Brand building, social media and customer loyalty

In this always-on world of ours where your competition can be next door on the high street or equally on the other side or the world, and its increasingly difficult to get heard in any meaningful way, brands are here to simplify, codify and ultimately be that short hand code that encapsulates ‘our offer’ for us.

Conceived with this ultimate destination in mind, they enable us to build systems and structures within our marketing and comms that we can use to bond with our customers more effectively and personally. To help them understand who we are, what our products and services are and why that is positive and relevant for them.

In this way, a strong, consistent brand provides a sense of collective leadership, involvement, identity and values to people inside and outside an organisation, and at its very best is stronger and stretches further than the categories it came from.

Nike and Apple’s cultural status are examples of where brand has become much more than ‘sophisticated’ product marketing. The products of Google and Amazon are not thought of as just consumer services any more; they are products of life. Updating your Facebook status on the train to work or stopping off at Starbucks for that morning shot, reveal that many of us now dance to the rhythm of our brands.

And what of social media and the technologies that have created our new digital world – are they not sounding the death knell for the traditional brand marketer? In this humble authors view they haven’t really changed any of that. Social and its cohorts have always had us and our foibles at heart. Understand people and their behaviour, and you will quickly see the commercial and brand opportunities.

If you can do this your brand will be in a good position to create the positive connections that will become lasting, sustainable and loyal customer relationships. And this is brand loyalty – the true value of brand.