NEW YORK: Establishing a "brand belief system" can help marketers ensure their messaging and actions remain consistent across the wide range of channels now at their disposal, a leading executive has argued.

Shaun Nichols, vp/integrated content marketing at Dr Pepper Snapple Group, told delegates at the Advertising Age Digital Conference 2014 that using a brand "playbook" had previously worked well on traditional media.

Dr Pepper, however, wished to answer a key question: "If we start to move away from that into more niche areas – into more granular communities, into more fragmented places – what starts to happen?"

Creating a "brand belief system", as summed up by the phrase "We believe 'one of a kinds' make the world a better place", promised to guide its action across the "galaxy of ways" of reaching and talking to people, she said. (For more, including details of how to activate a brand's "belief system" read Warc's exclusive report: Dr Pepper celebrates being "one of a kind".)

"The consumer now has the choice to be able to choose when they want to listen to us, where they want to listen to us and, in fact, what they want to hear from the brand," Nichols added.

"It was a brand system that allowed us to be clearly understood, but at the same time it allowed us to tell a variety of different stories to a number of different people."

Having a "belief system" can thus prepare brands for the loss of control that comes with engaging consumers on digital platforms where two-way conversation is the norm, she argued.

"What we realised is that our role is not to lose sight of what our brand belief is, but … to conform with what our brand behaviours are."

Understanding how a brand should behave, alongside the main principles underpinning its communications, therefore lets marketers make progress at both the mass-market level and with smaller, more targeted, groups.

"For years we've all been saying we want to be out there in those niches players, we want to be doing that, but we didn't quite know what the message should be," Nichols said.

Data sourced from Warc