The changing nature of brand power

Jean-Luc Ambrosi

  • Author, marketer
Jean-Luc Ambrosi is an award winning marketer and recognised expert in branding and customer relationship management. He is the author of the new book, Branding to Differ, a strategic and practical guide on how to build and manage a successful brand.


Once upon a time, life was easy: You developed products, placed them in a well-located retail shop, wrapped them under an attractive brand and hired the best creative in town to promote them.

Advertising was king and when it didn’t sell products, you could argue it was building brands. That was the recipe for success. How sweet, or so we thought. Many business and brands were successfully built on this approach, even if it wasn’t always that easy.

Today, the digital ecosystem has disrupted our recipe for success, and the role brands play in building success. Anyone can build a digital presence and create a brand at almost the speed of light. As a result, there are so many products available under so many brands, it has become increasingly more difficult to attract sustained attention. Sustained is the key word here, as quick sales come and go with a bit of digital promotion.

What really matters today, arguably more than ever, is the trust a brand can bring to the purchase experience. This is particularly vital in the digital age. As more customers become physically disconnected with brands and the purchase process, brands need to bring an extra layer of comfort into their virtual relationship with customers.

While customers enjoy the ease of doing business online, letting their needs for immediate rewards go wild, they are also increasingly wary of post-purchase blues. These blues are created by the dissonance between what appears to be on offer and what is actually being sold and purchased.

The digital ecosystem has mastered the art of disguising the true quality of products, and modern customers need to rely on some reinforcement mechanism to press the ‘purchase now’ button.

This is where brands come into full flight. In many instances, the only rational and emotional bond between a pretty picture and nicely crafted copywriting, and the belief this is a genuine offer, is the brand. The brand is acting as the trust mechanism. It benefits both the rational brain, which is saying “for sure this brand wouldn’t sell me a dodgy product”, and the emotional one, which says “I trust them, this is great”.

Trust is now the primary driving factor in engagement. Consumers need to be able to trust who they do business with no matter how, where and when they decide to make a purchase, whether it be in the comfort of their own homes on their computers or tablets, or on the train via their mobile phones.

Trust has always been on top of the pyramid of needs. But today, it’s not just a want, it’s a must. If you thought digital could create lasting brands via a bit of promotion, then think again. Brands have more tangible meaning than ever and your commercial success depends on it.

Tags: digital strategy, omni-channel retailing, brand strategy

Show Comments
cmo-xs-promo

Featured Whitepapers

State of the CMO 2021

CMO’s State of the CMO is an annual industry research initiative aimed at gauging how ...

More whitepapers

Latest Videos

More Videos

Thanks for your feedback, Rabi. While we introduced the ROO concept using a marketing example, I also believe that it is pertinent to man...

Iggy Pintado

Introducing Return on Outcome (ROO) - Brand science - CMO Australia

Read more

Thanks for your insight, Philip. Return On Outcome (ROO) requires balanced thinking with the focus on outcomes as opposed to returns.

Iggy Pintado

Introducing Return on Outcome (ROO) - Brand science - CMO Australia

Read more

Beautiful article.

Hodlbaba

15 brands jumping into NFTs

Read more

"Blue" is really gorgeous and perfectly imitates a human customer support operator. Personally, I won't order a chatbot development for m...

Nate Ginsburg

Why the newest member of BT’s contact centre is a chatbot

Read more

As today’s market changes rapidly, the tools we use change, and it is important to adapt to those changes to continue to succeed in busin...

Anna Duda

Report: 10 digital commerce trends here to stay

Read more

Blog Posts

How the pandemic revealed the antidote to marketing’s image problem

What does marketing truly ‘own’ in most organisations? Brand and campaigns, definitely. Customer experience? That remains contested ground.

Murray Howe

Founder, The Markitects

Still pursuing a 360-degree view of the customer?

On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.” It may have been true in 1993 when this caption to a Peter Steiner cartoon appeared in the New Yorker. But after 30 years online, it’s no longer the case.

Agility in 2022

Only the agile will survive and thrive in this environment and that’s why in 2022, agility will need to be a whole-business priority.

Sam McConnell

Melbourne bureau chief, Alpha Digital

Sign in