“If what you want your brand to be and what others experience and see do not match, you are in a state of brand delusion. This is the most expensive form of marketing madness, an idiosyncratic belief or impression that is firmly maintained despite being contradicted by what is generally accepted and experienced as reality by your customer segment.” Joan Koerber-Walker
We believe this problem goes well beyond a mismatch between what a brand wishes and the actual experience of the brand’s “customer” segment.
Brand delusion is real for many brands.
We believe everyone vital to a brand’s success, from customers to employees to prospects, etc. are today living in a world in which “what is generally accepted and experienced as reality” does not match up with what most brands “want to be” to these people.
The Why, What, and How of a brand
Of course, for some brands the problem may lie in their “what” – the product or service the offer no longer meets the needs of people.
For others, it may lie in their “how” – the attitudes they convey, the service they provide, the experience they create.
For most brands, the problem certainly lies in their “why” – their purpose, their reason for being, their ambition, the way they intend to improve individuals, communities, society and the planet.
This is significant because people are more and more concerned not only about “what’s in it for me”, they are also considering the impact of what they do has on other people and resources.
This is a shift from “me” to “we” that fundamentally changes the way people view the products and services they buy, who they buy them from and who they work for.
Too few brands have really thought through their “why” and, as a result, are losing ground today and leaving themselves exposed down the road as people continue to become more discerning in terms of the brands they allow into their lives.
We believe brands that have a defined purpose are better able to see how they need to behave in order to be seen – and felt – by people in a way that truly matters.
By acknowledging this change, reaching out in new ways and connecting on more meaningful levels, brands become far more successful today and better fit for the future.
Curious how you can unearth your why? We have written a lot on the subject. Check out our blog for further reading.
Emotive Brand is a San Francisco brand strategy firm.