We often think of brand value in financial terms. But that value, I would venture to suggest, is actually a result of a broader initiative that brands need to think about in these busy times: finding ways to be valuable in the lives of those who buy from them.
Sometimes that’s about doing things that are expressly needed; and others, it’s about finding ways to introduce new habits that customers quickly make their own. As Scott Davis observed, “We all know it’s exceptionally difficult to build a great brand, one that consistently inspires, influences and compels; one that gets customers to not only buy more and spend more but to advocate more.”
The key, as Davis rightly points out, is to understand that no brand simply has relevance as of right. Rather, relevance is generated by a combination of insight and momentum: the ability to see the need for change, and to deliver on that need, in the right ways, at the right pace.
I love the story of how Emirates staff built a mock-up of the now famous upstairs bar for the A380 to convince bosses it would work. Sacrificing eight seats for an amenity that customers could get at their seat must have seemed like madness at the time – but it connected with high-end customers because it gave them a socialisation experience that had simply never been there before.
As Emirates boss Sir Tim Clark puts it, “We designed it as a temporary measure to take out in 96 hours and put eight business class seats back in. In about three or four months it became quite clear to me that if we did that I would be lynched – I’ve never seen anything like it.”
What difference will your brand make in their lives?
If your brand is looking for ways to re-assert its place in the lives of consumers, these questions may help you find new ways to deliver a greater sense of value next year:
- What are people worried about (that your brand can fix)?
- What do they feel is missing or that has been lost?
- How would they like to be surprised?
- Who do they care about (now more than ever)?
- Where do they want to see hope? (and why will they trust you to fulfil it?)
- What do they miss more than ever? (and why now?)
- How would they like to be recognised?
- How have they never been made to feel before?
- Where do they want to make changes (why is this the right time, and how will you give them the confidence to feel they can succeed?)
- What would they like to find (that they could then tell others about)?
- What would they like to see championed?
- What can they have access to, for a limited time?
- How can you be there when they need you most?
- What would they like to recover?
- What can they see you understand about them (that so many others don’t)?