Brands have been under pressure to take a stand on societal issues in recent years, and COVID hasn’t changed those expectations—if anything, the pandemic has upped the ante. New research from advertising and PR agency Brownstein, in partnership with The Harris Poll, finds that two-thirds of consumers have confidence that brands will play a major role in social and economic recovery to come.
Furthermore, 83 percent of marketing experts agree that nurturing and growing a brand’s legacy is the prime responsibility for CMOs—creating a unique moment in history for marketers to prove themselves in the marketplace as the COVID-19 vaccine rollout continues and as the economy starts to reopen.
The firm’s new report, Brand Longevity: A New Benchmark for Unstoppable Brands, follows the first agency-led research survey on the subject of brand longevity: the attributes brands need in order to remain relevant and thrive through change.
Throughout the past 12 months, marketers have faced existential questions about the future of their brands as economic uncertainty forced many businesses to shutter, pivot, or adapt. To find out how marketers could be better equipped to make critical decisions, Brownstein partnered with The Harris Poll to understand the drivers behind the long-term growth and stewardship of brands. A focus on Product, Technology, Brand Heritage, and the Consumer was found to drive brand longevity, setting up brands for lasting success and continued relevance in the marketplace.
Research showed that 83 percent of marketing professionals say that brand longevity plays a central role in conversations and planning with their colleagues, while 64 percent of brand professionals worry they focus too much on short term priorities, a sentiment which rises to 74 percent of brand professionals in enterprise-sized companies (those with more than 1,000 employees). Findings also indicated that while marketers are eager to consider brand longevity while making decisions, a lack of clear vision, and focus on the short term, often get in the way of decision-making.
In order to provide a solution for marketers, Brownstein developed a new model to understand brands based on the internal and external elements that define them. Leveraging research and analytics from The Harris Poll, the team was able to use this model to design a new benchmark index to determine brands’ potential for longevity, and to find pain points in the marketing strategies of brands across industries. The tool can be used to support brands in identifying key drivers needed to build brand longevity, and to help prioritize marketing investments in brand strategy for long-term success.
“The findings of our research survey come at a critical time for marketers, and offer a new model for thinking about the future of brands with longevity in mind,” said Erin Allsman, managing director at Brownstein, in a news release. “We hope the research will spark many conversations, not only about how marketers can help rebuild our economy and make their respective brands stronger than before, but also about how we can continue to steward brands that build value and stay relevant to consumers across generations.”
The research coincides with the launch of Brownstein’s Brand Longevity Lab™, a platform created to provide continued insights and tools for brands to prioritize their marketing investments by identifying the unique drivers of resilient brands.
The model and methodology, outlined in the whitepaper, can be downloaded here.
The survey was conducted online in the United States from February 1 through February 14, 2021 among 3,001 U.S. adults and 400 U.S. brand and marketing professionals. This research marks the first of several reports from Brownstein’s Brand Longevity Lab, which will release additional survey findings and insights on how to build brand longevity over the next several months.