Brand assets and touch points are like words in a sentence. By themselves they might have their own independent meaning, but when combined they add up to convey a larger meaning and message or voice. Everything a brand says or does has an impact on a brand’s voice.
Historically brands and the business they represent were viewed by the general public simply as a business, with basic economic and strategic issues to deal with. However, right now we are witnessing a shift in the way consumers think about brands. Consumers are now seeing brands more as living, breathing entities with personalities and voices all their own. As a result, brands are being asked to act more like good citizens and have an overall net positive impact on the world or at the very least to limit their negative impact.
It wasn’t that long ago that the majority of consumers had no clue about a product’s life cycle. They didn’t know or care where their food came from. They had no idea what a brand’s policy on energy was or if it was “green.” Consumers didn’t think about human rights issues in the factories of the developing world.
Fast forward a decade or two. Thanks to the Internet and its 24/7 fact-sharing availability, consumers are much more informed about all facets of the way brands do business—and they have learned to care. As for brands, it’s not just about earning a merit badge and sleeping well at night. Being responsible and working in a sustainable manner is seen as an aid to business growth and attracting top talent.
Managed brand assets such as ads, packaging, websites, etc. communicate your message to the consumer. As such, they need to help reinforce a brand’s citizenship initiatives. When the consumer knows more about the good work your brand is doing in the world, brands improve the chance that consumers will select your brand over a competitor. But they need to hear it in your voice.
Design Forum addressed retail’s growing complexity as the first company to integrate analytics-based brand strategy into its business model.
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