What is a successful brand?

Why the status quo of brand tracking is outdated in today’s environment. 

We all know that the world changes at an alarming rate. We’re witnessing an even greater proliferation of brand choice, tech continues to disrupt markets across all sectors, and previously ‘loyal’ consumers are departing in droves from more established brands with the lure of a more seamless, easy purchase experience offered by digital disruptors.

Against this backdrop, therefore, it’s important to ask ourselves, “do the old ways still work?” If what it takes for a brand to succeed has drastically changed, can the old ways of measuring brands still be valid? 

The brand models of yesterday are being stretched to breaking point. We’re seeing a wave of unpredicted brand triumphs and some spectacular shock failures. And it’s happening fast. Look at the speed of growth for Brewdog, Deliveroo and Costa Coffee compared to the demise of high-street mainstays such as the beloved Thomas Cook, Jamie’s Italian and Mamas & Papas. 

These successful brands are built on life-enhancing products and services, as well as delivering distinctive and superior experiences. They create emotional connections and positive memories by inhabiting their consumers’ lives. They become the easy choice in a world where we are spoilt by it. 

This means that what triggers brand growth is shifting. Therefore, the way we measure, track and guide brands must also change. We are in desperate need of new measures that provide relevant insight in this new world.  

Ones that recognise that while marcomms support growth, experience counts for an awful lot too. After all, your brand is not just what you tell people it is! Put simply, consumers do not consider products, experiences and marketing as separate aspects of brand identity anymore – they view each element as being intrinsically connected, and all play a key role in driving brand success.  

But there’s more. New measures must understand why individuals choose one brand over another. What is the reasoning behind behaviour when it comes to brand choice? 

Awareness, positive sentiment and consideration mean nothing if you are not the chosen brand. Which is why understanding the mix of rational, subconscious and emotional drivers of choice are of paramount importance in terms of brand development. 

I’m not saying that existing measures of brand health are wrong or poor, but they only tell part of the story. We need new, complementary measures that truly reflect how brands are seen by consumers today. This is how brands will see the opportunities that lie ahead in our brave new world.