A company’s brand is vital to its performance in the market, and marketers generally know this. Research from Gartner, Inc., its “Gartner Brand Strategy and Innovation Survey 2019,” found that 58 percent of marketing leaders believe brand is a critical driver of buyer behavior for prospects, and 65 percent believe it is a critical driver of buyer behavior for existing customers. However, the survey also identified the top challenges around brand marketing.

Gartner’s survey found that among the survey of 393 respondents in the U.S., Canada and the UK, the challenges around brand marketing most often cited were managing a global brand and keeping the brand relevant, both at 35 percent. Trailing close behind were measuring the impact of brand investments (31 percent), creating a compelling brand vision (30 percent) and integrating brand effectively into all communications (29 percent).

“Managing a global brand is a complex, multidimensional task,” says Chris Ross, vice president analyst at Gartner. “Even brands that may not see themselves as global are operating in a more tightly connected global ecosystem. As a result, the challenges of being a global brand extend to a large number of marketing leaders today.”

Ross adds, “Brand relevance and resonance can be extremely fluid based on a polarized marketplace, new disruptive business models and ever-changing consumer requirements. Marketers who want to stay relevant must be highly attuned to their customers, competitors and larger cultural and economic trends.”

To overcome these challenges and improve brand performance, Gartner recommends that marketing leaders watch for new competitors launching in other parts of the world and be aware of regional or cultural trends that may impact their category or products, as marketers must find the right balance between maintaining brand consistency while also being responsive and adaptive to individual market needs.

The company also advises brands to commit to the ongoing pursuit of relevance by actively monitoring the marketplace to remain tuned into the trends, preferences and cultural factors that shape the collective mindset, and to measure every brand investment possible, but be open about what can’t be measured. While it is critical that marketers be ambitious about quantifying brand initiatives, they must also be realistic about brand spending that cannot be easily assessed.

More information on Gartner’s survey and further brand challenges identified by respondents can be found here.