Stong brands are no lighthouses that can enjoy periods of isolated, uneconomic existence. They are rather like a campfire Strong brands are like a campfire around which people gather and exchange stories and experiences. Brands are a point of attraction and part of a community, they deliver benefits and relationships. So brands are also a cultural service. Everyone today seriously involved in brands and brand management is thus a brand culture creator at the same time. The monocausal brand management of the past – here the interpretive sovereignty of the company as transmitter, there the faithful target group as receiver – is finished. In its place has come the sociocultural negotiation in which companies, brands, consumers and the general public meet eye-to-eye. The innovative input of the brand holder thereby increasingly encounters emancipated, self-sufficient brand adopters, who feed their own ideas into the brand. Only in this way will the brand be invigorated and strengthened long-term.
In order to realise the full potential of brands, brand managers must increasingly transform themselves into community managers. They have to treat the brands in their trust with respect. Strong brands are independent entities with extremely vital identities. Their clearly recognisable otherness, their unmistakeable values, attitudes and benefits have to be identified, developed and maintained. That makes them stand out against the competition and ensures demonstrable economic success. At the same time, the demands of the community must be recognised, openly considered and turned to good use.
To convince entrepreneurs and people responsible for brands of the significance of a change of perspective in brand management, and to show the possibilities to successfully shape this process, are part of my work as a brand coach. With the analytical tool profilingbrands, different value perceptions about the brand can, for example, be measured. The insights gained from this flow into concrete recommendations for brand development.