Even if you don’t currently manage an organization, be it small or large, it is likely that you know the value of a brand. However, what you might not have known is that a brand does not start since the inception of the organization, nor does it stay until the end of it. A brand changes over time, goes through iterations and revision, updates and overhauls, revamps and rebrands. It is a marketing and advertising reality that many have already come to grips with, and the times are demanding something new on the horizon.
Of course, that something has existed for a while now, but it is important now more than ever. The agile brand is future. With constant and ever-changing brands, and changes happening even more frequently, the necessity to not just change, but be able and ready to change, is taking precedent above all other aspects. Brand agility is the name of the game, and the game keeps on bringing new rules into the fold.
What is an Agile Brand?
The market is competitive, and just like a brand itself, it acts almost like a living thing. To see it grow—or even function, we need to keep feeding it for what it is hungry for; ideas. People get bored of the old quickly, and demand new things, and brands can be strengthened in their changes and every positive encounter a customer has with a brand.
At the same time, however, a negative encounter can have far more consequential effects. Brands need to be able to respond quickly and with a speed that impresses both those customer camps. An agile brand, for example, is one that it is in place to be able to respond to change as quickly as possible, mostly due to how an agile brand is structured.
Agile Branding – Focus on the Positives
While an agile brand is nearly as synonymous in agility as an agile organization, there are differences. For one, brand agility is not fundamentally on change, but on capitalization. Brands don’t often pivot completely or change directions too often; they are too carefully cultivated to change all of a sudden. In contrast, a company can improve their agility through various means, such as launching new brands or subdivisions entirely from acquisitions or new ventures.
That is why an agile brand builds on the positives and has an iterative process in doing that. If success can be sought, it is sought. If you take your brand agile, for example, it gives your brand the best chance of success, because you improved your position in the market based off the new information. The faster and easier you can capitalize on that new information, the more agile your brand is, and if recent times are of any evidence, change is happening in droves.
Brands are Evolving – The Agile Brand is Here
In an increasingly globalized world, you might think that we are heading towards a more monopolistic model of business, where there are many consumers, but only one company or brand to choose from. In some cases, this is true, though that is quite the contrary in several other cases.
In fact, it can be said that the current global marketplace is a monopsony; in which there are lots of sellers and one entity to buy it from. Globalization has made more customers available to organizations, but it has also made more organizations available to customers, and with more options, people have the ability to not just choose, but to define the market once again.
Agile Brands are the Buyer’s Monopoly – And That is A Good Thing
Competition brings innovation, because both companies and brands have to be on top of their game to succeed. In a way, almost all brands are moving towards being agile brands simply because the market says so, and since the pandemic, monopolistic fears have allowed people to be more favorable to having multiple options for just about everything.
Brand consistency is still intact. It is only a monolithic way of thinking if it is interpreted in the wrong sense, because brand consistency is paramount to loyalty and success. However, brand inconsistency is something that should be inherently avoided. That is not to say brands need to stay the same, but rather, to avoid the extremes. If you go towards one particular focus too much, you end up being rooted into that particular aspect, and in turn, making your brand less agile.
Agile brands need to find a middle ground in their solutions and disruption where they change the game, but allow themselves to keep changing at the same time. A success for a few months doesn’t guarantee shoppers for the next few years, and new innovations need to be consistent, constant, and as mentioned before, iterative.
Agile Brands are Ultra-Consumer-Focused
Being consumer focused means, you need to win hearts and minds as your priority. Whether that is through a product or service, true agility comes from winning the consumers in a way that can be replicable. Sure, you can come up with the great big thing today, but what about tomorrow? Can you consistently put out new products that change the game entirely? Surely not.
That is why a brand is not an agile brand if it changes from its products. Brands should not make the decision for customers, but allow them to make their own. Winning minds means that you convinced the other person of what you were presenting, rather than telling the other person that this was what they wanted. It is a psychological factor that makes a brand more pleasing.
For example, people measure necessity and commodity items based on their practical value first, so marketers capitalize on usefulness, but it is never the product that is the focus. It is about how you feel.
An Agile Brand Knows How Its Customers Feel
You just bought that fancy new watch, or that suit, that dress, that car. The question will never be what you can do with it, but how you feel now that you have made that purchase. That is why winning minds is so important for brands.
At the same time, however, positive feelings don’t last long, so that feeling has to be recreated. Remind your customer why you are so great by giving your brand a new spin.
An Agile Brand is Structured That Way
An agile brand won’t just become one overnight. You have to put the right people, the right systems, and the right resources in place to be able to do that. A brand needs marketers, managers, planners, artists, and creative teams that are dedicated to making it work. Or you might need one person that makes all the key decisions. The end goal of an agile brand is to find the simplest way that works for it, and use that to capitalize on market changes.
The times have already changed, and are getting ready to change again, just like your brand should be.
Building an agile brand takes time—contrary to the idea of an agile brand itself, but the goal here is not to use the brand’s agility, but create it. Once you have created your agile brand, you can’t rest on your laurels, but you can have the relaxation in knowing that your brand is among those that turned agile in 2022.