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Brand Relevance: How to Create a Brand That Matters

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Brand Relevance: How to Create a Brand That Matters

Brand Relevance

Do you want to find ways to improve your brand’s relevance? To read more about it, you should look at this article. This post discusses why brand relevance is becoming more critical than ever before, which is summarized in a simple statement:
A brand loses its appeal if it does not keep up with changes in the world around us.
Hence, brand relevance has become an essential focal point for marketers. The reason behind this phenomenon is twofold:
  1. On one end, consumers are now more aware of their purchasing decisions. Social Media has empowered consumers, who feel the power behind their spending. They no longer have to listen passively to brands; they can and will, conversely, another end; the blurrification of category boundaries and the convergence of non-adjacent industries are all reshaping the meaning of category. Both Amazon and Apple produce and distribute movies and TV series, activities that belong to galaxies far away from their traditional core business.

Both points are typical examples in which competition must shift from preference-based to relevance-based, as predicted by David Aaker.

What is Brand Relevance?

Brand relevance is a brand’s ability to connect with consumers based on their needs and wants. Brands relevant to customers can solve consumer problems and meet customer expectations. A brand should be able to communicate what makes it unique and different from other brands, and it can do so by focusing on continuous incremental improvements, which do not change the consumer needs-states, or by looking at consumers’ needs and trying to address the relevant issues.

The brand relevance of a product or service is the degree to which it satisfies its target audience’s emerging needs and wants. It’s about how well your business is in meeting your customers’ specific needs and how effectively you communicate that process.

When three conditions are present, relevance for a brand takes place.

  1. A product or service subcategory — defined by one or more attributes, applications, user groups, or other distinguishing characteristics—exists or emerges.
  2. A perceived need or desire exists among a particular customer segment for the category.
  3. The brand is considered to be material for the product category or subcategory.

According to Prophet’s Brand Relevance Index, there are four components of Brand Relevance, and those are the characteristics that separate brand relevance leaders from the rest:

  1. Customer-obsessed: focused on customers’ and consumers’ needs, first and foremost.
  2. Ruthlessly Pragmatic:  both in terms of being physically available and with a customer journey that solves problems rather than creates them.
  3. Distinctively Inspired: never tired of challenging the status quo and breaking barriers.
  4. Persuasively Innovative: Innovation-driven, never passing up an opportunity to innovate further.

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How to increase brand preference

Brand preference competitions involve choosing which brand you prefer over others. You can win by having better quality than your cor, more features, and lower prices. All of which prove ineffective, especially in a VUCA world. Brand preference strategies involve making products more appealing to consumers. In other words, those strategies include making incremental changes to an existing product line. Customers do not switch brands unless there is a product improvement over their current brand. New offerings are rarely successful because of competition from other offerings. Brand preference strategies seldom move markets. It is usually a recipe for retaining existing market positions and, if you will, price and margin erosion.

Brand relevance competition is about creating products that are so attractive to customers that no one else offers anything similar. The focus shifts to standing out from the competition. It would help to create something that makes your customers want to buy it. The result is almost a Blue Ocean, in which there is no competition at all for an extended time or one in which the competition is reduced or weakened, the ticket to ongoing financial success.

Brand relevance competition differs from brand preference competition because it involves choosing a category or subcategory instead of a brand. Doing an outstanding job in the relevance-based competition requires two aspects:

1. Managing the category/subcategory in a visible and appealing way

2. Focusing on the brand’s relevance in the category/subcategory by highlighting the credibility

A Brand Relevance strategy involves creating an innovative product or service that redefines its category or subcategory. It’s a game-changer that reshapes the business.

Despite this, it will still be significant, either by adding new “must-haves” or improving one of its charms, so substantial that customers will reject any option without it, even if they had previously accepted it.

Making Brand Relevance Happen

There is no easy recipe for building brand relevance, but adhering to the following steps brings your brand in the right direction:

1. Do not talk to your customers. Listen to what your customers have to say

Most brands are unable to talk to customers for two reasons. First and foremost, for fear of listening to anything but their voice. Second, they fear listening to an idea or a problem they do not expect. So many marketing advisors will yell to their clients, “Talk to your customers,” but the most critical part is to listen to them. Listen to their needs, hurdles, and complaints, and list them as top priorities for your work.

2. Relevant brands excel at building experiences pre-, during, and post-purchase

They understand how to build meaningful relationships with their consumers. They know how to connect with people emotionally, physically, mentally, spiritually, etc. They also learn how to make their customers feel like they belong.

3. “Keep moving.”

Many brands fear innovation because they are not successful. They should fear the lack of innovation more. Relevant brands lead the way, and they do so by innovating, sometimes successfully and sometimes failing miserably.

In conclusion

In the era of blurred categories and industry convergence, consumer and B2B brands should focus on brand relevance by abandoning preference-based competition and concentrating on their real customer needs, seamless experiences, and relentless Transformational innovation (not incremental innovations) by making their competitors irrelevant.


Frequently Asked Questions

How do companies measure the impact of their brand relevance strategies on overall business performance?

Companies can measure the impact of their brand relevance strategies on overall business performance through several vital indicators. These include changes in sales figures, market share growth, and customer acquisition rates, which directly reflect the effectiveness of making the brand more relevant to consumers. Additionally, brand perception surveys and equity measurements can explore how relevance strategies affect consumer attitudes and loyalty. Engagement metrics on digital platforms, such as social media interactions and website traffic, can also provide valuable data on the effectiveness of relevance initiatives.

Can brand relevance be maintained or increased without significantly altering the core product or service offering?

Brand relevance can be maintained or increased without significantly altering the core product or service offering by focusing on other aspects that enhance the brand’s connection with its target audience. This can include updating marketing messages to reflect current consumer values and concerns, improving customer experience, leveraging new digital platforms for engagement, and aligning with social causes important to the brand’s community. These actions can refresh the brand’s image and maintain its relevance in the consumer’s mind, even if the core product or service remains unchanged.

What role do digital platforms play in enhancing a brand’s relevance, especially in highly competitive markets?

Digital platforms are critical in enhancing a brand’s relevance, particularly in highly competitive markets, by providing avenues for direct engagement, content distribution, and personalized marketing. Through social media, blogs, and online communities, brands can share relevant and timely content that resonates with their audience, fostering a deeper connection. Digital platforms also allow for targeted advertising and insights into consumer behavior, enabling brands to tailor their offerings and communications to meet their audience’s evolving needs and preferences. Effective use of digital platforms in competitive markets can differentiate a brand and keep it top-of-mind among consumers.

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