TBWA Zimbabwe, in partnership with Wunderbrand, recently held a brand masterclass in Harare. The masterclass unpacked how to build brands in an emerging market, including brand strategy and brand architecture. Many brands make the mistake of considering reputation management as a function that is divorced from branding principles. Nicholas Kuhne, founder and CEO of Wunderbrand, shared 3 insights that every brand must consider for both brand vitality and building a strong reputation.
Emotional Connection is Critical
A brand needs to have an emotional connection with its customers- that\’s what differentiates a brand from a product. Similarly, the emotions of the public mould your brand’s reputation. To build a strong reputation, your audience must connect emotionally to how you appear and behave as a brand. This is where functions such as stakeholder engagement and stakeholder mapping prove themselves to be crucial. Do you understand what your stakeholders expect from your brand in the first place? Once you have this understanding, you are able to craft your messages and approach accordingly. From there, you can build a genuine emotional bond.
Be Consistent on all Brand Touchpoints
Remember that consumers want to experience brands as a series of seamless, connected experiences. This means that a brand must appear in a consistent manner on every platform it encounters its publics. Don\’t have great service on social media but terrible service in your branch. In order to build a strong, positive reputation that customers believe is genuine and reliable, make the effort to be consistent. Consistency covers a lot of areas, from behavior of staff and customer experience to the look and feel of a brand across media. Pay attention to consistent branding and your reputation will also reap the benefits.
Think Bigger on Brand Proposition
Some brands fail to harness the power of a strong brand proposition. A brand’s proposition helps answer the question: what is the most inspiring and compelling thing we can say about our brand, which differentiates us from our competitors? Characteristics like quality and great service are hygiene factors that should always be present in a successful business. Do not use them as a brand proposition. When your brand proposition appeals to the hearts and minds of your customers, this creates an opportunity to have an emotional bond. As you build a positive reputation, your brand proposition will be mentally reinforced in the customer’s mind. Brands beware- if your reputation is weak, your customers will compare your actions to your words and vocally express their opinions. Think big for your brand and be prepared to invest in building the reputation that will support your brand proposition.
To read more insights from the TBWA Wunderbrand Brand Masterclass, follow the hashtag #BrandMasterclassZW on Twitter.
Stephanie Taderera is a Content Executive at Magna Carta Reputation Management Consultants. For more information and business enquiries, contact us today.