In this chapter we will discuss how companies have started to address the trends of the current environment.
Companies have started to react to the market forces described in the previous chapter in a number of ways. What all of these emerging strategies have in common is an increased focus on values, as opposed to attributes or functional and emotional benefits, in order to build deeper connections with their employees, customers and other key stakeholders. They also increase consistency between brand promise, corporate actions and actual brand experience, all of which work towards re-establishing the trust that is daily being challenged by overstretched supply chains, anti-corporation activists, the scrutiny of bloggers, and half-hearted CSR initiatives.
Some companies have chosen to “bring the corporation into the brand”, which means that they are placing more branding emphasis on the corporation behind the products and brands. Other companies subscribe to a new “model of authenticity”, whereby all actions emanate from a core set of values. Still other companies find placing greater emphasis on CSR to be an effective approach and yet others are trying to find new ways of engaging employees, customers and other key stakeholders which are interactive, non-manipulative and non-intrusive. Combinations of these approaches are also used.
We will now discuss each of these ...