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Brand Identity Value: Is it Dead?

Brand Identity Value - Is it Dead?

Brand Identity Value: Is it Dead?

A recently shared post written by a colleague about branding promise hit a nerve among marketing professionals. Brand identity value has been a growing cause of concern and debate among those who are in charge of managing and growing brands. Let me say this:

Branding is not dead. And brand identity value is very much alive and changing.

What is required for developing and building a brand identity has evolved. This should not come as a surprise…  the market landscape that brands have to communicate effectively in has changed. In the post outlining the importance of brand promise cited above, some felt that the evolving customer journey had left brand, brand identity value and brand premise in the dust. But how accurate is that?

The popularity of social media combined with brand advocates are at the crux of the changing market environment. The customer journey has become a key factor in the implementation of any successful strategies involving brand development and increasing brand identity value. Suffice to say that the  social media channel has allowed for the rise of so many niche communities within the social media arena enabling relevant brand advocates. In order to resonate with the evolving and very “vocal” consumer, brand makers and the art of branding itself have been forced to forge new ground.

The fact that consumers now have a voice and can easily “hurt” a brand is true. But the flip side to that argument is that consumers can also use their voice to propel a brand forward. Marketers and the brands who embrace that knowledge while treading cautiously within this channel can reap substantial brand identity wins.

The premise of brand identity value has become increasingly dimensional as it now encompasses brand voice and brand tone to round out its brand persona. No longer are those characteristics reserved to a few brands with hefty budgets. Today any brand, big or small, can dive in and become a dimensional brand. That doesn’t mean that adherence to the basics of building a brand and its identity should go by the wayside – quite the opposite. Due to the immediacy of social media and the often reactionary, volatile nature of the channel, the establishment of brand identity, its guidelines and adherence to character and tone play a significant role in achieving and building a relevant brand identity.

So what do you feel is necessary for a brand to do to keep up its value and relevancy in this market environment?

Miriam Hara

Author: Miriam Hara

Miriam is the Chief Creative Officer and co-founder of 3H Communications Inc., a full service branding and advertising agency. Her experience has enabled her to bring together strategic business savvy with an all-encompassing creative vision to product and service marketing, which she shares here, in her many posts. Join the conversation, register here. Miriam’s own brand of marketing experience and expertise is the basis of her marketing ebook series including Social Media Understood, the most recent addition. Download it here. You can also find Miriam on Google +.

Comments ( 3 )

  • I would agree wholeheartedly. Any suggestion that branding or brand identity is “dead” is comparable to suggesting that people no longer have personalities. By definition, companies will always have brands and therefore a brand identity to manage.

    If I may paraphrase what Miriam mentions above, the question is whether the brand identity is being manged completely throughout the organization and therefore throughout the customer experience, and whether it is being managed consistently and consciously. The rise of social media and the impact of the consumer’s ability to share their thoughts and opinions about a brand or a brand experience means that marketing and consumer engagement is no longer a one-way, top-down conversation. This is indeed a challenge, especially given that in our current media focused society drama is king, and dissatisfied customers tend to be much more vocal than satisfied customers.

    However, therein lies the opportunity, as well: many of the best opportunities that companies now have before them lie in how they respond to negative feedback. Companies that respond quickly, honestly, graciously, and consistently will continue to build trust and therefore brand. Companies that respond defensively, inconsistently, or worse – not at all, will continue to lose market share.

    • Miriam Hara

      Hi Scott
      Thanks for commenting so eloquently! You’re definitely on the mark about the opportunity lies with how companies and brands respond to negative feedback. I believe it has always been the case… but now with social media, the immediacy and impact of negative comments can have a greater impact.

  • Well said Miriam. The need for brands to stand out in an overcrowded marketplace is paramount. A strong brand identity, that is also well managed, can mean the difference between a brands survival and its demise.

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