Brand Building Action Points
1. Improve customer experience
And keep improving it. Best-in-category is no longer good enough. Consumers compare experiences across categories. In that respect, all brands compete with Apple and other acknowledged brand experience leaders. And it is important to look beyond Apple for examples. To understand to future of customer experience, study China, where the integration of shopping, social, and payment has raised consumer expectations to new levels.
2. Be faster
Speed is imperative because the competition is changing. Well-established Western brands will increasingly compete with brands from fast-growing markets like China. Chinese brands strive to enter markets quickly, if not perfectly, to build share while working on iterations. More Chinese brands are setting up offices outside of China to be closer to the markets served and increase decision-making speed.
3. Be the change
Heritage cuts both ways. It can add depth and purpose to brands and, at the same time, it can add heavy ballast. It is tempting to solve this dilemma with an acquisition. But acquired innovation often becomes churned into the existing brand heritage. Brands need to rejuvenate themselves with internal changes and by affiliating with innovative partners.
4. Be heard
Find your voice. Consumer interaction with brands is shifting to voice. That requires having an audio identity that is recognizable and relatable. Voice is fast becoming another brand asset, like a slogan or logo.
5. Communicate a purpose
A purpose helps differentiate a brand, which will be increasingly difficult and necessary in a future marked by disintermediation. Purpose needs to be rooted in the brand and more than a marketing brief. Communication needs to be done sensitively or the brand risks looking disingenuous.
6. Strengthen the brand
In a world where brand choice is increasingly determined by algorithms or paid search, brand becomes even more important. Without a strong brand, the path to purchase will be the path of least resistance.