Peter Jones.

Strategic thinking.

A brand is essentially a promise.

The bigger the promise, the more important it is to keep it.

People - and "consumers" are people - judge you on what you do, not what you say.

They want you to display emotional intelligence and empathy. They expect you to deliver.

Think about what drives your opinion of your bank. The ads you see? Or the bank's response when you need something from them?

It's the experience, of course. And it's the same for everyone.

A brand needs to reflect what customers want (even if they don't know it yet), matched with what the company wants to achieve.

This won't happen without absolute clarity of purpose. Only a company-wide understanding of and commitment to that will lead to consistent delivery.

A coherent approach to communications is also a must-have.

All this is easily said - but not so easily achieved.

Furthermore, there's something new and important happening.

More and more people are making brand judgements as citizens, not mere consumers. Choosing to do business with the companies who demonstrate real responsibility.

It's a new challenge. Particularly germane in these post recession days. And yet another element of the alchemy that makes up a great brand.