We live in a world filled with technology-empowered consumers who have access to more information on brands than ever before. Armed with this information, they are telling brands where, when, and how they want to engage. This new world has sent marketers and the brand’s they support into a tailspin — they are losing control of their brand message and are losing trust with consumers. My colleagues Tracy Stokes, Chelsea Hammond, and I have developed a framework that helps marketers stop their free fall and chart a new course for their brand to win mindshare and market share in this new world. We call it the TRUE Brand Compass Framework.

In this framework, we take the stance that for marketers to succeed in building a 21st century brand, they need to focus on a new set of metrics that capture brand resonance. Professor Kevin Lane Keller perfectly states what brand resonance is: “where customers feel a connection or sense of community with the brand and they would miss it if it went away.” In our research and advanced analytics on brand resonance, we identified four key dimensions that each significantly influence brand resonance. These four dimensions are TRUE: trusted, remarkable, unmistakable, and essential.


The TRUE Brand Compass is designed to guide marketers to achieve the right balance of building a brand that is trusted, remarkable, unmistakable, and essential. We found that focusing on these four dimensions ensures success in three key performance metrics that are necessary to securing brand resonance in this consumer-empowered world: brand preference, brand referral, and brand pricing premium.

We are using the TRUE Brand Compass in our research on the 21st century brand on a variety of different industry verticals such as CPG, retail, finance, media, consumer electronics, healthcare and insurance. In fact, we just published two reports focusing on the CPG space — one on health and beauty brands and the other on food and beverage brands — that highlights some of interesting differences we are seeing across brands. My colleague Tracy Stokes writes about some of her thoughts on the CPG space in her blog post.

If you are interested in hearing more details about how you can leverage our TRUE Brand Compass framework for your brand, we are conducting a webinar on July 29th. I hope you can join us!