Image by Amy Humphries
As technology changes the way we communicate, learn and use services and products, our relationship with a brand can radically change in an instant. We have developed an expectation for brands to constantly be more resilient, responsive and engaged with the user in their delivery of unique experiences.
As your startup grows and transforms, adapting with shifts in technology and identifying the key elements of a resilient brand is key. By applying some strategic models to your business, you can help to ensure that your brand remains relevant and resilient through times of rapid change.
What is a resilient brand?
Resilience can be interpreted as three core elements; belief, strategy, and experience. In their simplest form, brands can emerge from logos, typography and tone of voice. Iconography, colour schemes and layouts all play a vital role in forming a strong visual identity, but a brands resilience will be defined through a clear sense of purpose, sustained values and forward planning to consistently deliver a long-term strategy. A resilient brand is able to adapt, change direction and constantly realign itself to its customers needs.
Brand as belief
Brands can be born out of an impulse, they might offer an innovative product and unique experience, they may help a user complete a task more efficiently. Whatever your products unique offer is, it must define a belief and have a clear understanding of how it can create real value. By putting the customer first, considerations on how a customer uses, advocates or connects with products and services will help to find a common purpose. This in turn allows brands to have relevant, meaningful interactions with customers at each step of the decision making journey.
Brand as strategy
A brand strategy is a long-term plan for the development of a successful brand in order to achieve specific goals. A well defined brand strategy is directly connected to users needs and emotions and should help organise brand activity around the common purpose — in turn developing a framework that informs a competitive advantage.
A top down approach to branding focuses on the immediate, and will aim to provide linear messages and planned campaigns. Its main function is to create brand consideration, highlighting focus and potential benefits of the services on offer.
A bottom up approach supports a brands narrative as it builds over time, whilst remaining relevant to what is happening at the present moment. It supports a constant dialogue with the customer and can be personalised for a unique experiences. The goal is to build trust with existing customers, and those who are considering the brand and service offering through engagement, acquisition and advocacy.
A balance between the two approaches should mean that traditional campaigns are understood, comfortable and measurable, whilst customer data and feedback can be used to inform decisions, accumulate benefits, and inform the brands common purpose.
Brand as experience
Defining a strong band characteristic is crucial to a users experience, and the way they interact with it. A unique and consistent visual identity is at the core of a strong brand, and is a sign of resilience. By embracing new ways of understanding their customers, a resilient brand can glean insight into how their customers engage with their content, and then build a brand that understands a users interactions, needs, and requirements. Building your brand with a customers experience in mind is invaluable and will certainly increase the likelihood of a return, more purchased services, or a recommendation.
Building a strong brand identity will go a long way towards ensuring your brands longevity. Understanding your customer and sharing a common purpose will increase opportunities to deliver consistently outstanding experiences at every touchpoint, and give you the traction needed to establish your resilient brand.
Ready to start building your resilient brand? Talk to us!