A brand is not a logo, it’s not even just an identity, and it’s certainly not a product or service as James Allen, Managing Director of brand communication agency Guerilla tells us.
“Your brand is the space that it occupies in the minds of your employees, suppliers, partners, and customers. This is because brands are defined by the people who interact with them, which means that your brand isn’t just what you say it is, more importantly, it’s what they say it is. That’s why great brands live in a place where the brand promise totally aligns with the internal and external brand experiences.”
If your brand has already achieved this success then your next question may be ‘how in this unprecedented period of digital and physical disruptions, do we engage, grow, and become more relevant to our customer base’? for which James has the answer.
“My advice is to start with focusing on those elements of your brand that you can actually control,” James advises, “But to do this effectively you need to know and understand as much as possible about the current and future trends that are influencing and driving brand strategies.
“The fact is that consumers are increasingly viewing products less as commodities and more as individual statements, this means that our strategies concerning socially responsible branding must evolve quickly. Many consumers now tilt towards brands which actively express a strong interest in areas of social responsibility, this is because they feel it allows them to make more purposeful and positive purchases.
“Today and in the future, companies will not only need to communicate what they ‘stand for’, but importantly what they ‘stand up for’. Socially responsible branding created in the right way and for the right reasons can create a sense of community, and thus help increase employee and customer retention.”
A recent survey conducted by Clear Channel and JCDecaux reported that only 34% of customers trust the brands that they buy from. James comments that such statistics clearly support the dangers and opportunities in neglecting or building your brand authenticity. Meanwhile, Stackla revealed that 90% of millennials now believe that authenticity is extremely important, preferring ‘real and organic’ companies over brands that are slick and ‘perfectly packaged’. This can explain why McDonald’s decided to film and post ‘behind the scenes’ videos of how they make their food, to help convey transparency about their food ingredients.
Interestingly, Futurra found that 88% of customers believe that companies can influence socialite change and should take the lead in addressing environmental issues and providing more sustainable products.
James explains, “Sustainable brand values are associated with positive societal changes and can have an impact on enhancing your brand reputation. Plus, it also makes sense that you are more likely to align with and win new customers who care about the environment.
“Today, a brand’s visual identity needs to elegantly transcend across more physical and digital touch points than ever before. The trend towards designing simpler, shape-shifting logo style designs has been underway for some time. When designing marque that can easily be adapted in size, colour, and complexity, it’s important to remember that your brand identity still needs to achieve five key objectives including individuality, consistency, integrity, longevity, differentiation, and finally impact.
“If you consider other brand influences such as technology, gaming, anti-advertising, ‘phygital’, online communities, nostalgia, and customer centricity to name but a few, we have only just started to scratch the surface. But going back to the beginning, and considering many of today’s consumers want purpose, substance, and integrity, then all future brand strategies should be equally focused on how a brand acts as much as how it looks.”
Guerilla is an award-winning agency, serving, local, national, and international clients. Formed in 2002 and celebrating 20 years, Guerilla specialises in brand creation and strategy, digital, advertising branding, and creative design as well as social media development across a variety of sectors. Guerilla’s brand proposition is Creative Thinking. Real Results.
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