An ecosystem is defined as an interconnected or complex network – a group of people or animals interacting not only with their physical environment, but also with one another. You can view your branding efforts as an ecosystem, as well. All the elements of a successful branding strategy – packaging, communication, advertising, and more – all need to work together toward a common goal.
In a biological ecosystem, the elements must work together harmoniously to be successful. The same can be said for a branding ecosystem. Some of the most vital elements include:
For an ecosystem to be successful, all these elements must be designed, created, and executed in such a way that they create synergy within the brand. If one element fails to deliver, it takes a toll on the others. Just as an entire ecosystem suffers if its water source becomes polluted, your brand will suffer if there are problems with any of the major elements.
Advertising and branding are not the same; in fact, advertising is just one element in the branding ecosystem. When it comes to marketing strategies, it is vital to remember to build your brand through this marketing the way you want people to see it. Make sure your marketing creates an emotion you want consumers to associate with your brand, and you will be well on your way to success. Along those same lines, it is also important to identify your most important marketing channels. You can think of these channels like tributaries of an ecosystem’s main body of water. These tributaries ensure the water reaches as many people as possible.
Packaging is another key component in your brand’s ecosystem. When comparing product packaging to a biological ecosystem, it is most like the environment where the communities exist. The environment must protect the individuals, and it must also offer them some visual appeal. The same can be said of your product packaging. If consumers do not like the way it looks, or if it does a poor job of protecting the product inside, it is unlikely that consumers will be compelled to buy.
In a biological ecosystem, communication is key. Animals communicate with each other to warn of danger, and people communicate with each other to learn more about their environment. Your communication strategies are vitally important to your branding ecosystem, as well. Marketing a product to a specific group of people by “speaking their language” helps you create brand ambassadors – people who will continue spreading the word, even when your brand is nowhere around. In turn, these ambassadors continue your marketing efforts for you, allowing your brand to grow.
The branding ecosystem is just as complex as a biological one, and every element influences all the others. For this reason, it is important to give each element of your branding strategy just as much attention as the next. If one element fails to deliver, the rest will feel the impact.