At the beginning of each new year, brands both big and small take stock of the previous year’s efforts and make plans for how to impact their target audiences in the most meaningful way in the year to come. In the fast-paced brand environment, companies that don’t have a framework for assessing and adapting their brand activities simply cannot keep pace with their peers. Indeed, it really is evolve or die across most industry verticals. In this roundup, we have identified three central themes that will guide branding efforts throughout the coming year. Based on our insights across multiple industries, these are less quick-fixes and more best-practices from the brand forefront.
In our estimation, the biggest challenge for brands this year will be identifying and aligning their values with what their customers care about. This doesn’t mean a pet project or a trumped up corporate responsibility effort, but truly identifying what your brand stands for and walking the walk. In the past decade, brands have come to understand that their consumers – especially those of the Millennial and Gen X variety – expect a lot from their brands. Yes, they want good products. But brands can no longer just be good; they must do good, as well. The most enduring brands have come to recognize that success is less about what you are selling and more about who you are that matters.
It may be hard to believe, but in 2019 there are some brands that are still around that haven’t developed an overarching brand strategy and a plan for delivering on it every day. In this era of the uber-savvy consumer, these companies have become easier and easier to spot. These are brands that focus on bells and whistles rather than developing their core values. They jump on the latest technology or trend and are uneven in their consumer communication and connection. You get one experience of them in one channel and a totally different one in another. And there is a whiff of desperation in their efforts to be relevant. We expect more of these brands to either step up or step off this year.
Survey after survey in 2018 identified ways brands were failing to wow their customers across numerous industries. Most of these studies seemed to identify a lack of innovation and improvement as the key drags on a consumer’s brand experience. We think this is largely because there are still some companies set up primarily as a way to do business rather than as a way for customers to experience a brand. This means that a brand is less prepared to respond to competitive challenges from outside their walls, which results in less innovation and improvement informing the customer’s experience. Developing a framework for continually evaluating and elevating experience is vital.
For more information on experience design for brands or to speak with one of our branding experts, contact Adrenaline at firstname.lastname@example.org.