To be successful in today’s business environment, modern brands must focus on their perception among consumers. This perception points to the brand’s energy, which drives outcomes that stimulate positive customer behavior that benefits the company in both the short term and the long term. The best way to harness a brand’s power and energy is to appeal to and then activate your target market’s emotions. From there, marketing teams should engage in brand tracking measurements to steer the campaign towards success and ROI.
3 Components of Brand Value
To satisfy all the demands of their unified marketing strategy, CMOs need to lead from the front. To better understand what makes a brand valuable and resonate with customers, modern brands need to fulfill a few essential components of brand value:
For today’s consumers, trust is at an all-time low. Due to concerns regarding privacy and data security, public expectations for brands to be trustworthy have shifted 250 percent - a huge outlier from previous years where these expectations typically creep up by 25 percent or less. Its clearer now more than ever that trust connects the brand to customer loyalty. Breaching a customer’s trust can be hugely detrimental to success, but properly recognizing and reacting to this need for trust can prove to be an amazing opportunity to grow awareness and loyalty. In today’s environment, customers don’t want to buy what you do – they want to buy why you do it.
To seize this opportunity, your organization should focus on building brand trust. Interacting with customers on social media is no longer enough – brands must now focus on creating a believable brand character with strong values. These values should help orient your organization around emotional thinking, which will speak to their subconscious and allow a greater connection. To facilitate this kind of thinking, mix emotional equity frameworks with statistical analysis of your target market. Once the correct brand personality has been determined, distill your brand data into a simple story. For example, YETI has strong customer loyalty with hunters, tailgaters, and beach goers alike by touting an image of ruggedness, quality, and an unbridled love for the outdoors. When deciding which story is best to tell, be sure to engage in brand tracking to measure what is and isn’t working. Don’t forget to utilize person-level data to ensure you’re targeting the right people in the right way. This will help your organization create strong brand energy which can protect against competitor pressure and result in tangible financial returns.
Provide Exemplary Service
To communicate your brand’s values, your organization must show – not tell – their customer that they have the customer’s best interest at heart. There is no better team to facilitate this trust-building mission than your organization’s front-facing customer service teams. The best brands in today’s business environment are able to work towards customer interests while delivering empathetic service. Their personnel are friendly, helpful, and properly represent the brand’s image. By empowering your customer service teams to be helpful, friendly, and foster a customer-first attitude, your customers will be more likely to look forward to engaging with your brand in the future.
An example of this is Southwest Airlines. Conventional marketing knowledge will tell marketers that the bottom line of all business is turning a healthy profit. Southwest Airlines has a different perspective, as they believe that profit is the byproduct of exemplary customer service. Meanwhile, some of their competitors that focus on efficiency have a brand image bogged down by public relations scandals. By giving customers an airline experience that is centered around them, Southwest Airlines establishes intense customer loyalty. As a result of this loyalty, they can continue to focus on the customer’s needs as a selling point, instead of focusing on undercutting like some others in their industry.
Create a Unique ExperienceFinally, be sure that your brand is not like any other. Try to take the perspective of your customers: How many of them would be sad if your company stopped providing service tomorrow? Even if your product is not unique, that doesn’t mean it does not create a unique experience. For example, think of how many shops there are that sell coffee near you, right now. Even though there’s a wide selection of coffee available to consumers, if Starbucks shuttered all their doors tomorrow, it would be national news. People around the world would be devastated despite still having a wealth of choices. This is the type of unique experience your brand must strive for.
To accomplish the same social standing that Starbucks has achieved, most brands have a long way to go. It is necessary to build holistic, omnichannel offerings where the sum of products, services, and experiences result in a unique brand identity. This brand identity should emphasize unique brand attributes, rather than the traits of the products they sell.
To build brand value, it is vital that your organization participates in all three of these priorities. However, determining whether or not your brand strategy is effective demands a strong, metrics-based approach to brand tracking. A brand tracking initiative should use marketing attribution to track brand perception, and determine how these perceptions impact brand equity and lead to conversions. Once these metrics have been analyzed, your organization will be able to continuously identify where strategy can be optimized – providing a competitive advantage in your industry.