1. Brand Positioning
Traditional brand positioning frameworks were designed primarily with the needs of advertising and broadcast media in mind. Modern brand marketers must consider changes to traditional brand positioning frameworks, including allowing for multiple target audiences and multiple delivery strategies without diluting the single-minded focal point that separates them from the crowd.
2. Brand Experience
Brand experience is more than merely touchpoints and customer journey maps. Furthermore, there is no singular ideal customer experience. Every brand offers something unique, so marketers shouldn’t feel obligated to pursue a hypothetical “ideal brand experience.” Instead, the optimal customer experience is one that is inspired by—and consistent with—the brand positioning.
3. Digital Branding
Many marketers are defaulting to a digital-first mentality, but a brand-first mentality is better. Digital best practices don’t work for every brand, so marketers should focus on developing digital strategies that are consistent with the brand promise. Modern consumers don’t distinguish between offline and online brand experiences, and marketers shouldn’t either.
4. Brand Extension
Brand extensions often fail. This usually happens because brand managers act too conservatively out of fear that they will dilute their core brands by extending them too far. As a result, they resort to ho-hum, uninspiring line extensions. While caution and conservatism when managing brands is always prudent, brand marketers should learn to feel more comfortable leveraging the intangible qualities that make their brands special as inspiration for brand extendibility. Doing so will lead to far more impactful and transformative growth.
5. Brand Engagement
Employees must understand and buy into their employers’ brand strategies. Service and retail companies especially depend on their frontline employees to represent the brand to consumers. The closer the relationships between employees and customers, the more fully those employees must fulfill the brand’s promised experience.
6. Brand Measurement
Traditional brand metrics love to look backward, but today’s fast-paced opportunities depend on foresight. Brand measurement shouldn’t be limited to flagging previous issues. Instead, use metrics to identify opportunities. New tools can help brand stewards correlate brand-building metrics with important key performance indicators, like revenue and market share. In doing so, branding evolves from a discretionary expense to an invaluable asset.
To break the cycle of brand monotony and demonstrate true differentiation to consumers, companies must abandon trendy tactics and develop brand-specific strategies. By understanding these components and sticking to strategy, brand managers can start treating their brands with the respect they deserve.
Mitch Duckler is the author of the upcoming book, “The Indispensable Brand,” and a managing partner at marketing and brand strategy consulting firm FullSurge.