Brands are complex.
They are fluid – made up of words, images, ideas, actions, experiences, and emotions. They are personal – uniquely defined by each person who comes in contact with it – both internally and externally. They evolve constantly, impacted by each and every interaction. All of the impressions that are communicated across these touch points, both internal and external, are the layers and dimensions that interact to create what we call the Whole Brand®.
This great complexity is why firms like ours exist – to help individuals and organizations manage their Whole Brands to achieve their desired outcomes. There are two keys to driving intentional and positive evolution of brands:
»Develop, on an ongoing basis, insight into the variables that impact the brand but cannot be directly controlled. These factors include consumer needs, customer trends, broad marketplace dynamics, the evolution of your competitors, third-party communications about your brand, and the heritage and history of the brand.
»Apply insight, creativity, innovation, risk, problem solving, strategy, and other factors to the variables that can be controlled. These are positioning platforms, the nature and quality of goods or services, price, organizational structure, culture, vision, values, mission, hiring philosophy, distribution strategies, identity, brand personality, internal and external communications, process, training efforts, and much more.
Even though we stress the fluidity of brands and the idea of managing change, we want to emphasize that every brand has its own story. The great brands have an authentic, connected, lasting story—the essentials of that story should never change, no matter what happens around you.
So what’s the end game? The end game itself is singular—Contagious Loyalists©. When you create a compelling Whole Brand, Contagious Loyalists will spread the word for you. Brands that create and nurture Contagious Loyalists are, and will continue to be, the big winners.
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