The Resonant Brand Challenge

Resonant Brands Lead

Resonant brands lead, outside of functional monopolies, demonstrating why brand image & identity is important, and there’s value in exploring how to create a powerful brand identity.

Powerful Brand

Considerations of how to create a powerful brand identity center on, but go beyond the visual. Resonant brands ring true and are indispensable to the view that customers hold of themselves and the lives they enrich and are a part of, and such exemplify holistic brands.  They become a perceptual and positioning monopoly in the minds of those who use them, who will espouse them and advocate them. They are used and spoken of with confidence and become stronger for that. The secret is to ensure that what happens behind the facade of the brand aligns with the brand’s stated values and that operational snafus do not pollute or otherwise damage the brand image.

The Power behind the brand

This is why it is so important to treat staff as the business’s first line customers and to value their contributions and feedback, indeed to seek it out and validate it.  Businesses need to regard how they do business and the value chain for delivering their offering, as just as important as how it is presented and promoted in order to become super brands. Only holistic, resonant brand has the best chance of becoming a super brand.

Resonant brands are the sum total and synergy of all  tangibles and intangibles that contribute  to build and propel the business and to promote the brand , so that done  right, they can beome super brands, holistic brands that align  their actions to their values.

Businesses that value their brands are more likely to have Resonant Brands

Successful companies understand the desirability of having resonant brands in order to claim and retain market share. They understand why brand image is important. They have no doubt about why brand image is important and go to great lengths to define and protect these. Resonant brands are those that suggest a story that agrees and aligns with a perception that the target audience has and likes to perpetuate. They understand the role of storytelling and have expended a lot of resources considering how to create a powerful brand identity and following the steps to do so.

Businesses value their brands highly because their position and power in the market are inextricably linked to their brand, and they understand that for their customers, the brands themselves command deep and complex psychological and emotional attachments. Attachments that are near impossible to replicate or duplicate, making a resonant brand priceless.

However, it sometimes takes very little to break the loyalty to your brand – the brand’s exposure in every customer interaction forms part of the customer’s overall experience. This means there are risks in every interaction that attention to the customer experience can help to mitigate. Brand promises are often made seemingly in a vacuum that the business processes don’t bridge, which mean process and conduct should have parallel brand protection and CX focus. The ways that the business works and how your business offerings are delivered has a large impact on the customer and your business’s relationship with them that should not be overlooked.

Resonant brands get why brand image and identity are important and ultimately how to build a powerful brand - The beat of your own drum

Why Brand Image is Important

Your brand image = perception, the perception in the minds of your target audience and prospects, with the clear implication that you must know who your customers are to reach them and invest in the relevant research and positioning activities. It’s worth it because Brand image helps build bonds with your customers as a basis for string attachments, relationship and advocacy. It is based on a perception your business wants to build in the minds of your customers which helps to delineate your positioning. It’s anchored physically and visibly by your branding – brand identity, which some small businesses can find difficult to justify spending on.

Understanding the link to a strong brand, and hence why brand image is important, should help to change this view. The right branding as an anchor to a brand image that bolsters a resonant brand is the justification for investment in branding. Image is critical to resonance as it’s where the idea of the emotional attachments discussed above are born and nurtured.

Why Brand Identity is Important

Branding differentiates and creates primary markers for identity distinct from your competitors, and encapsulates your brand personality, attitude and values for the purpose of appealing to and attracting your target audience. It also aids recognition immensely and as your business’s identity, it’s the visual representation of your business to the world. Done well and driving the factors of effective branding, it is a fundamental brand asset and goes beyond your logo.

It really is important to consider when and how to build a powerful brand identity because an effective brand identity is dependent on your brand image, and of course, positioning and perception as mentioned above but also undoubtedly enables communication of all of these, as well as brand personality. It also importantly acts a trigger and touchpoint for your brand’s promise and values.

Finally, and intuitively, another reason why brand identity is important is related to your business’s bottom line – by ensuring recognition and fostering differentiation, brand identity definitely helps to drives favourable impressions about and preference for your offering.

Organisational Change should be Brand Aligned

Having mastered how to create a powerful brand identity, and built resonance with all the factors below, businesses do often squander their hard-won resonance and brand equity when they undergo change and transformations that focus on their operations and human resources. Change programmes can improve operations and functional processes but routinely overlook the impact of internal operational processes, their structure and sequence, on the customer experience. They notoriously take a system view of the challenges and end up with siloed and fragmented operating models that may not translate to a seamless customer experience, an immediate threat to the ability to be a resonant brand. Our holistic brand approach to change management and transition ensures that the link between the internal processes and the outward promises does not fail.

This is why we believe that transformation must be undertaken with the protection, enhancement and promotion of the brand at the forefront of all change considerations.

Customers and clients are agnostic of functions and architecture that make their consumption choices and patterns possible and crave simple, straightforward and responsive interaction in all situations. Businesses, therefore, need to take a customer view to problem-solving and change implementation, driven by brand and CX principles.

Procedures to address all permutations of potential and catastrophic risk scenarios must exist for all key operations, with the right mix of actions, communications and PR for adverse or catastrophic events planned, implemented and rehearsed, ready to be deployed to palliate the impact of any such events, no matter how unlikely, if your goal is to have an enduringly resonant brand.

The Main Characteristics of Resonant Brands

The brand resonance challenge is to synergise the brand purpose and promise to the business process by linking and mapping components of one to the other throughout all key aspects of the business. Processes and operating models not born of brand values, produce silos and experiential vacuums for your biggest asset, your customer. Customers must be the ultimate focus of all transformation, whether the transformation trigger is regulatory, operational or otherwise. There are many common examples of events that erode brand loyalty and power. Omissions, actions or lack thereof, from front line staff, due to inadequate training, knowledge or cultural issues, failure of a support function or lack of information, or even the lack of an adequately scoped and enriched risk management and so on.

 

The key,  therefore to creating resonance is to ensure that the following factors, discussed in another blog, exist and are built into the business to brand alignment.

Resonant brands all share these attributes and leaders must do their utmost to protect them:

1) Relevant                                2) Resilient                                3) Remarkable                   4) Robust                               5) Recognisable

6) Recallable                             7) Reliable                                 8) Relatable                      9) Authentic                         10) Purpose Driven

The variables are numerous, and clearly not limited to the brand image and identity, and are critical to your brand’s performance in the market place and on maintaining your grip on your competitive prowess. Iconify exists to close this gap – to help your company positively and directly link critical activities that are potentially hazardous to brand performance as part of transformation projects to provide an extra level of assurance that safeguards brand integrity and resonance.

Chinenye Ikwuemesi
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