November 8, 2020
According to IBM’s 2020 Purpose and Provenance Drive Bigger Profits for Consumer Goods report, one third of consumers claim they’d stop buying from their preferred brand if they were to lose trust in them. So it’s never been more important to build a bullet-proof brand that not only gains, but retains a loyal customer base. To do this sustainably, it’s no longer enough to just put out a new sales campaign. Instead, you must actively work on the role of your brand; building a data-driven plan able to tackle market disruptions.
Whether you’re starting from scratch or you’re working on improving an established brand, I’ll help you map out four key considerations your business should look to develop to future-proof your brand in an increasingly competitive market.
Know your audience
Arguably one of the biggest mistakes businesses make is deciding they’re the ultimate authority on their brand. ‘But if I’m not the expert, who is?’ I hear you ask. Simply put, it’s your customers who determine your brand.
Their perception of you is what really matters as they’re the ones sharing this with like-minded peers and potential new customers.
To ensure your brand doesn’t fall behind, you need to really study your customers. By learning more about them through analytical platforms, you’ll better monitor a change in their behaviour and can adapt your brand to their evolving expectations.
This could be as part of a wider plan or on an adhoc basis – like we did for our client, Northgate, where we created a reactive campaign during COVID-19 to push van sales by responding to an increased demand for socially distanced van fleets.
Remember, your brand is so much more than a pretty logo and catchy tagline. It’s your identity, your message and the way you establish your voice. While creating a visual identity through a memorable logo is important, it’s equally as crucial to have a flexible concept.
This looks different in every industry – but, in general, this means adapting to environmental shifts. For example, at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, hospitality venues were forced to close, turning to new ways of making money. This meant many brands invested in new platforms that enabled their produce to be sold on a takeaway basis to audiences in the digital world.
The customer experience is ongoing. Whether this is determined by the physical service they receive, or on a digital level via social media, there are plenty of ways you can strengthen customer touch points to future- proof your brand.
Remaining relevant by keeping up with the latest trends and sharing these with your audience will present you as an authoritative figure within your sector. This could mean sharing some funny posts on Instagram that you’ve seen your followers engage with, or introducing a green initiative into your brand’s ethos to assert yourself as a brand of the future.
Understand that branding is never complete
Ultimately, your brand will always have to adapt because the market will always change.
Particularly at a time when COVID-19 creates uncertainty, it’s vital you pay attention to your surroundings to anticipate changes.
For example, when governments paid attention to the impacts of obesity on health and the economy, global fast food giant McDonald’s faced criticism for its food. To combat this, the company focussed its attention on rebranding; advertising where the produce came from and what went into their food.
This confronted criticism head-on and helped the famous business bounce back.
Creating a brand isn’t easy, but building one able to withstand time and changing consumer expectations is even harder.
It is possible though, and armed with the right know- how, I’m certain you can build a successful brand for the future. If you’d like some help along the way, get in touch and my team will be happy to help you on your journey.