When it Comes to Branding, Relevance is the New Differentiation

Up until two years ago, when developing a brand strategy, brand uniqueness and differentiation was something all branding agencies were after. This was all well until we were all flooded with information from all over. In fact, in a 2018 Gallop survey, 58% of Americans responded they cannot keep up with daily information via media and digital outlets. Since then information just keeps mounting up.

With such information overload, the only way to get to our potential customers is through relevance. In order to keep up with the information flow, relevance is the only factor that will get your brand through your customer's attention. Relevance, according to Elliot Schreiber, Ph.D "….is the thing that 'connects with them emotionally'". "When a brand seeks a meaningful position through personal relevance and emotional importance, it starts by discovering what makes it potentially relevant and then focuses on evoking the emotions that will support, extend and highlight that relevance.", says Elliot Schreiber.

Interbrand, a brand consultancy firm, ranked the world's biggest companies. When reviewing the leading brands for 2019, one thing is in common to most leading brands. Relevance:

Mercedes-Benz — brand value: $50.8 million

Its brand value increased by 5%, through its commitment, relevance and responsiveness. The company stays relevant by appealing to different markets through its Smart brand. Smart appeals to the urban, young generation who lives in the city, has parking challenges and is a very concisions shopper. Smart is going electric-only from 2020 with new range expected in around two years.

Toyota — brand value: $56.2 million

In the last year, its brand has grown 5%. Interbrand based this on relevance, authenticity, and presence. As Toyota transforms itself from an auto company into a mobility company, consumers perceive it as highly innovative with a strong purpose.

Samsung — brand value: $61 million

Its brand grew 2% in the last year. It showed responsiveness, relevance and authenticity by basically shaping the way we communicate. Their Samsung Galaxy mobile phone is literally changing the way we will every minute of the day.

Microsoft — brand value: $108.8 million

Its brand has improved markedly this year by 17%, due to clarity, relevance, and responsiveness. It was Nadella’s interview with Wired that really stood out. “What is most important for us is the app model and the experience,” revealed Nadella, further cementing that Windows has slipped down the importance list at Microsoft. “How people are going to write apps for Duo and Neo will have a lot more to do with each other than just writing a Windows app or an Android app, because it’s going to be about the Microsoft Graph.”

Amazon — brand value: $125 million

The brand grew 24% in the last year. Its strengths were responsiveness, relevance, and presence

Google — brand value: $167.7 million

The Google the brand grew 8%. Of course, presence and relevance featured, but also responsiveness. How many times a day are we searching on Google? Can this be more relevant?

The list of course goes on. Facebook by the way, did not make it to the top ten.

So next time we start dissecting our USPs' let's take it a step forward and try to pinpoint them in terms of relevance to our clients. That way we'll have a greater chance of surfacing above the information overload.



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