Building a brand used to be simple. You launched a new brand, spent oodles of money on TV adverting, set a price which you knew the consumer would like and deliver upon the brand's promise. Voila.
Not any more. According to Yankelovich, a market research firm, a person living in a city is likely to see 5,000 messages a day from brands - 30 years ago, it was estimated a person saw only 2,000 messages. Therefore, it is very difficult for brands to cut through the clutter and get the important share of mind and time.
In addition, the choice we have is huge and switching from one brand to another is every easy. Therefore brands must constantly and consistenly keep the consumer interested, not giving them a reason to walk away. Brands should ensure that they share similar values to their target consumer. They need to create communities around themselves which the consumer wants to be part of, and allow the consumer to be part of the conversation.
To do this, it is important to have a clear and relevant brand purpose. This purpose should be focused and express the ambition of the brand. It should be something which consumers want to be part of and associated with.
A couple of good examples of clear and well articulated brand purposes:
Proctor and Gamble: "to touch lives and improve the lives of the world’s consumers". The company expects each of its brands to define how it uniquely touches and improves the lives of the people that it serves. For example, Pamper's brand purpose is for "a baby’s happy and healthy development.
Google: "To organise the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful"
Apple: "To empower creative exploration and self expression"
Special K: "To help you get to and stay at the weight that you want"
Stella Artois: "Fosters taste for a life well lived"
The Body Shop: "Enrich, not exploit"
Clearly just creating a solid brand purpose is a very simplistic viewpoint, but it is the critical starting point to all other elements of brand building.
Yankelovich market research
Proctor on Purpose, Marc Pritchard of Procter & Gamble seeks deeper brand meaning