta? When we start getting back to business as usual, usual won’t be an option. Relevance and authenticity will be sought and measured in every shape, term and experience of communications. And for new customers on the hunt, you the manufacturer, the distributor, the broker and the retailer, will get one shot to make a first and lasting impression.

Branding has become the ‘heart and soul’ of marketing. In your next marketing plan (or perhaps just simply your next “go-to-market” strategy or tactics) you will embed the discoveries you have made based on market research, your product vision, and innovation with a focus on differentiation. Zero in on those brand core competencies and position them by cooking up all those ‘ingredients’ into the brand pot. Here are some questions to contemplate and help you get started and get at your brand core:

1.   What are we all about? Leadership practices and stated missions set the tone and pace for your brand culture.

2.   What is the brand value or promise? Are we authentic? .. relevant? Your messaging taxonomy and sentiment express your brand voice.

3.   What experience can our customers expect? The way in which the world experiences YOU is via your brand.

Build a (lasting) Emotional Connection

To create a relevant brand experience, you must first build user awareness around your product – this is accomplished by brand amplification across a multiple of dynamic communication channels.

Dependent upon the brand and industry, a single digit percentage increase of emotionally connected customers can equate to up to tens of millions of dollars of added revenue from our modern day society.

Today we have a plethora of dynamic and interactive communications channels to express ourselves, our products, our company and culture. The most successful brands are the ones that are clearly defined with visionary positioning and communicate their benefits through live and interactive events, social engagement, the evangelization of for-cause or ideological movements. The exposure to your brand along with what emotional connection or attachment your brand makes while resolving the problem your customer has will result in a differentiating brand experience.

The term “experience” is widely used today in association with a brand’s benefits. Experience is the impact that you have on a particular audience or customer segment by solving a problem in a particular way and includes emotional connections you build with the customer segment.

Branding in the core of planning is a fundamental difference for real integrated marketing communications.

Authentic, Relevant and Experience-led brands will thrive – not just survive in the new branding-as-a-strategy cultured world. True brand experiences are not just about what you see or read about the brand; that is called brand exposure. Brand experiences are validated, reinforced, nurtured and sustained by a customer’s journey and relationship with your brand— i.e., your customer must be living that experience.

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(Stengel 50 Study – historic snapshot of purpose-led brands performance)

To create a memorable brand experience, you must be consistent in the brand values and image you project via multiple marketing channels. Consistent brand identity funneled via a diverse media mix will result in brand amplification, plus sustainability, which equates to brand equity.

Take advantage of the current “timeout” life has thrown us and begin to envision yourself, or your company or your product in its rightful, earned place in a new world that will only buy in (long-term) to a value proposition that is authentic and relevant.

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