Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

While great brands are built on memorable customer experience, a recently published Forrester report says that amazing brands are built on resonance. A brand that resonates with its consumers, claims the report, will create lasting engagements and build communities.

The report, titled “From Great to Amazing: Building brands with enduring resonance” by Dipanjan Chatterjee, points out that brands with the ability to create communities have done a fine job – an engaged community will build your brand for you – as long as the community has a reason to do so. This goes beyond providing functional excellence and is about forging strong emotional connections.

A brand’s power in today’s world lies with its consumers. How people perceive a brand is no longer within the control of the brand, nor is it created by its messaging; rather it is created by the people who are experiencing that brand.

Previously the mandate of the marketing professional was to build brand awareness. Today, the focus needs to be shifted to building relationships, which is what will create brand awareness among consumers through word of mouth and recommendation within their communities.

Within this new landscape, says the report, it is no longer the brands with the biggest budgets that make the most noise, but rather those that create the most disruption. Some of the newer start-up brands, (the report uses the example of Airbnb) have already created strong brand presence through nontraditional media platforms before they even thought of advertising on TV.

Creating a brand that resonates with its consumers has become key in terms of the brand-building process. Resonance is what shifts a simple one-off interaction with a brand into a relationship. The first step is to create a positive experience, one that ensures the brand delivers on its promises.

However, creating resonance is more than a good brand experience, which means nothing without the development of an emotional attachment. Without that emotional connection, consumers have no reason to choose one brand over another that offers the same product or service.

Ultimately, it is the emotional attachments that brands build with their consumers that result in the creation of loyal communities. A community has a shared bond, and this is what creates the shift from sterile brand transaction to meaningful engagement.

For brands to be able to create and engage with communities, they must stand for something. The idea of marketing with a purpose is not a new one, but it is important. Brands that have created communities are generally ones that have become defined by their cause, as opposed to merely trying to tick a box. Moreover, they play a relevant role in the lives of their consumers, which gains them entry into their communities.

Finally, it is brands that are able to change the conversation that create resonance. The report reveals that all too often, brand communication becomes what it terms “lethargic”. When this takes place, it represents an ideal opportunity to create a shift in the existing conversation and create resonance.

The big take-out: According to a recently published Forrester report, to build an amazing brand one needs to create resonance. This is done by delivering a positive experience, building an emotional attachment, creating a community and driving engagement.

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