Buzz? or Brand Sense 2011

Buzz. Brand. Buzz? Well, many in business will tell an agency that the idea of building brand is buzz, it’s fluff, it’s smoke and mirrors…

Okay, so if the term “brand” is carelessly and simply used to substantiate an agency’s conversation across the conference table…we agree. But, truth be told, many businesses overlook the essence of brand. Many do not have a firm grasp of what sets their business apart from the competition or how to build brand and reinforce it.

What is your unique position? How is it represented online, in print, on broadcast, through employees and the offices in which they work?…Well, if you don’t know, perhaps you should consider “brand” and consider how best to build it for the long-term success of your business or organization. To help, here’s preview of branding and marketing trends for 2011 from

1) Value is What the Consumer Says It Is

Excessive spending, even on sale items, will continue to be replaced by a reason-to-buy at all. Only the consumer can tell you for sure. The appearance of ubiquity will be trouble for brands with no authentic meaning, whether high or low-end.

2) Brand, Meet Value

Brands will increasingly become a surrogate for “value.” What makes goods and services valuable will increasingly be what’s wrapped up in the brand and what consumers believe the brand means.

3) Zappos-ification

Marketers will have to comprehend what really drives their categoy, know what consumers really expect, and where to focus both process and brand efforts. Yes, Zappos sells shoes – but their brand equity lies primarily in the emotional driver of “service” – how they get shoes to customers and accept returns.

4) Ethosnomics

Brands increasingly must stand for something beyond just rational items. Brands can’t, however, just “stand for” the cause du jour. Doing what others do, just because they’re doing it, won’t work very long or very effectively. Corporate social responsibility efforts will need to be believable, sustained, and engaging. Some of the strongest will come from those brands that connect the public and the personal in today’s financially-strained world.

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