Tuesday, March 10, 2015

#TipTuesday - Baking Resilience into the Brand


(Photo: Florian Blumm/dreamstime.com)

If you occasionally feel like your brand is under siege, you're not alone -- and you're not being paranoid.

Data breaches, social media gaffs and criticism, evolving technologies, email hacking, regulatory compliance, and the Internet of Things (IoT) are capable of generating confusion, disruption, uncertainty and brand impact at rates that are faster than ever before.

Under market conditions like these, how can today's brands retain their integrity and standing in the eyes of their customers? By building brands on more than jargon, messages, and tweets.

The fundamental qualities of value, trust, and relevance are necessary to resilient branding. Surprisingly, by harnessing disruptive factors we can also achieve resilience. 

Here are some ways that today's most resilient brands are doing just that:

Building Brand Ecosystems: Largely enabled by IoT, major brands are integrating and inter-operating to create added value for customers. App-based Uber's recent partnerships with Disney and Spotify are examples -- as well as a clear case of the sum being greater than its parts.

The Other 50%: By acknowledging and empowering women in branding, we not only stand for something bigger than simply selling product, we become humanized and relevant to the largest and most powerful segment of decision makers. (That's women, by the way).

Curated Connection: Brands can use social media apps and platforms to bring people together through common interests and/or by invitation. Just being customers of the same brand does not create a strong connection between people on its own. Brands who recognize that and create dialogues based on what is more meaningful to their consumers will develop more and better touch points, while achieving genuine relevance and connections. When thoughtfully tended, the outcomes include more authentic dialogue and high levels of trust. Take it beyond the Facebook and Twitter free-for-all. Create your own online community and make it worth joining.

360 Degree Product Lifecycle Management: When brands plan beyond product obsolescence, everyone wins -- and it isn't lost on the customers. By planning and managing how products will reused, re-purposed and recycled, brands not only build in an additional touch point with their customers at a time when those customers may be thinking "replacement," but associate their brand with a greater purpose.

In "Resilient Brands," Jonathan Copulsky talks about the power of the "ubiquitous brand," a brand whose worth and standing extend far beyond the products or services it sells. Once resilience is achieved, the resilient [and ubiquitous] brand is able to generate value and customers on the basis of its earned respect.

The resilient brand is:
  • Humanized
  • Communicates authenticity
  • Stand for more than products and service

It forms deeper connections with its market and, above all, it is well-positioned for long term success.

Are you baking resilience into your brand strategy? Any advice to share? Challenges?


ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
How Social Media Enables Brand Resilience, by Walter Adamson
Brand Resilience and the New Art of Playing Defense, by Herb Shaffner
Surviving the Toxic Tweet:  Deloitte's Strategies for Protecting a Brand, by Tim Parker

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