4 challenges to increasing brand resonance with modern consumers


4 challenges to increasing brand resonance with modern consumers

What is brand resonance?

In our recent whitepaper, How to increase brand equity and resonance with today’s consumer,” we dive deep into today’s modern consumers and how they identify and respond to brands today. We call this brand resonance. 

We define it specifically as “the reverberation of a brand’s meanings within the contexts of the organization, the broader culture, and the consumer’s life.” 

How a brand “resonates” with its consumers directly impacts the measure of brand equity they have with each particular group of consumers that consumes their brand. 

According to Professor Kevin Keller’s influential Brand Equity formulation, brand equity is defined as “the effect that brand knowledge has on consumer response to the brand’s marketing.”

In other words, how well a consumer knows the brand and how the brand resonates with them emotionally ultimately determines whether or not a consumer remains loyal to that brand.

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Brand equity and resonance report

Learn how to win the hearts and minds of today’s consumers.

Why is it important to measure brand resonance?

The COVID-19 pandemic changed the behavior of consumers and caused over 80% to restructure how and what they buy. 

This presents an opportunity for brands to re-evaluate their health and consider new ways to reach a wider audience of consumers who no longer have deeply ingrained behaviors. But to do that, brands will have to overcome several new challenges posed by a competitive landscape, with nearly endless channels for consumers to evaluate brands and educate themselves.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at those challenges and how to increase brand resonance.

1. Consumers are educating themselves in varied, fragmented ways

In the early days of advertising and brand marketing, consumers typically got their information from a few places. As a society, we no longer have a largely uniform view from dominant sources.

Today, consumers have access to various resources and authority figures—many with differing views and perspectives. 

The consumer can selectively decide which sources they choose to acquire their knowledge from and on which platforms. This creates any number of varied segments that are collectively more difficult to target with a singular “one size fits all” approach.

2. Consumer identities are multifaceted, and “truth” is more subjective

Furthermore, how the “truth” is defined today is more subjective (e.g., “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”). Rather than relying on dominant sources to inform us, consumers leverage their unique perspectives to define what’s true and what isn’t. 

Consumers experience brand meanings in different ways and identify with multiple microcultures. That makes it challenging to lump large groups together and market to them each in the same way.

3. Consumers are defining brands faster than the brands can express themselves

Consumers today actively use brands to define themselves and those around them. Instead of waiting for the brand to reveal its identity, we often determine brand identity long before they can do it themselves.

Thus, consumers have become co-creators, playing a significant role in determining and even modifying brand meanings. For this reason, most brands owe their usage and their cultural resonance to those influential consumers who decide it.

4. The pandemic radically changed how and why consumers shop

As stated previously, the global pandemic changed many things and caused severe commercial disruptions. Beyond shifts in shopping behaviors, consumers are tightening their wallets. 

  • 46% of consumers have reported constrained spending habits. 
  • Two in three consumers said they’ve changed how they shop.

A notable proportion of respondents report they are making changes to their preferences, including switching brands and abandoning some brands. Thus, brands can not afford to assume that previously loyal consumers will stay loyal. 

Learn more about how to increase brand resonance

Despite the uncertainty, there are a few things of which we can be sure.

First, consumers will continue to shift their brand loyalty and be skeptical of brand promises. We also know that they will be looking for information from a variety of channels and for those brands that best resonate with their personality and culture.

There is massive potential for brand revival for those that diversify their strategies and crack the code for adding value to the right audience.

To cut through the noise and properly connect with their target markets, brands must have a thorough understanding of their brand’s current health. Identifying where their gaps are and what they need to do to improve the long-term success of their brand is essential. 

We discuss this strategy in our latest whitepaper, “How to increase brand equity and brand resonance with today’s consumer.” In this paper, we share how to obtain relevant market insights that will empower you to position your brand for sustainable growth. Get your copy here.