The value of branding as an effective part of a company's marketing strategy is changing as the needs of the consumer has changed. The purpose of this paper is to identify these changes and to prescribe specific modifications that should be made to the brand and its implementation.
To better understand the evolving consumer a anthropological approach was employed. A variety of recent studies were considered and it was determined that today's consumer has three prominent needs: knowledge, authenticity, and personal experiences. The paper posits that creating positive experiences, via knowledge and authenticity, represents the next evolutionary phase of brand success.
Based on this new perspective on branding, the paper offers the following recommendations to brand managers and CMOs: discern the nature of the relationship customers want with the brand; position brand managers as spiritual leaders; speak to the end‐user through experiences and metaphors; create a master narrative that reflects the company's core value and is operationalized through the brand; apply the paradox of transparency; build your brand from the inside out, by encouraging employees to be advocates; and examine your current and desired brand personality.
The recommendations and examples of implementation offer the brand manager a roadmap to success. Although these changes would require the support of top management, the benefits are apparent.
It is critical that brand managers both understand and embrace the changes that are occurring within the consumer sector of society. More importantly, these managers must develop strategic and sound principles and practices that respond to these changes. This paper identifies these changes and offers solutions.
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