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Be like a mountain lake, clear and deep; why brands must discover their core

Picture a mountain lake crystal clear yet so deep that it’s often impossible to see the bed beneath. And just like a mountain lake, it is crucial that brands themselves are clear and deep with the promises they make to their consumers to ensure they stay engaged. It’s this clarity of purpose that will stand the test of time.

The problem in this ever-changing digital landscape is that marketers quickly become pre-occupied with all the various mediums and channels through which they can connect with their customers, jumping ahead to think about the tactics before they have a true understanding of the brand itself. Before considering deployment of sophisticated digital marketing or customer engagement management systems, you need to be very clear about what your brand stands for.

While traditional brand marketing was at times based on a model of superficial promises, today’s brands must move from ‘promise’ to ‘proof’ in order to be authentic to their consumers. Therefore, before even beginning to think about digital strategy, marketers must bring their attention back to their core.

To gain a true and deep understanding of the brand, what it does best, and to understand its soul, marketers must examine the effect their brand has on consumers – the difference their brand makes. Then, they can then make promises which are real and true; aligned with their values yet stretching beyond the specific product or service they offer. Once this takes place, the choice of channels that the brand can inhabit will become much more apparent.  

There’s a great way of discovering the real truth about a brand – simply project it onto a different product, and examine the change this has on the object itself and on how the consumer feels. This exercise enables digital marketers to create a strong foundation from which they can discover how best to express themselves.

For instance, if you put a ‘Samsonite’ brand sticker on an inanimate object like a box, what does that mean for the box? It suggests that it will house items, and keep them safe and secure until they reach their desired destination. This message underpins everything Samsonite stands for. So why couldn’t the brand go a step further, and create a ‘digital’ box. One like Dropbox. After all, it does the same thing; delivering items to a chosen destination, safely and securely.

Once a brand has this clear and deep foundation, it can build the right digital structure around itself, creating a means of communicating with its audiences that shows off its core, in an authentic, natural and consistent way, every time.


Respected digital visionary Dietmar Dahmen is hosting Sitecore’s Digital Trendspot event on 27th March at the Emirates Stadium. He will be delivering a keynote presentation which examines the disruptive changes that marketers are dealing with, and will help brands to map a path to their ‘digital nirvana’.