Branding is mistakenly seen as image building. Branding is actually an outcome of the way a company behaves. If all the employees understand the values which drive the brand, they will know how to behave in any circumstance.
Your customers expect your brand to learn, adapt and evolve over time. That's why your processes have to be flexible and frequently updated. So when you create a belief system, you have to include how your brand learns and how that learning is used.
Warc: 'Belief Systems' Guide Brands, 2014-May-16, interview with Shaun Nichols, vp/integrated content marketing at Dr Pepper Snapple Group
Having a "belief system" can thus prepare brands for the loss of control that comes with engaging consumers on digital platforms where two-way conversation is the norm, she argued.
"What we realised is that our role is not to lose sight of what our brand belief is, but … to conform with what our brand behaviours are."
Understanding how a brand should behave, alongside the main principles underpinning its communications, therefore lets marketers make progress at both the mass-market level and with smaller, more targeted, groups.
"For years we've all been saying we want to be out there in those niches players, we want to be doing that, but we didn't quite know what the message should be," Nichols said.