02 August 2018

How to create irreplaceable brands

Branding connected to communications to build and manage value brands

Technological, social and economic revolutions are creating more ephemeral and less relevant brands. As a result, brands are looking for new ways to engage with enterprises and society to guarantee their survival.

Brands can become distorted in their orientation to the market when their implementation disconnects them from the reality that created them, or else because, when being created, were already disconnected from the communities they target. New branding can and should think more about its addressed stakeholders from the start. Below we examine the core issues of a communication-based branding combining a balance between method and intuition.

BRAND DIAGNOSIS

There is no branding without analysis.

We should regularly analyze our brand’s health to find the correlation between how we see ourselves and how others see us.  Only then will we discover the “authenticity of the brand,” on which we can draw up branding opportunities that are better connected to the reality representing a road map aimed toward the growth of the business.

Reality

  • Differentiation (market). Ability to distinguish the brand, products and services over the competitive environment, in a globalized context and where the limits between industries blur.
  • Relevance (stakeholders). Ability to offer consumer value, being capable of interpreting their desires and behaviors and satisfying them by means of tangible and emotional benefits.
  • Clarity (brand). Ability to communicate with precision the position, value proposition and trade offer through different conversation territories generating understanding and connection.

Perception

  • Authenticity (internal vision). Ability to maintain the core element of the brand, showing honesty and transparency.
  • Credibility (external vision). Ability to generate confidence through the value proposition, understanding the brand’s permits and degree of flexibility.

BRAND STRATEGY 

What we are and want to be

In the definition of what we are, why we exist, how we think and what we offer our audiences, the Brand Matrix compiles the most important strategic elements defining the brand.

With regard to the challenges companies face when announcing their goals, a strategic brand position must precede any effective communications position. Since brand strategy is linked to business strategy, it is an essential catalyst of the new communications.

Part of the loss of relevance previously mentioned is due to the idea that we can underpin our brand with a new aesthetic without looking into its inner and human ambition. In times dominated by a desire for adventure and exploring the outside world, detecting a key insight and a differentiating purpose is a declaration in favor of the inside world.

Any product or service can be developed fully until becoming a brand if developed through its own rich social and cultural context, which implies that, in a connected branding strategy, defining the brand and its business target is just as important as the stable conversation masses (for example, in territories such as sports) in which the brand wants to have a story it can apply to specific communities (for example,  runners/extreme sports athletes, etc.), thereby activating the story. The goal is to humanize the brand, execute it in a more relevant way and sophisticate our listening and intelligence system. Thus, we find the way the brand provides conversation environments, which already exist through storytelling and/or storydoing techniques to connect with communities favoring advocacy.

BRAND DESIGN 

The aesthetics of thinking

By providing art to the function as collective interpreters, brand designers equally harness both impulsive and rational methods, because creating a brand is a harmonic connection of two core elements: strategy and design.

According to UNESCO, creative industries are increasingly important to post-industrial economies with a large knowledge component. The current situation shows how enterprises with high world growth internally organize the design function, considering it a relevant feature of their management. Design is already an essential tool for business improvement and differentiation, and it is particularly important in our global culture and in markets and sectors where price competition is a thing of the past. Aesthetics have become a business target.

Designers generate desire, provoke reactions and inspire others. This intimate relationship between design and proposal is preceded by reason in the form of strategy that minimizes confusion and puts us on the right course to design something that is both visually and verbally comprehensible . Design is a bridge between strategic thinking and understanding, and to connect with the market, it should always be geared at reaching the desired business objective. The days when design was used to make something more attractive are in the past. Nowadays design is a way of thinking, and if we understand it is an added value tool like any other, we should develop capabilities for its management.

Ultimately, connected branding pursues a balance between utility and beauty, as well as efficiency and emotion targeted at the needs and expectations of specific communities.

*Photo credits: Cody Davis by Unsplash

authors:
Carlos Magro Martínez-Illecas
Director of the Consumer Engagement Area at LLORENTE & CUENCA
Consultant expert in branding. He previously worked at the global brands consulting firm Interbrand for 12 years, where he led brand management and creativity projects for large consumer clients and large clients in the corporate area. For eight years, he also worked as art director for global advertising agencies such as Leo Burnett and Euro RSCG. Over the course of his career, he has worked for more than 60 national and international leading clients from more than 14 different sectors. He promotes branding as a speaker and professor for universities and business schools in the area of design, fashion and marketing. He also writes pieces for specialized media.
David González Natal
Leader of the Consumer Engagement Area at LLORENTE & CUENCA
David earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the Complutense University of Madrid and Global CCO from ESADE. He has worked for media such as El Mundo and Cadena Ser, and in the press department of the cultural organization Círculo de Bellas Artes in Madrid. Before heading the Consumer Engagement area in LLORENTE & CUENCA, he directed national communication campaigns for brands such as Heineken, Red Bull, Movistar and Ron Barceló for seven years as Senior Coordinator at the Actúa Comunicación agency. As global manager of the area, he coordinates eight markets in LLORENTE & CUENCA (Spain, Portugal, Colombia, Argentina, Mexico, Peru, Brazil and Panama) and has directed emblematic projects for Campofrío, Coca-Cola, Telefónica, Gonvarri, Bezoya and Sacyr. He has received more than 50 awards for his projects, including a Cannes Lions award, two Sol awards, numerous Gold Stevie Awards and several Communicator Awards, SABRE Awards, Mercury Awards and Premios Eikon. Natal is a storytelling lecturer for the master’s program for Corporate Communications at Universidad Carlos III (Madrid) and the Global CCO at ESADE. He also teaches for the master’s program for Visual and Digital Media at IE Business School and the master’s program for Digital Communications at the University of Cantabria (Spain).
Bárbara Ruiz
Manager of the Consumer Engagement Area at LLORENTE & CUENCA
Specialized in the field of branding. She previously worked in different areas of different companies (finance, marketing and foreign trade) which allows her to adopt a holistic vision of brands understanding it as a promise of value that the whole company has to make real through the brand experience. She has taken part in strategic projects working in consulting firms for brands such as CaixaBank, LaLiga, Hitachi Cooling & Heating, Orange, Riu Hotels & Resorts, Foster's Hollywood, Licor 43, Pernod Ricard, Ron Barceló, among others. She has a Master's degree in Brand Management from MSMK, has studied at renowned universities such as Fordham University (New York, USA), Marquette University (Milwaukee), Johannes Kepler University (Linz, Austria) and Boston University (Boston, USA) as well as at ETEA (Córdoba, Spain) where she graduated in Business Administration.
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