Brands are constantly changing all the time. Whether it’s the latest trends, acquiring strategies through digital marketing consultations, or even worldwide pandemics, brands need to be able to adapt and change to any environment.
But how should a brand go about modifying its business model? Go all-in with its physical store? Bet it all on their expertly designed website?
In a physical store, you can experience a lot at once; online, you need to scroll, navigate, and engage in browsing properly. All of these aspects are key to success. Essentially, to better appeal to customers online, you need to have a multidimensional brand.
What Is a Multidimensional Brand?
In a 1974 research paper by Jagdish N. Sheh and C. Wham Park, the two researchers explore brand loyalty. They postulate that brand loyalty has three distinct dimensions.
The Emotive Tendency Toward the Brand
Does your target audience like your brand? We mean emotionally. Do people have a favorable view of your business?
The emotive tendency in brand loyalty revolves around the like (or dislike) of your brand in comparison with other brands.
In their own words, Sheh and Park explain it as: “[The emotive tendency] refers to the affective (like-dislike), fear, respect or compliance tendency which is systematically manifested more in favor of a brand than other brands in the market place.”
In other words, does your brand evoke positive emotions and feelings that would attract customers over other brands?
The Evaluative Tendency Toward the Brand
“[The evaluative theory] refers to the positively biased evaluation of the brand on a set of criteria which are relevant to define the brand's utility to the consumer.”
To better understand the second dimension, let’s lay out an example. Brand loyalty aside, let’s say that Apple may be seen as reliable, sleek, stylish, and well-designed by the customer. Using evaluative methods, the customer base grows trust in the brand and its products.
The Behavioral Tendency Towards the Brand
“[The behavioral tendency] refers to the positively biased responses toward the brand with respect to its procurement, purchase, and consumption activities.”
This is the literal physical experience a customer will have when purchasing a product or service from a brand.
Do you have a nice physical location, outfitted with positive employees, constantly helping customers find what they need? The chances are good that the behavioral tendency toward your multidimensional brand will tend to skew positive in the customer’s mind.
Brands must embrace this idea of becoming more in-depth and multifaceted. In the world of advertising and marketing, there are no more borders holding information back.
Time zones, cultures, and countries are, for the most part, irrelevant. The world is a marketer’s playground. As such, a multidimensional brand should embrace this philosophy to succeed in future endeavors.
In a piece written by Young Kim of Prophet, she cites examples of brands (primarily physical locations) who begin to lean into the multidimensional mindset. Crossing lines, embracing new ideas, and engaging with never-before-seen initiatives.
She illustrates this point by bringing up the example of a few retailers who now promote social events at their physical stores.
Blending the social aspect of connecting with a customer and outright promoting and selling products, these stores put themselves in a fantastic position. More importantly, it shows that these brands are adaptable and ready for change at a moment’s notice.
As such, for a brand to succeed, they need to be able to cross channels seamlessly. Merely existing as a brick-and-mortar location can net your brand loyalty to residents, but your limited reach is a massive roadblock to growth. This is where something like digital marketing experiments can come in and shed light on new, effective strategies.
Let’s look at the different channels to consider when building your multidimensional brand.
The Social Media Connection
For example, even creating a free social media account on a platform like Instagram can net you hundreds (if not thousands) of new followers.
Another significant advantage of social media is that it allows your brand to connect with your clientele in multiple ways. In essence, it helps humanize your brand instead of being a no-frills, white collar, drab coffee shop in the heart of downtown.
But with an expertly run Instagram account, you can directly connect with users. Now, you’re a trendy city coffee cafe that serves every demographic, adding a much-needed Joie de Vivre to your corner of the city. More importantly, your brand has a likable, human quality to it.
This human quality helps further spur on business by connecting with your customer base on different levels. Ideally, this humanization will compel users to visit your account and location. Human interaction builds brand loyalty. Customers crave that human connection.
To sum up the social media angle:
- Show human interaction through social media - educate/entertain/show and tell, give them a reason to come back
- Be authentic and have a brand voice that stands out and is recognizable
- Have a website that can engage a user - in this day and age, everyone has a website, but it's crucial to engage with the users more than just an excellent first impression.
The Importance of Video
As we’ve gone over before regarding YouTube Ads, video is the future of effective advertising. 62% of internet browsing data is video, so it’s vital to have an immersive experience for users that’s fun and engaging. You want to inspire brand loyalty, don’t you?
When effectively using video ads to expose viewers to their products and services, a brand has an immediate leg up on their competition.
Final Thoughts on Creating a Multidimensional Brand
To sum things up, your brand needs to be able to adapt to the times.
More importantly, it needs to evolve using Sheth’s and Park’s brand loyalty theory, rapidly building emotive, evaluative, and behavioral potential. If you combine these concepts with revolutionary, new business models, marketing, and advertising, your brand will be in much better shape than it was before.
Jagdish N. Sheth and C. Whan Park (1974), "A Theory of Multidimensional Brand Loyalty,” in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 01, eds. Scott Ward and Peter Wright, Ann Arbor, MI: Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 449-459.