Rules for Branding from Branding Strategy Insider

Author Ursula Le Guin wrote that “legends of prediction are common throughout the whole Household of Man. Gods speak, spirits speak, computers speak.” What Ms. Le Guin left out were consumers. Consumers speak too. Volumes if you know how to read them.

Predictive loyalty metrics allow marketers to decipher consumers’ emotions, expectations, and imminent behaviors in the marketplace. Happily, I am an authority on customer loyalty. And, as real loyalty metrics measure the direction and velocity of consumer values 12 to 18 months in advance of the marketplace, they allow me to identify future trends with uncanny accuracy.

Having examined these measures in 4Q2010, here’s 11 trends for marketers in 2011. Interestingly, in symbolism and spiritualism, the number 11 is said to possess qualities related to intuition, honesty, understanding and, is also supposed to represent the ideal. The number is said to provide both insight and inspiration. For marketers, these 11 trends will have direct consequences to the success – or failure – of next year’s branding and marketing efforts.

1) Value is What the Consumer Says It Is

Excessive spending, even on sale items, will continue to be replaced by a reason-to-buy at all. Only the consumer can tell you for sure. The appearance of ubiquity will be trouble for brands with no authentic meaning, whether high or low-end.

2) Brand, Meet Value

Brands will increasingly become a surrogate for “value.” What makes goods and services valuable will increasingly be what’s wrapped up in the brand and what consumers believe the brand means.

3) Zappos-ification

Marketers will have to comprehend what really drives their categoy, know what consumers really expect, and where to focus both process and brand efforts. Yes, Zappos sells shoes – but their brand equity lies primarily in the emotional driver of “service” – how they get shoes to customers and accept returns.

via Branding Strategy Insider.

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