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Connective Branding: Building Brand Equity in a Demanding World by Christine Vallaster, Claudia Fisher

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CHAPTER 3

BRAND FRAMEWORK FOR BUILDING CONNECTIVE BRANDS

In this chapter we will discuss the key brand levers a company can work with to create strong brands: brand strategy, brand management, brand building through engagement, and brand building through alignment.

In Chapter 1, we discussed the four market forces that shape the current branding environment: lack of control, Internet megaphone, CSR imperative, climate of distrust. In Chapter 2 we outlined how companies have started to react: by bringing the corporation into the brand, focusing more on authenticity, taking a more strategic approach to CSR, and finding ways to engage stakeholders online to (re)build trust and strengthen the brand.

Our review of these strategies in the context of concrete case studies provided a number of insights into critical success factors as well as key challenges. Each of the four strategies discussed in Chapter 2 can be effective in building brand equity:

  • As the corporation is brought more into the brand, alignment between corporate actions and brand promise builds trust and credibility; at the same time, a greater focus on long-term relationships and more deeply anchored brand principles such as values helps to build more emotional connections.
  • A greater focus on authenticity results in better alignment of intended and actual brand experience, potentially delivering a highly differentiated experience.
  • A strategic approach to CSR requires better alignment of competitive strategy, CSR initiatives ...

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