With the proliferation of products and brands and the swift acceleration of consumers’ lives, branding brings new challenges. Are the doomsayers right?
In No Logo (Picador USA, 2002), Naomi Klein talks about what she calls the “unsavory dominance” of big brands and predicts a “brand boomerang.” Websites such as Cluetrain.com protest the corporate marketing-speak of modern brands, claiming that most corporations only know how to talk in what they call the soothing, humorless monotone of the mission statement, the marketing brochure, and the “your call is important to us busy signal.”
Brands that engage their stakeholders not only live longer but are worth more. Paul Twivey, founding partner of Circus, a London agency, gives us hope and makes a strong case for the kind of customer engagement CMR can deliver:
Great brands are about great stories, brilliantly told and acted out every day, engaging all the stakeholders in their community.
Brand engagement is the process of forging ties between a brand and all the people who have an interest in it, including employees, consumers, shareholders, partners and suppliers. Why is it important? Because brands that engage their stakeholders through a passionate integrity not only live longer, but are worth more and improve the quality of peoples’ lives.
Brands that engage people make them feel good as well as delivering higher shareholder value and higher return on investment. They score highly on most financial measures you care to apply.
Successful brands of the future will be those that empower customers and tailor their interactions with them in ways that enrich customers’ lives and relieve stress. These will be the brands that will allow customers to see themselves in the brand.
CMR is not a substitute for building brand; your brand is still your difference.
Your brand is your promise to recognize what your customer considers important.
Listening to customers and understanding their needs will build your brand.
Unless there is a real closeness between the customer and the brand, personal communications will not be accepted.
The customer experience means more for brand building than the advertising.
Putting customers in charge and getting them to invest in the brand is one part of brand building.
The Internet is not a broadcast medium. The user of the message is in charge, not the sender.
The CEO is an important part of the brand.
Brands that engage their stakeholders live longer, are worth more, and improve the quality of people’s lives.
Naomi Klein, No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies (New York: Picador USA, 2002), Chapter 15.
Paul Twivey, “Follow the Rules of Engagement,” Brand Strategy, March 2001, p. 15.