Richard Sunderland, Founder & Chairman of the international brand agency Heavenly, discussed his views on branding strategy with Rambus Press during a recent interview in Sunnyvale.
“One of the biggest challenges for modern marketers in the branding world is the diminishing attention span of the average consumer which has been halved from a mere 16 seconds to a paltry 8,” he explained.
“This trend has forced us to more succinctly create and rapidly convey a thorough understanding of what a company or product is all about. Simply put, branding strategists need to influence and make a real impact by cutting through all the noise and successfully appealing to its target audience by dialing up more verbal identity.”
To illustrate his point, Sunderland says that one of his first priorities when working with a company (especially tech companies) on brand refresh is helping to perfect the elevator pitch.
“Most people don’t have the time to sit through extensive technical briefings. So our job as branding experts is to transform disparate messaging into coherent and compelling collateral,” he continued.
“From my perspective, there isn’t much point in trying to sound brainy or overly technical. It doesn’t impress. At the end of the day, most people appreciate clarity over confusion. There is value in simplicity and that is why we must try and link products to real world examples.”
Essentially, Sunderland feels modern branding is all about having a dialogue, rather than a monologue with the consumer.
“Our fast-paced social media environment empowers consumers to respond and challenge brand claims. This presents a challenge for organizations claiming to uphold certain standards, even if they do not live up to them,” he said.
“As such, it is important to ensure that the updated brand messaging faithfully reflects company strategy and actions. In Rambus’ case, I think it does.”
Perhaps most importantly, says Sunderland, is the understanding that branding must convey a sense of humility.
“A humble, yet confident brand allows consumers to have the upper hand. Remember, it’s ultimately prospects, customers and partners who own your brand,” he concluded.