Why brand behaviour is more important than the product

How a brand behaves, rather than what it says or makes, is more important when it comes to being considered truly a ‘great’ brand. This is according to a study from consultancy The Leading Edge in partnerships with communications agency Hotwire

Key findings
Great brands have five distinct qualities: 

  1. Passionate Vision: they are visionaries that challenge the status quo 
  2. Connected Care: they care about the people they are connected to, employees, suppliers and customers
  3. Active Social Change: their social responsibility echoes across everything they do and is much more than just lip-service 
  4. Celebrating Origins: they applaud originality, are consistent and remain true to their roots 
  5. Human Inspiration: they encourage and enable us to be better humans 

Why be great?
Brands considered great have several commercial advantages, as they have higher levels of customer loyalty that lead to more purchases, plus their customers talk about the brands more on social media.

What it takes to be great
Becoming a great brand requires focus, discipline and bravery from the marketing team and demands businesses are focused on a constant pursuit of greatness. 

Discussing the value of customers of great brands, Matt Cross, managing director at Hotwire Global Communications, says: “The power which these customers wield seems to be overtaking the short-term obsession businesses and their stakeholders have with ROI and shareholder value creation.”

In terms of becoming great, Cross concludes that authenticity is key: “To help ensure the greatness of a brand, it’s no longer enough for organisations to just look good or sound great. Brand owners must take affirmative and authentic action from the very top to the very bottom of the business to ensure they have the five distinctive qualities that make a brand great.”

The Leading Edge conducted a nationally representative online survey of 1,200 respondents for whom brands play a role in their lives (600 UK and 600 in Australia), analysing over 3,600 brand mentions. The Leading Edge surveyed approximately 50% male and 50% female consumers, with 25% of consumers being from each generation group (Young millennials (18-29), Older millennials (30-39), Generation X (40-55) and Baby Boomers(55+)).