In the age of the customer, digitally empowered consumers are no longer sitting back waiting for brands to talk to them. They are seizing newfound opportunities on digital platforms to voice their wants, needs, and expectations. And data from our Consumer Technographics® panel shows that, in 2012, consumers expect more from brands. For example, they expect brands to create indispensable value and contribute to society. 

But marketers are struggling to keep up with these changing consumer needs and higher expectations. They are disoriented in a world where they are losing influence with their consumers, losing control of their brand messages, and losing trust with consumers. Why? Because they are using old guidebooks and road maps that were designed for a traditional advertising world.  

To guide marketing leaders into this fast-changing brand-building terrain, the CMO & Marketing Leadership research team has created a playbook on how  to successfully build a 21st century brand. The collection of reports in the playbook will help you to:

·       Discover why, as a marketing leader, you must adapt your brand to consumers’ higher standards across this new brand-building landscape and must learn how to make a business case for investing in brand building. 

·       Plan for a new brand experience across all consumer touchpoints, from communications to retail experiences to products; a strategic plan to bring your vision to life and a road map to get you there.

·       Act to energize the whole organization toward the brand’s true north. In the 21st century, brand building requires an organization-wide effort across every department – from sales and customer service to product. To help guide the way, we share best practices of brands that are already spearheading a path onto their renewed brand-building journey.

·       Optimize the brand experience and monitor your brand health. Brand building is a long term commitment and an iterative process that requires ongoing management to maintain a healthy brand.

So where do you start your brand-building journey? I recommend beginning with the vision and executive overview. From there, you can jump into the playbook chapter that best fits your stage of brand-building evolution, whether that’s assessing your organization’s capabilities, benchmarking your efforts, or evaluating which agency partners you will need. 

This playbook will be frequently updated. So if you are facing building challenges we haven’t covered, or if you have experiences to share, please let me know. Your feedback will be critical to ensuring that we are meeting your challenges and needs.    

I look forward to hearing your brand-building stories.