Many organizations have been navigating the clouds of economic uncertainty and relentless winds of change with cat-like reflexes. However, as we approach the final homestretch of 2022, it’s fair to admit our brands on the other hand…well they have weathered a LOT. Carrying us through swells of crisis and change, growth, and even recession…. In fact, a truly differentiated brand in today’s highly competitive and polarized environment has never been so important.
So, as you think about ways to make your brand stand out from the rest, let me share with you some key takeaways from this year’s winners of Excellence in Brand Building, in Gartner’s 2022 Marketing and Communications Awards. As a seasoned External Communications Expert judging this category, I was looking for teams to demonstrate success at one or more of the following:
- Execution of a brand strategy that delivers competitive advantage throughout a period of change and volatility
- Definition of brand metrics that convey the strategic value of brand investments to stakeholders in the enterprise
- Brand rollouts that help employees “live” the brand and that inspire them to actively advocate for it
- Re-branding that kicks free from established perceptions to position a new, innovative image
So, let me tell you about the standouts in the category….
Understanding why certain brand attributes are important to a target audience is essential when clarifying which elements of a brand are most likely to evoke a sense of lasting meaning, impact and of course, differentiation. The unequivocal winner for Excellence in Branding was Definity Financial Corporation, for their work on launching their new brand, Definity! After significant stakeholder research and planning, a new brand strategy led to the launch of Definity.
The initiative was launched through a press conference; dissemination of press releases; thought leadership articles around the topic, blogs, tweets and direct stakeholder engagement. The idea was to not only inform, but rekindle people’s sentiments, to bring about a behavioural change.
This new brand was developed to unite stakeholders ahead of Canada’s largest IPO of 2021! In fact, we loved this approach so much that we profiled this as best practice in Gartner’s latest 2022 research ‘Activating a Valuable Corporate Brand’!
The Most Innovative
Just like many companies I speak with, Sustainability and Energy Efficiency are global priorities. For Schneider Electric, particularly with India being announced as the fourth largest emitter of greenhouse gases (IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report), they wanted to create a mass initiative aimed at taking collective climate action.
So, the most innovative entry in the category was awarded to Schneider Electric for establishing their Green Yodha brand. The Green Yodha initiative is a movement to create social awakening that leads to collective climate action, a war cry to “Join the Good Fight.”
They launched a microsite to spread awareness on the course of action, individuals and organisations could take to fulfil their sustainability commitments. To address the diversified audiences, they even leveraged varied content forms that included editorial work, graphics, and audio-visual content! Businesses were targeted through LinkedIn, with a call to action to start their sustainability journey with Schneider’s ‘Green Yodha’. We, the judges felt this was a really great example of how to bring a new brand to life, creating a real movement to help combat climate change.
If you need help activating your brand, please feel free to organise a conversation with a Gartner expert to learn from our latest research on ‘Activating a Valuable Corporate Brand’.
We’d also love to hear stories of your successes! Submit an entry for global recognition in our 2023 Gartner Marketing & Communications Awards which is open until December 16th 2022!
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