Small brands are edgy, attuned and preferred. That seems to be a common sentiment right now. But there is nothing to suggest that any of this makes it easy to win as a small brand today.
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.
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.
Have we become so pre-occupied with the niceties of brand that we’ve forgotten the reason they exist?
I met Mark Hunter on my very first trip to the United States. I was speaking at the National Speakers Association University on how to build a personal brand. Our conversations between sessions over several days would influence how I thought about sales and the business of keynote speaking.
In 2000, an article in Wireless called into question whether machines were quite the panacea we hoped they were. It was possible, said the author, that this dependence on machines was not going to a good place.
Leveraging a story that everyone knows is powerful – but risky. Powerful, because it’s immediately recognisable. Risky, because unless you can provide a new spin, it’s a tale they already know. Perhaps too well.
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.
Why do consumers keep brands in their lives? Relevance.
Consumers look for products and brands that are relevant to their needs. Self evident. But the ways in which they make those choices are much more complex than quality or availability because they are so much more human.