One of the hardest judgment calls for brand managers is relevance. Brands must change to stay consistent yet they must also remain recognisable in order to preserve brand equity. So what should you change, and when?
Brands are quick to identify customer experience as an area of critical success for them. Yet too often those responsible for its delivery lack the authority or the experience to fully act in the interests of those customers.
Smart brand managers actively manage their brand portfolios for maximum collective and individual brand return. If you’ve recently re-assessed your brand portfolio and identified what appear to be one or a number of under-performers, there are a range of options you can pursue to fix that situation.
There’s some evidence to suggest that brands globally can expect to have shorter and shorter half lives. But do the same dynamics apply to digitally-based brands that have applied to the brands that were built “physically” in the past?
Coke’s new campaign direction feels like a push back towards product-focused advertising. The decision to move away from the more abstract concept of happiness towards a campaign that focuses much more specifically on the taste and the bottle begs the question: are marketers trying to be too clever? Have we forgotten that we’re here to sell?
There’s a lot of things that brands keep doing that can turn their value south. By way of a checklist, these are the things I see happening far too often.
Ever since the GFC, global markets seem to have become more volatile. Oil prices rise and crash; China’s growth soars and slides. When market dynamics are this dramatic, how should you look to effectively develop a brand? Do you go with the ebb and flow, or act as a beacon of constancy?
Is flexibility replacing footprint as the new black for global brands? That’s the inevitable question as Walmart announces a major redraft of its stores policy.
Everything your brand does happens within a context. You can’t ignore that, nor should you. But here’s the irony – if you allow that wider context to drive how you manage your brand, then you risk losing control because the course you are steering is no longer yours.
The rules for developing and managing brands are laid out in a range of principles and frameworks developed by extraordinary marketing minds. Time and time again, we’re told brands follow these rules to achieve success. But every so often, you encounter a highly successful brand that seems to defy the theory. And there are lessons for all of us in that success as well.