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The Brand Flip
Marty Neumeier
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Marty Neumeier in his book The Brand Flip challenges to marketers and business owners to flip their thinking.

Customers first! that is what the companies need to position themselves today.

Customers hold the fate of businesses in their hands, this never happened in the history of business.

Businesses that develop deep, personal relations with their customers see the best long-term growth. 

We should change the traditional way we see the purchase funnel and think or flip it to a ladder.

The Purchase Funnel

The purchase funnel is a way to describe how people interact with your business and eventually become your customers. 

On the top of the funnel is the first stage of awareness, through marketing or word of mouth, someone has come to know your business exists. They are aware of you and begin their journey through the purchase funnel.

the second stage is the interest in your product or service, they begin to consider you a viable purchasing option. Once they are ready to make a purchase decision, they evaluate you against your competitors, and maybe they choose you. Purchasing is at the bottom of the funnel and the smallest group of people. 

Visually this describes as a funnel because the group of people who will actually buy from you becomes smaller at every stage. They may lose interest or choose a competitor and leave your purchase funnel. 

The marketer’s job is to keep as many people in the funnel as long as possible. 

Martin Neumeier has five reasons why The Purchase Funnel is no longer helpful:

  1. it only projects sales in short term.
  2. it assumes that customers move toward their purchase decision in predictable stages.
  3. In the funnel, current revenue is more important to your business than brand-building.
  4. It values acquiring customers over retaining them.
  5. It assumes that those who don’t buy from your business have no value.

His point is a today’s consumers often go through all four stages of the buyer’s journey all at once, without ever leaving the webpage they landed on. Decisions are no longer made in definable stages, the internet has made instantaneous, flash decisions possible, and brand building has eclipsed traditional marketing to customers.

A Funnel is designed to sift through the many to capture the few and thrives on divide and conquer. find your market niche and fill it through targeting, analytics, and segmentation. Your business grows through sales.


The Brand Leader

The Brand Leader or the Brand Commitment Scale (BSC) measures how a company can move from satisfaction to empowering their customers. An empowered customer incorporates your brand into their lives. and they are totally loyal to you and your product or service.

Everyone can measure, everyone can do it, and is almost free, the only thing cost is your patience and an effort to stay with your customers after the sale. 

The brand leader is different from the funnel, it begins with your existing customer, learning how they use your product or interact with your company, and helping them grow through you. 


this is the easy part. Is my customer satisfied with the company and what I made? you should be knocking this out of the park with incredible product or content, right?

This is actually the easiest stage to measure: repeat customers, a lack of complaints, and overall sales growth can be effective metrics to show if people are buying and coming back. A satisfied customer is willing to repurchase your product or service, and that builds confidence, and confidence is the cornerstone of your brand growth. Without con confidence, your brand can truly grow. 


The next step up is Delight, Where you do one better than simply delivering on time or not burning their house down with your product. This begins to establish Trust, which is more valuable than confidence, and truly begins your growth.

Here your positive reviews, social page likes, email subscriptions, or other metrics can help you measure brand success by sharing their delight online with positive sentiment, people will begin to move up your brand leader without any prompting or paid campaigns 

You can delight your customers with craft packaging, personalized messages, a great on-boarding process, prompting or valuable software updates: whatever the case is for your brand, taking that extra step to create delight is key. 


Brands need to think about changing from solid to liquid-like water. They need to adapt to the new circumstances and to touch everyone and everything in their path. A liquid brand can course forward across platforms, through channels, over boundaries, and into touchpoints. Martin Weigel thinks brands are becoming more like software. Brands can now remember what we like and what we bought. 

Brands need to be adaptive so they flow through our lives. Managers need to build a brand not only one time and is done. Branding is a continuing story told by both the company and its customers. Brading is not a checklist but an endless storyboard.

Using a great social design system can deliver incredible value by creating a sense of belonging. Investment in this phase of growing your brand can deliver value for years to come, and help keep your brand profitable during times of uncertainty through continued social engagement outside of paid advertising.

With a strong brand image that speaks authentically, there. no limit to the lasting value that can build.

Through this engagement, your brand will become more than a product, an app, or a podcast, it becomes part of a person’s day-to-day life. They feel like belong to something bigger than themselves by connecting with you, your product, and its other users. Creating compelling content that people want to share, or a product that creates a community or helps them express themselves will continue their journey upwards on your brand ladder. Here, you can begin to measure brand success with positive social chatter, likes, videos, views, and other social metrics.

“Customers don’t want to be told, they want to TELL. they long to be the HEROES of their own journeys”

Often a customer can find the perfect product, feel #emotionally attached enough to recommend it via social media, but no longer engage with the brand after this stage, it is vital to continue your marketing strategy post-sale to remain connected with your users through sharing how others are using the product or service on Pinterest or Instagram, by building forums, Facebook groups or other online communities for users, or hosting a User Generated Content challenge on TikTok. 

As your audience grows, so will your brand public image, so be careful to keep delivering engagement and control how you are perceived. 

They feel connected with an emotional attachment to your brand, they feel they are connected not to a product but connected to a tribe. they feel they belong to something bigger than themselves. 


At this stage, you are no longer providing the rush of a positive purchase, and you’ve earned more than some SEO traffic or a recommendation.. you’ve built a lasting 1.1 connection with your brand that supports them and improves their quality of life.

In this stage, you can measure brand success through several ways: identify your evangelist, advocates, and power-users via social media email, or other communications channels. Is Your brand building your customer’s identity? Is your brand fulfilling your customer’s identity needs? is your brand creating a social status for your customers? (Rolex is the best example of this). 

To truly understand how to grow your brand, you’ll need to start with the customer and work with your marketing, support and sales teams to learn how your business can empower them to grow through your products. Creating a unique ‘ladder’ for your customer will take time, and patience, but once you do your brand, and business, can truly grow.



The brand flip 2016: why customers now run companies–and how to profit from it.  Pearson Education (US) print.


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