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Is stability a springboard or deathbed for a brand's success?

Lavanya MN

Senior Planning Director

Wunderman Thompson

Lavanya.MN@jwt.com

Is stability a springboard or deathbed for a brand's success?

Brand stability is defined as the degree to which a brand's attributes are perceived as permanent (that is, stable over time), allowing customers to confidently anticipate the future performance of the brand.

For the most part, investors and owners have loved this kind of stability. Over the past decade, in and around all this stability, we've seen the advent of the web, the dot-com boom and bust, and the rise of global networking – important developments all, yet also plenty stressful.

But in this age of constant change, is stability always a good thing? Look around. You will see many young companies and start-ups thriving on disruption and innovation. Swiggy changed the way we eat, while Uber changed the way we travel. If these brands had only pursued stability, these disruptions would have never seen the light of the day.

But also consider Apple, which is in fact a company that has not only been a stable brand name, but has also constantly brought in disruptions into the market. Now that’s a perfect balance. Indeed, the key for most brands lies in striking a balance between stability and disruption. Brands need to be able to be stable with respect to their core brand attributes so that a solid, cohesive brand is build. But when it comes to offerings and services, they should continue to innovate and disrupt.

Stability can indeed be a deathbed for brands that refuse to acknowledge the changing environment and needs of consumers. Yet stability can also be a boon, a springboard for brands that are willing to leverage their core brand assets while shaking themselves out of a stable but monotonous haze.