It goes without saying that branding is one of the most challenging areas in marketing. Used deftly, branding has the potential to transform the fate of businesses like never before. The phenomenon of branding has many concepts that bear on how we partake in brand marketing. Brand purpose and brand experience are two fundamental concepts.
Let’s gather some interesting insights on the brand’s purpose:
- The brand purpose is central to the way a brand is ideated.
- While the vision, mission, and values help ideate the brand, brand purpose serves as the crucial foundation for the branding edifice.
- Brand purpose presents the higher vision that brands represent, which is usually beyond the mundane elements of profits, products, and services.
The brand purpose emerges at the convergence of three crucial elements viz:
- What the world needs,
- What you are good at, and
- What are you passionate about.
Brand purpose echoes the sentiment of modern customers who are no longer content buying from profit-seeking entities. A 2017 study by Edelman revealed that about 50% of consumers worldwide are belief-driven buyers. This means that consumers tried brands for the first time only when they agreed with the brand’s positioning on issues that were close to their hearts. This singular discovery revealed the powerful role that brand purpose plays in helping form a brand’s image. Customers are keen to see that brands stand for the values they resonated with.
Brand purpose has several aspects that must be aligned for it to be successful. For instance, the first aspect is to ensure that the team members believe in the brand’s purpose. When your team is excited about the purpose, you deploy it effectively in your communications, design, marketing, and other things. Once the team is aligned, you will have the arsenal to project the brand purpose to the external world.
At the end of it all, the purpose of a brand is to reveal a much deeper purpose, one that appeals to people emotionally. When consumers realize the larger social goal that the brand represents, the perception changes and helps build a stronger attachment to it. Articulating the brand purpose is a thoughtful exercise and requires ingenuity, as the brand purpose has to blend with the product or service that the brand offers. For instance, if you are in the educational business, your brand purpose might be to help shape students’ future.
The brand purpose is different from the brand promise and the social promise. The brand promise clarifies what to expect from the products or services while the social purpose, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), talks about the brand’s community contribution. A brand can give away a lot of money to charity, but it still does not say anything about what the brand stands for. Overall, the brand’s purpose adds value to the lives of customers and society as a whole. Brand purpose builds a more emotional relationship between a brand and its consumer. Brand purposes also help differentiate your brands from competitors.
The brand’s purpose should not be seen as a one-off marketing stunt but as a guiding light. A compelling brand purpose puts customers at the forefront of everything. However, the brand purpose may not resonate with all buyers but with your specific demographic group.
Let’s now examine the other crucial component of branding – the brand experience. The concept of brand experience is about the feelings of users when they engage or interact with the brand. Since all individuals carry unique experiences and associations, brand experience is subjective and varies from person to person. In essence, brand experience consists of all sensations, thoughts, feelings, and reactions to a brand.
Modern marketers try to develop consistent brand experiences across diverse media channels. A seamless brand experience can tremendously boost the prospects of brands.
But how exactly does brand experience help organizations? The brand experience offers positive experiences that enable deeper connections. These connections, in turn, help deliver powerful results. When the brand experience is positive, it signifies a win over competitors and business growth. The impact that brand experiences leave behind compels successful companies to go out of their way to craft and deploy impressive brand experiences.
Consistency is paramount for effective brand experiences. Consistency enhances brand recognition and develops lasting customer relationships. At times, companies tend to ignore consistency and exhaust all their resources on offering a handful of big brand experiences. However, the best strategy is to embrace the middle road while offering brand experiences.
Interestingly, both brand experience and user experience share certain similarities and dissimilarities. In user experience, we talk of individuals’ takeaways from their interaction with a brand. And every user experience will bring about a positive brand experience.
Brand experience can be seen as experiential marketing that carries a diverse and holistic set of conditions to influence how customers feel about a particular product, service, or company. Consumers interact with brands using different modes. This is why companies try to create an overall atmosphere of goodwill and trust so that there is an association between the brand and a specific set of emotions. Brand experience is all about creating a long-lasting sensory experience. This engagement with consumers helps bring about brand loyalty.
Designing good brand experiences requires adequate preparation, such as understanding the wants and needs of customers. Brand marketers must understand how senses and human experience share a strong symbiotic relationship. These styles and types are largely dependent on cultural contexts and the changing needs of consumers. To succeed, we must understand these complexities.
~ Dr Asim Chowdhury, Consultant for Global Enterprises
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