Branding emerged focused on the need for brands to deliver a distinctive and relevant promise, which had to be communicated in a noticeable way to customers.

Subsequently, he moved from promise to relationship building with the aim of enhancing the aspects that facilitated the creation of emotional bonds. Then it was transformed again, including the brand experience as a really relevant aspect. At the same time, the rise of technology added the need to ensure consistency across all touchpoints; This also led to the need to map out customer journeys.

A New Approach to Brand Governance

But today, this vision is no longer enough to successfully create and manage brands. Technology continues to advance exponentially, the market moves very fast and is very large and heterogeneous. Channels are growing, touchpoints are increasing, very different audiences are being reached… The vision of a brand as static is no longer effective. Nowadays, brands need to adapt, to incorporate fluidity and to evolve as fast as their environment evolves. It changes the way they relate to the market, although it does not alter their essence or their direct relationship with the business strategy.

A new approach is needed to respond to this reality. Welcome to a new era for branding, based on the principles of consistency, flexibility and agility in brand management.

The New Era of Branding and Brand Governance

In this model, consistency remains one of the fundamental premises of branding, although it is now much more complex to apply it with coherence due to the multiplication of points of contact. But in addition to the rigidity of consistency, there is the need for flexibility, understood more as malleability, in order to respond coherently to the often changing needs of the brand’s relationships with its audience. In this equation, agility also appears as a fundamental basis for meeting the demands of a market that demands immediacy.

Implications for Brand Governance

This means that the concept of Brand Governance must acquire a broader perspective, since the function of Brand Managers is to understand, foresee and prepare the brand to connect with its customers; but without forgetting that it is the customers who are in control.

But how do you ensure consistency with flexibility? How to incorporate agility into the DNA of brands? How can relationships be strengthened in the face of a general lack of trust?

A flexible brand is not one that is represented by a chameleon-like identity, nor one that has developed a system of reductions for application to different sizes. We start from the premise that its soul, values and benefits are not altered, since they are the foundations that ensure its flexibility with coherence. However, it is an open management framework that is based on active listening.

responsive and, above all, proactive. It has a high strategic component, which goes beyond the barriers of the merely tactical in the search for solutions that strengthen the ties towards building trust.

An Applied Example of Brand Governance

It seeks to add value by understanding that human emotions change according to external conditions and it is important that brands try to find the right common points for each circumstance.

Let’s look at an example with Apple. If we go to their
consumer site
we will find consistency and transparency conveyed with a clean white appearance that highlights the product above all else. But if we go to Apple Business , we’ll see that the tone changes. The essence of the brand is not altered, the type of message is adapted, which in this case offers professional solutions. Next, let’s go to Apple Music, a friendlier space that connects with the songs that accompany our lives. Apple knows very well how to influence different audiences by adapting each of its channels and prevailing a coherent and clear strategy, which reinforces trust in the brand. At any given time, we could all be a cross-cutting customer for Apple, but what we’re pursuing in each case isn’t exactly the same.

It is true that Brand Governance in the 21st century is full of paradoxes, but like life itself, it never stops evolving. Today it is not enough to achieve a shelf full of red and white cans as Campbell knew how to do with his famous soups. It’s no longer enough to stand out in the supermarket. An approach that creatively knows how to get the maximum potential of the media to strengthen the relationships between brands and people is necessary. It may not be an easy task, but it is very effective.

 

Carlos Puig Falcó

President of Branward®

Photos: Shutterstock


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