As consultants we spend a lot of time building, thinking, and evaluating the strength of brands. We have to realize that we are mirroring what the consumer is doing as part of their purchase decision-making. Living in a world polluted with advertising, we are saturated with spam, tweets, status updates, and general emails that have gone from being folly to sheer claustrophobia. It is becoming harder to gauge the authenticity and strength of brands we purchase. Whether the brands we purchase are lifelong commitments or new interests, we are in a world where we are spoilt for choice and discerning brand strength is becoming exceedingly difficult.
I find there are certain key elements I use when it comes to deciding which brands to choose and remain loyal to in my everyday life. I need my brands to be authentic, committed, relevant and consistent – indeed, just as these points are essential to me on a personal level, these are some of the components Interbrand also uses in its valuation of brand strength. It is gratifying to invest in a brand that is steadfast in its commitment to consumers. Measuring brand strength might seem like a broad topic, but is quite personal. From the lip balm we use to the shoes on our feet, the careful consumer measures the strength of the brands they purchase.
A favorite example (for women at least) would be cosmetics. There are thousands of cosmetic brands artfully showcased at urban high-end superstore Sephora. Upon entrance, it is like being bombarded with every makeup product on the market – which can be uncomfortable. To combat the overwhelming discomfort and discover brands of strength, I find myself scrutinizing the labels that I purchase. The authenticity of a brand is definitely tested with time. Would I feel more comfortable purchasing a 100-year-old brand versus a 5-year-old label? With that I automatically tie in commitment and relevancy to its consumer, and it feels consistent and appropriate when I come to my conclusion on which choice represents brand strength. Perhaps that's the level-headed buyer in me speaking, but from shopping in Sephora to a supermarket, I always find that using those four keys provide an answer to my brand strength conundrums.
The daily saturation of information has made the average consumer more fickle, perhaps more willing to take a risk on a new product that has the manpower to emblaze itself on every social media outlet and the like, but I say we take a step back and weed through the trash, evaluating the strength and worth of the brands that guide our daily lives.