Brands that resonate with consumers have stronger brand equity
Resonance is one of the most important elements when it comes to branding. A strong brand is built on the twin pillars of a competitively advantaged positioning and an emotive connection with a customer, says Nando’s chief marketing officer, Doug Place.
“Though that connection is insufficient on its own, it gives the brand the freedom to innovate its products and services beyond the functional reason that the customer is buying it for.”
Brands with deep roots that behave authentically and exist to serve a customer base are best positioned to deliver, and thus receive value from, their market, Place says, adding that without resonance, why should a customer pay any attention to a brand at all?
Building resonance starts with selling products that people want. Nando’s does this with a tasty and healthier menu inspired by deep Afro-Portuguese roots and by using a fun and interesting way to communicate with customers beyond traditional messages of product and price.
“The tone of voice we aim for is slick, smart, funny and uniquely South African,” says Place. “That already achieves a lot of brand resonance for our customers because we position our brand as with, and for, our consumers – not just aimed at them. We are their friends and family, operating in the same life landscape and influenced by the same challenges and opportunities as they are,” he says.
“In addition, when we create advertising, we start with a customer insight, where we try to position Nando’s as a brand that can shine a light on, alleviate, solve, support, or at least entertain the customer’s issue,” Place says, adding that the brand cares about the same things the country cares about – it’s proud when the country wins sports fixtures, sad when local heroes pass away and mad when those in charge don’t take care of things as best they can and should.
Advertising, or good advertising, should build a bridge between what the brand does and can offer, and what the customer needs or wants. Nando’s builds resonance by doing that with humour, Place says. Brands that have not been consistently building resonance with customers are unlikely to connect meaningfully with them during tougher times, when consumers default to good deals and lower prices.
“Marketing is a part-art, part-science profession that involves both looking back at history, which is what most professions do, and looking forward into an as yet unrealised future, which is what very few people are tasked do,” Place points out.
“All this is done while championing the consumer. A marketer is the ambassador for – and the voice of – the customer in any business that they serve. It’s a marketer’s job to marshal the company’s resources to meet the customer’s needs, and possibly exceed them, so they always come back – hopefully sooner and more frequently – because they are the ones upon which the company truly depends. This also puts us in the scary but exciting position of being the harbingers of what’s next. We try to look after our company’s future.”
Nando’s is a sponsor of the SA Marketing Resonance Award at the 2022 Marketing Achievement Awards. The SA Marketing Resonance Award recognises a brand that has managed to tap into a truly SA insight. The entrant does not have to be an SA brand, but must resonate with a uniquely SA point of view.
Entries need to show the use of a truly SA insight used to design an impactful campaign, illustrate how the insight was applied effectively and seamlessly, and demonstrate how the insight is in line with the overall brand purpose.
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the big take-out:
Good advertising should build a bridge between what the brand does and can offer and what the customer needs or wants.
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