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.
In uneasy times, the most powerful thing a brand can do is to define its place, value and opinions in the world. That way, everyone knows where they stand.
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 happened to Doc Martins, Burberry and others over the years: groups turned their brand into a symbol of something the brand itself did not believe or endorse.
Can the same brand take two quite different positions? Yes. And no.
Perhaps it’s inevitable. At some stage, a brand is going to do something to upset customers and prospects. That’s the price companies pay for trading in an era of greater and greater transparency. The key question is: when something does go wrong, will your brand be forgiven?
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?
Any brand manager worth their salt is looking to cultivate and manage a brand that is noticed and valued. But how far should a brand go in that quest for distinctiveness? Interestingly, the answer doesn’t just come down to taste.
In a world where popularity is the ‘it’ metric for so many marketers, have you really thought through how your brand would cope if all your wishes came true? If your brand strategy is based on building your popularity, here’s some things you might like to consider as you rush to be noticed.
In an age where brands are increasingly seen as shared, companies can easily be lulled into treating social media as polling booths for their strategy. That’s not a good idea. However, there are times when you should respond to what is being said. The secret is knowing what to respond to, when and how.