A valuable brand is way more important today than in the past, mainly because of a crowded marketplace that bombards consumers with products and information. How do buyers differentiate and choose? Mostly by trust and branding.

The best branding today is based on a strong idea and an impeccable customer experience. The best brands have remarkable creativity in advertising to help them break through people’s wall of indifference to create brand heat and product lust.

No branding, no differentiation. No differentiation, no long-term profitability. People don’t have relationships with products, they are loyal to brands. In a movement strategy, brands have a purpose that people can get behind. Brands can inspire millions of people to join a community. Brands can rally people for or against something. Products are one dimensional in a social media-enabled world, brands are Russian dolls, with many layers and beliefs that can create great followings of people who find them relevant. Brands can activate a passionate group of people to do something like changing the world. Products can’t really do that.

In today’s world, branding is more important than ever. But you can’t simply build a brand like they did in the old days. You need a cultural movement strategy to achieve kinetic growth for your brand. With that, the sky’s the limit.

I have long advised financial services companies that if you don’t control your messaging somebody else will and your potential customers will form impressions of you shaped by somebody else or by nobody at all.

But this process doesn’t have to be complicated. Just establish your key values and communicate them often and simply. Each time you do, you are building your brand.