A powerful brand not only has to be extremely relevant to prospects, it has to make itself an invaluable and inextricable part of customers' lives as well. In the recent Forrester report called Navigate Your Brand To Resonance: Four Milestones To Brand Building, I outline a road map for CMOs with four clear stops, from salience to resonance, on the road to building a powerful brand. This journey is a must-take road trip for CMOs looking to assess the state of their brand and craft a strategy for taking it to the next step. The milestones are shown in the figure below:
The roadmap traces a deepening connection between brand and consumer built on a foundation of customer-obsessed experience delivery and powerful emotional connections. Good brands succeed in being salient, inducing trial, creating memorable experiences, and forming emotional bonds. Amazing brands do more – they energize the entire brand-consumer relationship in a way that creates a resonant and enduring bond. Brands that achieve this resonance are twice blessed – they reap the rewards of loyalty with existing customers and also set in motion a powerful recommendation engine which feeds the awareness and salience funnel. As Forrester research has consistently shown, word of mouth and recommendations are far more credible than brand-generated paid and earned media.
In the report, I provide several best practices of brands on this journey from salience to resonance; here are a few:
- Kale Is Good For You: JetBlue operates a 24,00 square feet vegetable garden outside Terminal 5 at JFK where they grow potatoes and kale. This commitment to urban green space where school kids will learn about plant life is emblematic of the brand's desire to stand for something bigger than transportation from Point A to B.
- Child's Play. American Girl crafts richly contextualized multi-dimensional experiences between girl, doll, and parent that create memories lasting a life time. American Girl is part of the American family.
- Not Just Another Brick In The Wall. The Lego set on the store shelf could be yours – not as in something you could buy, but as in something you've designed. Lego Ideas is empowerment and engagement at its best, allowing its fans to co-create and be vested in the brand.
Stay tuned for my next report that delves into Brand Resonance and explores three themes about community and engagement that define brand vanguards.