Building A Strong Brand: The Four Steps of Brand Building
To begin the brand-building process, it is essential to consider the brand resonance model. The Brand resonance model describes how to create compelling, active loyalty relationships with customers and does so by building a brand in a sequence of steps. This model considers brand positioning and the way it affects what consumers think, feel, do, and how they resonate or connect with a brand.
Brand resonance refers to the relationship that a consumer has with the product or service and how well they can relate to it. Simply put, the resonance is the intensity of a customer’s emotional connection with the brand and their ability to consider the brand when they have a similar need to fulfill.
Brand Resonance Pyramid
The brand resonance model works hand-in-hand with the four steps of brand building. The four stages are as follows:
Step 1: Brand Salience –
In this step, it is crucial to establish your identity and ask yourself as the brand, “who are you?”
Here a brand needs to “ensure identification of the brand with customers and an association of the brand in their customer’s minds with a specific product class, product benefit, or customer need.” Salience means that something is Important and relevant. Therefore, brand salience implies that we recognize the brand, and it is relevant to us. Brand salience is the measurement of consumer recall of the brand in different consumption situations. How persuasive is the brand’s awareness? Are our consumers aware of what needs our brand can satisfy?
Step 2: Performance and Imagery –
In this step, it is essential to develop your brand’s meaning and to answer the corresponding question, “What are you?” It is vital to “firmly establish the totality of brand meaning in the minds of customers by strategically linking a host of tangible and intangible brand associations.”
In the performance and imagery step, we expect the brand to perform, and to perform well; we need to develop and communicate to our audience imagery relevant to our brand. Brand performance describes how well the product or service meets the customer’s needs. Brand imagery is used by brands to meet their needs psychologically. Brand imagery refers to more intangible aspects of a brand and allows consumers to recall their experiences and associate a brand with its products and imagery.
Step 3: Judgement and Feelings –
In this step, it is important to determine your brand responses, “what about you?” “What do I think or feel about you?”
The objective of the judgment and feelings steps is to “elicit proper customer responses to the brand.”
In the judgment and feelings step, the consumers are developing feelings and making a judgment about our brand. By making judgments about our brand, I mean consumers are evaluating product performance, their experience with the service, and/or making a judgment on whether they would consider our brand when needing to fulfill future needs. Everyone has an opinion, but the brand judgment stage works to ensure the consumers have a reasonable opinion of the brand. Brand quality, credibility, consideration, and superiority fall within this category, and here a brand strategizes ways to ensure consumers’ judgments are favorable.
Step 4: Brand Resonance –
Finally, in this step, it is important to develop brand relationships. Answer the questions, “What about you and me?” “what kind of association and how much of a connection would I like to have with you?”
Brand resonance is the last step in the brand resonance model. When something “resonates” with you, you understand, feel in common with, or can sense it. Brand resonance means just that, the consumer has developed a loyalty to your brand, they resonate with it, feel connected to the brand and the community associated with the brand, they enjoy the engagement and feel attached to your brand. This is the stage of the model that all brands are ultimately trying to achieve. This is because brand resonance means brand loyalty; it means the consumers who resonate with your brand will always choose your brand first; they don’t consider competing brands to fulfill their needs.
For example, I resonate with the Apple brand. When I break my phone and need a new one, I go straight to the Apple store or Apple.com. No other brand crosses my mind. In the event that the specific phone model I desire is out of stock or back-ordered, I don’t consider purchasing an Android phone to fulfill my need, I suck it up and wait for the Apple phone to come back into stock. This is because I trust Apple products, I know when I buy an Apple product that I am getting a good quality piece of technology that will meet my needs. I enjoy engaging with the Apple community, the fact that I trust the quality and design. I refuse to take the risk associated with purchasing a different brand because I am already loyal to the Apple brand.
It is important to note that the four steps of the brand resonance model work together to establish brand resonance within its target audience. If you can’t establish salience, it doesn’t matter how your brand performs or what the imagery you’ve delivered to your consumers looks like. This is because all of the steps of this model work together to shape brand resonance. You need to have excellent performance, you need to have developed an emotional relationship (feelings), delivered quality products (judgments), and you need to create recognizable imagery to get to brand resonance.
In conclusion, the brand resonance model can be used as a roadmap and guide for building a strong brand. When developed in sequence and used accordingly, these four steps will aid in the development of a strong brand. The premise of this model is that the overall measure of a brand’s strength lies within the minds of the consumers. How your consumers think, feel, and act with respect to your brand is stronger than the products and services you provide, so be sure to focus on building strong connections with your consumers. The way consumers feel about your brand is the most important factor when building a strong brand; your products and services are just reinforcing the consumer’s thoughts and feelings about your brand.