What’s Missing from the Future of Branding?

Posted by Greg Keating on Aug 10, 2016 7:30:00 AM

futureofbranding.pngAnyone who has worked in marketing will understand that every brand revolves around the consumer. Whatever your target customers’ wants or needs may be, if your brand can’t satisfy them, it will likely fail in a short manner of time. At the very least it will mean that you’ll be hiring a new marketing team.

For this reason alone,  most brands follow a “customer-oriented” philosophy, and allow the consumer to dictate what their marketing strategy will entail. However, this is not necessarily the most effective tactic, as customers really prefer to look to brands for direction. This leads to a sort of stalemate where each side is looking to the other to see what they will do.

The result has been an endless cycle where brands jump on every fad with reckless abandon with original and thought-provoking campaigns becoming increasingly rare with the passage of time. A lack of vision and leadership has led to a deficit in creativity that paints a bleak picture for the future of branding.

This is not to say that consumers aren’t capable of providing tremendous insight to help guide brands and their marketing teams. But consumers are subject to the whims of a constantly evolving marketplace, and are influenced heavily by culture and society, constantly in of the next new thing. Furthermore, consumer loyalty is not what it used to be, and that means brands have to go to great lengths to chase them down - with limited success.

Stick With Your Strengths

The most successful brands of all time were excellent examples of consistency and strength. They stayed true their visions and strived to perfect their products and lead their consumers. They dealt with failure by creating better solutions rather than constantly reinventing themselves. This meant staying one step ahead of consumers, which enabled them to remain relevant over decades.

In short: the successful brands of the past didn’t switch strategies mid-stride or  jump from thing to thing. They focused on the items that they were good at and committed to improving upon what they were not. This is something that can be brought back from the past and utilized by the brands of today. Without this type of steadfast determination and resolve and there will be very few exceptional or amazing brand experiences for consumers to enjoy in the future.

The following is a list of five steps from the marketing experts at HubSpot that will enable you to create brand tactics with originality and strength:

  1.     Make your brand message central to your culture. A great brand must operate as a catalyst for culture. If you look at Google and Apple, you see culture is their brand, and brand is their culture.
  2.     Make exceptional products feel exceptional. Consumers greatly desire objects with meaning, character and a story. Tell someone about a great wine, where it came from and what it means, and they will do anything to get it.
  3.     Don’t be afraid to hold tight to your beliefs. If you have a vision, be unwavering. Have confidence, and don’t let anyone steer you off course. With enough work and effort, you can make your vision work.
  4.     Let consumers behind the curtain. Tell stories of the people who put their blood, sweat and tears into their work. Show the craftsmanship, the devotion and the passion. Showcase the people who perfect their skills. Consumers love people who make incredible things.
  5.     Don’t chase consumer admiration. Use consumers’ insights to perfect your output, inspire improvements and remain relevant in their lives. Don’t allow insights to redirect your vision or push you away from what you do.

Conclusion 

Remember, the consumer should not dictate what your brand is capable of or what your message should be. That can only come from within your organization. So take a hard look at what you are truly great at, focus on that element, and craft a brand message that highlights it.

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