In contemporary branding we have the option to not just ‘brand’ products, services or organizations, in order to make them more appealing to consumers. Brands are now often conceived as well-differentiated concepts of novel and exclusive ways to provide a benefit (of any sorts) to consumers.
Brand Actualization is performed in five interlinked dimensions (although there is no necessity to use all five), all serving our dual purpose of both arousing anticipation of benefit and fulfilling them:
The consumer’s experience of the brand is designed to be not merely any pleasant experience, but a consistent experience that integrally arouses anticipations of the benefit we promise and also delivers it. The brand experience is a wide concept. It encompasses all the various direct and in direct contact points in time and space with the consumer, as well as all his sensorial, savvied and/or emotional experiences. The brand experience includes, among other aspects, reactions to the brands communications, the experiences of shopping, buying, consuming / using / owning, receiving instructions / service / support, disposing of waste, encountering social feedback, etc’
The brand community is a totally different concept from customers’clubs. These are carefully designed, planned and orchestrated contexts / opportunities for customers to interact and socialize in manners that simultaneously deliver the brand’s promised benefit promise and reinforce anticipation of the benefit. Such community structures and activities subtly encourage the emergence of authentic brand evangelists, and the formation of a cult-like following of the brand.
A brand culture is fostered inside the organization. In many cases my methodology prescribes the brand’s promise as the prevalent inspiration for the organization’s vision. This shared purpose serves as a managerial tool for aligning the entire organization with the task of providing the consu mer with the promised benefit. The brand promise, as an exalted raison d’etre of the organization, incites a spirit of brotherhood, and hereby a sentiment of belonging and pride, forestalling all the perils of cynicism. Furthermore, the brand becomes a living entity in the ambience, the practices and the processes of the organization. Even the organization’s very structure and staffing considerations are being subjected to this supreme mission.
Advertising has for long been considered to be ‘The’ major brand-building device, due to its ability to raise anticipations of benefit. The Integrated Marketing Communications approach has broadened our perception of multiple contact points and opportunities – both in space and in time – intended and unintended, that form the totality of brand communications. However, it grow s increasingly apparent that brand communications serve not only to raise anticipation but also to deliver the brand’s promise. Brand communications should also be thought of as a facet of the brand’s experience. Consumers now often consider the brand’s communications to be an actual attribute of the product/service.
A brand is solidified by consistently fulfilling its promise. The brand, as a concept of benefit, inspires innovations that will deliver the benefit more often, and in more diverse ways. These innovations may include additional products and services, events, activities, promotions – all fulfilling the brand’s promise in novel and contemporary ways. Such perpetual innovations naturally reinforce the anticipation of benefit, which is the brand