The number of brands in the world is increasing rapidly. With that, you would think there would be a renewed effort to think about brand strategy, brand positioning etc. as the key to differentiation and the driver of corporate strategy, since research shows as much 33% of the valuation of public companies is linked to their brand. Just look at the companies with high two of the highest valuations in technology -- Apple and Google -- and think about how good they are at creating, enhancing and expanding their brands. Heck, we are so impressed by these brands that we don't even focus much on their mistakes or failures. We buy into their vision and are left in awe of their inventiveness.
These are, what the authors of a great article entitled "The Trouble with Brands," define as "energized brands." The article was published in Booz Allen's magazine Strategy + Business.
The article is well worth reading as it presents both a strong point of view and rare analytical data regarding brands (the authors developed and use Y&R's Brand Asset Valuator tool). But to summarize it , energized brands are comprised of three major components:
1. Vision. Brands with vision embody a clear direction and point of view on the world. They convey what they’re on this planet to achieve.
2. Invention. Brands that score high in invention change how people feel and the way they behave.
3. Dynamism. Brands with dynamism create excitement in the marketplace through the way they present themselves to consumers. Dynamism is the most emotional and immediately visible of the three components. It reflects the brand’s ability to inspire consumer affinity.
Clearly consumer brands are more the sweet spot for this, but you only need to overlay these three aspects as a lens to see how Apple, Google and a handful of other brands elevate themselves above the thousands of others that compete for our attention, our engagement and our loyalty. It is not just about marketing or communications to manipulate a brand. It is about vision, planning, aligning products with unmet needs in the market and defining the right customer for the product. And it only works when there is passion for excellence balanced by a culture that understands failing at times is part of the process of innovation -- as IDEO, the terrific market leader in engineering and design, likes to say, "fail often to succeed sooner!"