The way we think about brands needs to change. Earlier they were objects or concepts but now they are like a part of our lives which controls or has significant impact on our emotions. In the past, you had a relationship with a brand. But in this social age, brands are the relationships. By defining a brand’s particular kind of relationship, companies can create greater customerloyalty.
A brand at first started out as an identifying mark, something used to identify or differentiate products from one another. But now brand is something applied to what products you make.
Then a brand shifted from a feature to a perception, from an object to an idea. In this view, a brand is not something you make, it’s something you manage.
The most recent ideafocuses on brand as an experience. We exprecience brands through their products and services. This has changed and defined the way brands interact with their consumers.
In more recent timesthe ideawill be of a brand as arelationship.
The way to put “brand as a relationship” into action is by defining the respective roles and responsibilities of the company and customer.It’s a simple relationship that is one-directional. The company provides the product or service, and the customer consumes it.
For eg. In the hotel industry, the brand relationship is of Host/Guest but the new revolution created by Air BnB has changed that perception into a much closer relationship of people offering their own homes to make the consumers feel better accepted to the brand.
The concept of brand-as-relationship also helps explain the rise of well-established market leaders. American Express redefined the relational roles of its industry from_card issuer/card holder_to_club/member_. And Starbucks redefined not only the role of the server from waiter to barista, but the role of the coffee shop from restaurant to community hub.
To get started, one mustthink about the relationship people have with your brand today. For eg. doctor/patient, student/teacher.
This strategy would help people establish their brands as entities that inhabit a person’s enviornment and are open to interacion which is open and inviting.
Brands are like people wanting to market themselves in a social enviornment to become better and well - established.