The Great Recalibration: How Brands Grow in 2024

Are you curious how brands grow in 20024? The following is an essay written for founders and marketers that want to learn how brands grow in the modern world. We’ll look at brand ideas to replace the old ways with an updated approach to marketing in the new world order.

How Brands Grow: Brand Ideas 1.0

Have we become tone deaf, ignorant, or a little bit of both? Let’s unpack how brands grow, or rather become stagnant with old thinking.

We often hear “tone deaf” and “ignorance.” Tone deaf means not getting how people feel. Ignorance is not knowing enough about something. Together, they explain why some brands are stuck using outdated methods. They need fresh ideas to progress.

Brands are operating from an old playbook and need to evolve their approach to grow in the new world order.

Brands are more than products; they have character and culture. Our choices in brands reflect our personalities and values.

How Brands Grow: The Brand Effect

Brands affect how we see ourselves. Moreover, brands are building blocks for identity. What does aligning with this brand say about me? In short, how brands grow is by helping customers see themselves as an extension of them.

For example, choosing between Apple and Android says something about us. Apple has created social status around blue and green text bubbles.

I judge brands on their messages and market reality. These help me think of new brand ideas.

Brand Market Analysis

Brand messaging is how a brand shows its uniqueness and character. Market reality involves the essential facts of the industry. Market reality is a summary of key facts. 

Helpful questions include: Is the product a luxury or a necessity? How competitive is the market? What’s the legal setting? Who are the customers?

Brand Messaging

I find brand messaging fascinating. Brands either position themselves as superior (“Above”) or as partners (“Alongside”). The “Above” brands often seem arrogant, while “Alongside” brands are seen as friendly and honest, which builds a strong community.

These affect whether you attract loyal, happy customers or short-term transactional customers.

For example, superior brands tend to make more customer unfriendly decisions for profit. They often use one-way communication.

Partner brands make challenging decisions thoughtfully. Communication is a two-way street. Consequently, they tend to be more of a vibe.

Change is Here

Undoubtedly, we’re witnessing a shift. Notable events reflect this change, challenging old power structures and questioning well-known figures. Brands need to adapt to these changes.

Katt Williams kicked off 2024 with truth telling like we’ve never seen in Hollywood. Not to mention, Taylor Swift received criticism. Unheard of! To top it off, Apple Vision Pro, a product nobody wanted, was realized, and we witnessed vandalizing of an empty high-rise in LA.

Incomes stagnate and a class division deepens. We are running a script that is broken. What should brands do to get ahead of this?

How Brands Grow: Brand Ideas 2.0

The best way to combat tone deafness is education.

Brands should think deeply, not just sell. We’re good at viral content but need to improve in making brands feel human.

Here are my suggestions trying to understand how to grow today.

  • Update your Approach: Customer aspirations are shifting. For some, it’s simplicity and embracing less. Others may care about ethics and sustainability. 
  • Focus on Customers: Leaders should value customers. Customers can see through pure corporate greed. Courageous leaders know putting customers first leads to long-term gains for all. #communityfirst
  • Embrace Inclusivity: Inclusive leadership leads to better outcomes for teams and customers. It’s a great way to make sure you are growing with your customer instead of drifting apart.
  • Maintain your Mission: Keep your brand’s mission clear, despite the focus on growth.
  • Stand on Business: Today’s consumers expect brands to represent something meaningful.

TL;DR How Brands Grow 2024

Great brand ideas come from recognizing reality and caring about customers. Brands should feel like friends, focusing on community, customer importance, inclusivity, and uniqueness. Success isn’t just about competing; it’s about connecting with customers and resonating with their identity. Dare to be different than the crowd.