At a time when consumers continue to assume that brands will simply provide more, it may seem strange to suggest that brands should be more generous. And yet the case for brands delivering greater profits by bringing greater joy makes complete sense.
Branding is a serious business, but does that mean brands themselves must always be so serious. Is there room for more personality? Should you lighten up your brand image?
The ethical consumer may be a well identified buyer in the marketing press, but customers themselves seem somewhat confused by what counts as a responsible brand.
It’s not always easy to spot that your brand is falling out of favour with consumers, especially if, on the face of it, things look healthy.
Apple’s recent stand-off with the FBI refocuses the dilemma of what to do when someone has used your product in a way that was never intended. What should brands do to influence or change how their products are used?
An observation from the Havas CES 2016 report that we will increasingly see more companies working together across widely different marketplaces is a reminder of the new bridges that brands must be looking to build going forward. Inevitably these invite new approaches.
Marketers can be surprisingly heavy-handed. The temptation, especially with big brands, is to thunder out answers that let customers know, in unequivocal terms, that they have been recognised. Think about the almost coarse way in which airlines greet their frequent fliers – with a bunch of features dressed up as privileges and a tiered recognition system that allocates them a colour.
Whilst much has been written about when you should revisit your brand architecture and the things you should consider in doing so, often the conversations around how to structure brands seem to centre on hierarchical concerns. “What do we have?” “How do we need to group it?” “How many levels?” “Is it consistent?”
It’s the thing that every brand craves – to be an unquestioned part of its customers’ lives. But how do you know you’ve become a truly trusted brand? Here are six ways to evaluate whether your brand is winning over today’s highly aware and cynical consumers:
We need to move on. That’s my take-out from a piece by Tara Walpert Levy – spotted and brought to my attention by the ever-observant Jeremy Dean. We need to move on from a mind-set based on reach and drop-off, and replace it with one centred on engagement and accumulation. “Historically, our media plans have focused more on exposure and broadcasting than engagement and response …,” writes Levy. “We focused on reaching as large an audience as we could and hoped or planned that of that 100%, we would eventually whittle down to the, call it 5%, of people who actually cared and mattered for our brand. We focused on reach because our ability to measure engagement … was lousy.”