Once, it was easy to build brand trust. You used mass media to establish profile and credibility, you became a “household name” and that was pretty much it. No longer of course. The splintering of channels, new levels of transparency and increasing expectations from customers have made just ‘being’ a trusted brand almost impossible. Trust is now far from a given.
Every day, companies are pitched opportunities to take their business in a ‘new’ direction or to stay the course—by colleagues, by their consulting agencies, because of the actions of competitors or by delegations of customers or suppliers. It can be, as many a marketing manager has told me, bewildering. And many struggle to balance the strategic need to move things forward over the longer term with the plethora of more immediate demands for response or action. Singularity is hard in a world of distractions.
Everyone’s very quick to call almost any bad news another example of corporate scandals these days. We are in the grip it seems of “the outrage orchestra” as Chris Wren so delightfully describes it. Nevertheless, companies do get into trouble, and they emerge from those challenges in different states. Some seem to brush off what has happened while others falter. Why?
Call them rituals, ceremonies, habits … associating a brand with a set behaviour can have a powerful effect on loyalty and enjoyment.
Right now, it feels like almost every brand wants to hook their customers on sweet moments that have them coming back for more. But is that what people want or have brands simply made high-energy experiences the new must-add?
How should companies map more effective and engaging customer journeys? By recognising that such journeys are really about how customers feel over the course of the entire journey not just how they feel at any given point in that journey.
While many businesses have woken up to the need to align the language in their marketing comms with their broader brand DNA, they often fail to fully integrate that language into their broader operations.
The concept of failing fast is one we associate readily with start-ups. But if successful brands need to constantly evolve to stay successful, and presumably not every evolutionary move will be a success, how should top companies plan for when things don’t go to plan?
Do all the frameworks and processes that strategists use really add value for brands or is it all just ****? In the spirit of strategy itself, let’s test a number of positions.
In the first part of this two-part series, I talked about brand cultures that focus on performance, those that are restless for change, freeform cultures and those that learn fast and continue to evolve. This second part focuses on brand cultures driven by a need to change the world; start up brands evolving into grown up cultures; brands with powerful leaders; and brands that need to keep pushing down costs in order to thrive.