…yes, stay with me for a moment, we will be talking about brands (with an ‘r’ in it) but first I want to consider the phrase ‘bandwagon (no ‘r’) effect’.
According to Wikipedia ‘the bandwagon effect is the tendency of an individual to acquire a particular style, behaviour or attitude because everyone else is doing it’.
This effect is actually the opposite of what I’m going to coin as the ‘brandwagon effect’, as brands need to form their own identity, be unique, and not simply be followers.
Imagine for a moment if all brands within one category were to have the exact same offer of products, services, logos and…even name (aka brand)! Lucky for us, intellectual property and consumer laws exist to ensure this can’t occur so that we, as consumers, can enjoy a differentiated range of products from an equally diverse range of businesses.
ENDURANCE TACTICS FOR YOUR BRAND
David Ogilvy, the ‘Father of Advertising’ once described a brand as ‘the intangible sum of a product’s attributes’, a marketing spin on Aristotle’s ‘the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.’ Brand strategy is about putting a long-term plan together that takes all of those parts into account, and enables implementation, measurement and improvement.
So for individuals and companies out there working on your brand strategy, here are 4 must-haves:
- Competitive awareness
- Change management
A purpose or a promise is integral to a brand. It needs to be unique to the brand owner and as Simon Sinek, the inspirational motivational speaker articulates, there must be a ‘why’. And this why needs to enable customers and potential customers alike to engage with the brand, with storytelling and narrative techniques being so important in current day marketing.
2. COMPETITIVE AWARENESS
As the header suggests, a brand owner needs to be aware of the competition, however not driven by the competition. To simply implement a ‘me-too’ brand strategy is not sufficient in today’s environment. Consumer needs must be at the forefront of a brand, and a point of difference tapping into your ‘why’ is essential to being a successful brand-led business.
Your brand’s personality must shine through in all communications and be aligned to the greater brand purpose. Consistency is key (tone of voice, imagery, colours, etc.) across all communications whether online or offline, print, or in person. Style guides and other templates can be important tools to enable the creation, and ongoing use, of brand assets.
4. CHANGE MANAGEMENT
As we’ve all discovered throughout 2020, change, and the way to acknowledge it and respond to it, can be a vital skill for brand owners to have in their toolkit. Being able to adjust, be flexible, and nimble, all whilst keeping ‘on brand’ and of relevance to your target market, can mean the difference between brands thriving or not.
BACK ON THE BANDWAGON
So revisiting the term ‘bandwagon’, another definition of it according to Oxford Languages is
- (especially formerly) a wagon used for carrying a band in a parade or procession
and if we again pop a ‘brand’ spin on it, we can think of an alternative meaning of ‘brandwagon’ as a wagon used for carrying a brand in a parade or a procession. Then taking it a step further, 360South – we are the wagon, and our knowledgeable team of branding experts can assist you with everything ‘brand’ that you need to keep your brand/s succeeding in the parade of brands out there!