Since 1876, when Bass Ale was the first company ever to come out with a Brand Icon and establish itself amongst the consumers with a differentiation value, innumerous other companies realized the importance of creating a brand and has been following it. Coca-Cola as a brand has become the most known in the entire world and alongside has been the leader in its product category in context to its sales. How does it relate? – Simple answer: those brands who have been consistent have earned trust of their consumers with cultivating brand integrity.
In Nepal, it’s a little over two decades when companies started creating brands for the product/service they have been offering. Initially, creating a brand was all about a logo/icon, graphic, colors, fonts. Gradually as the understanding enhanced, brand philosophy and values were given more importance while creating a brand. However, with in-depth learning, companies have only worked upon the initial phase of brand – that is creation and have been focused profit driven solely.
It’s high time for companies to realize that a brand is not only about a logo or color value it carries but also the eccentric mission values that the company moves forward with. Albeit creating a brand requires deeper thought process, maintaining it consistently over a period of time requires more than just being creative thinker. Following pointers helps us explore the challenges in maintaining a brand.
Consistency of communication strategy is what consumers adapt to perceive the values of the brand the company has been offering. From the start, the brand image should be tied to the core values and mission the company wants to represent amongst the audience. The tonality of the communication and the campaign building strategy should always be consistent. If a drastic shift in same is realized, the general audience would not understand the value and would be in a state of dilemma in perception.
Nike and Coca-Cola are amongst few global examples who have remained consistent with their communication strategy. Although these companies have changed their thematic representation over time, the strategy of communication has remained consistent. This has led to a strong perception and recall factor in their minds.
The above question now carries a heavy weightage in the field of marketing and advertising. All these years a marketer always thought of a B2C (Business to Consumer) plan, where the brand was represented to the consumers. However, the perception game plan has recently shifted. Now, the time has come when the consumers need to realize how they are associated with the brand the company offers?
Brands will now need to maintain in the strategy of how it can be associated to one’s day-to-day life. This can be attained with regular research on the changing taste and preferences of the targeted audience. This will answer the buyer’s persona to understand the linking process to one’s life.
Integrated marketing strategyis the key to success while maintaining a brand. With the increasing touch-point media platforms, a brand cannot be left alone on a particular platform irrespective of the fact of how big the medium is, to ensure the targeted audience is reached on repeat basis.
Integrated Marketing is a unified approach to strategize marketing plans to have a seamless approach in blending the communication mix as a combined force. Integrated Marketing constitutes a plan that is holistic in nature and the brand is driven through all marketing platforms available.
Manipulation in information is vehemently opposed by the audience. Infomercials have a bad reputation partly because the products featured are often long on promises and short on results. This in turn leads to question mark on a brands credibility.
To maintain a brand over a long period, honesty and openness is a must to foster integrity of the customers. If the customer cannot trust the communication it consumes, the brand perception can never be upgraded or as a matter of fact leads to declination eventually.
Consistency in maintaining a brand is a vital process. The external as well as internal brand image depends on the strategy the company opts for. The brand should always carry the eccentric message of the mission the company holds onto to foster both loyalty and recognition.
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