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?