Branding insights and opportunities

Brands are not a passing phenomenon, nor are they something to be left to amateurs, or those who have newly jumped on the ‘brandwagon’. These 10 Insights and Opportunities are what are occupying the minds of captains of industry, branders and marketers around the world

1: Clarity
In an over-communicated world, lack of clarity will substantially reduce effectiveness and efficiency; and complex brand and sub-brand structures without a real audience rationale will reduce this still further.
Torture test your brand positioning

2: Brand as central organising principle
The world’s most valuable brands use their brand as the central organising principle for all products and services, corporate organisation, structure and behaviour, environments and communications. They are brandcentric.
Audit how your brand, or brands, really show up in all the operations and decision-making structures of the business.

3: Brand as a total experience
Technology will provide the opportunity to build an even greater sensory experience into brands through touch, smell and sound.
Is your brand being brought to life as effectively as it might through the experience chain – whether real or virtual?

4: More compelling and imaginative expressions of brand identity
In the developed world, audiences are knowledgeable and savvy about marketing, and will increasingly ‘edit out’ communications that they find boring or irritating.
Have a hard, critical look at whether the core visual and verbal identity elements of the brands are as compelling and engaging as they might be in a competitive world.

5: The brand as platform for innovation
Using a distinctive brand platform as a starting point for innovation in all areas of operation and experience can release more distinctive results.
Use the brand platform as a springboard to look at growth categories for the future and in the context of consumer trends

6: Brands need profound protection
It is estimated that 9% of the world trade is counterfeited.
Legally ‘ring-fencing’ your brand should be a never ending process.

7: Understanding the value of your brand
Use brand value as a core measure of people’s performance, which both built momentum and created sustainable premium growth. Brand value is also crucial management information for mergers, acquisitions and divestments, which will continue in the future as markets shake out and consolidate.
Do your people across the business fully understand the value of your brand as the most important and sustainable corporate asset?

8: Effective and efficient brand monitoring and measurement
The most successful organisations integrate monitoring, measurement and support systems into their day to day operations and plans. They continually review and update them.
Is your brand a key part of the ‘scorecard’ by which your people are measured? Are you consistently reviewing all aspects of brand performance to look for areas to improve?

9: CSR as core social responsibility
In an all-seeing digital world, and in a sharper business environment where employees at all levels can be ambassadors or saboteurs for the company’s reputation, there really will be no hiding places any more. Organisations will have no choice but to be transparent in their dealings and fulfil their promises,
Are you reflecting and integrating people’s quality of life needs and concerns into your brand vision and mission? Do you have enough safeguards to measure sustainable development impacts, and involve your people in the issue?

10: Always act like a leader brand
What can be termed a ‘leader brand’ today is not a brand leader in the old fashioned sense, reflecting scale and muscle alone. Rather, it reflects a newer,
restless and agenda-setting leadership across all areas of philosophy and operations, inside and out.
Whether brand leader in size and scale or not, are you setting the agenda in product, service, creative and value terms? And increasingly, in terms of leadership thinking?

Full detailed article: 10 branding insights and opportunities from Interbrand

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