Brands that stick in the mind of the consumer are the brands that will be sought after when the need arises.
Here’s why you need to pay extra attention to the kind of brand you build for your business!
Have you ever wondered why a brand like Apple has become so powerful even with a seemingly odd name (who names a brand after a fruit?) or… why consumers remember a name that does not even tell what the brand is about (like Pepsi – a name coined from the medical term for indigestion)?
You may want to easily argue that those are established recognized brands…they could easily sell packaged poop as sandwich crème and people will still buy (which really is a scenario that can go either way. I mean, check out big-name brands that tried to sell products that were directly opposite to their brand identity). However, I think it’s the product of the work that has been done over the years to build, preserve and enhance the name we need to focus on
I know you are probably thinking “Aha! They have been in business for years and I am just starting out/I have been in business for just a couple. How can I beat what has been built for years?”
Let’s pretend to ignore that (yes… try to ignore that important fact for some minutes) and try to understand why their names and brands have persevered and, why they have somehow become market leaders in markets where competition is crazy.
Why would someone remember a (Coca-Cola) over a (Pepsi) even though they have basically the same product or… why would someone go for a higher-priced (service brand) when a (cheaper service brand) would easily offer the same service for less?
Embrace Your Identity/Own Your Idea
As a consumer, if you really compared some of your favorite products or services to their closest competitor and wonder why you use them instead of their competitors, a picture starts to form in your mind and ideas on why you prefer them start to come to mind.
Funny fact is…the first picture that may come to mind for you may probably be that funny, cheesy or awesome advert you saw about the product. Heck… that may even be what prompted you to try it out in the first place!
This was the selling strategy that sold Snuggie, the wearable blanket/robe that made over $400 million in sales. The product was not exactly spectacular, the early advert for it was even cheesier. Still, people bought (and still buy) it. It’s amazing how people buy something just because it is cheesy and they want in on that ‘cheesy’
The brand campaign or ad strategy you adopt has to be something that essentially captures the idea and identity of your brand. If your product is weird or cheesy, an ad or campaign that is equally cheesy would drive the message home. If your product is premium, creating a marketing campaign that is sleek with an overall high-end look will make the consumer feel like he/she is getting an exclusive invite into the ‘Premium’ club and that sense of elitism would create a need that can only be fulfilled by buying into the identity
Cue Apple with its minimalist, premium brand idea… everyone that I know wants an Apple product but, not everyone can afford it. You can say Apple’s products are ridiculously priced and exorbitant by all means but, does it stop its customers from buying? No. Are the owners of that brand apologetic about the kind of prices they slap on their products?
‘The brand campaign or ad strategy you adopt has to be something that essentially captures the idea and identity of your brand’
What’s The Story?
A business can become accepted and etched in its customers’ minds because of its brand story. Great brand stories are not just something you write on a whim; they are usually the foundation of the business, the reason why the business idea came to be in the first place, the driving force for the business and even the reason why customers choose to identify with the business.
A great brand story to consider is The TOMS SHOES story which was inspired by sight of children without shoes in Argentina. What makes TOMS SHOES special is that; for every shoe they sell, a pair is donated to a child in need of shoes and, through this initiative, the company has donated over 50 million of shoes to children all over the world.
Why will you – as a customer – choose to identify with the brand and buy shoes?
This is because of the satisfaction that comes with knowing that; every time you buy a pair of shoes, you become the reason why a child somewhere in the world will go to bed with a new pair of shoes. It’s just an awesome feeling you can’t afford to pass up (not forgetting that Toms are amazingly simple, stylish and comfortable. It’s a double win for you as a customer)
That is Brand Messaging …the story behind the idea.
If you cannot afford to give out a pair of shoes like TOMS SHOES does, that does not mean you can’t have an awesome brand story too. The most important aspect is to make the customers feel like they are an integral part of the business and show them where exactly they fit into in your business puzzle/map. In a world where there are so many products and services competing for their attention, it takes a lot (in reality, it is usually a little extra) to gain – and keep – the attention of the customer.
‘In a world where there are so many products and services competing for their attention, it takes a lot (in reality, it is usually a little extra) to gain – and keep – the attention of the customer.’
Your Product is as important as Your Brand
There will little or no impact for an awesome brand with a crappy product. Imagine spending so much on making your business look so good… so much that customers want to get in on the action and, the product does not live up to the brand hype? Even if a lot of customers buy the product upfront, once a bad word gets out about it, preserving the integrity of such a brand becomes increasingly harder. The reason why Coca-Cola remains an iconic brand today is not just because of its branding (including the lights and sounds) but also, because it has successfully created a product that millions of consumers around the world love and identify with. Branding and product are wrapped as a total package and (honestly), the place and importance of either element is critical to business success
What Do You Stand For?
Brand values are an extremely important part of the business. This is played out very easily in politics where people join a party because the party espouses the very beliefs, ideas and principles they stand for.
Republicans lean more towards conservatism and believe that government should have little control over the market, economy should be run by the private sector and basically, every man should take responsibility for himself. Democrats – on the other hand – are liberals who believe the welfare of the people and the bulk of economy regulation should be the responsibility of government. They are also more open-minded about social rights and beliefs) So, when people vote, they naturally go for parties that support their beliefs and ideology.
What your business stands for should not just be in your brand story, mission, vision and slogan. You have to SHOW it. In business it’s all SHOW and TELL. Once the message is constantly and consistently passed across, the consumer that identifies with your brand values will naturally be attracted to you.
‘What your business stands for should not just be in your brand story, mission, vision and slogan. You have to SHOW it. In business it’s all SHOW and TELL’
Morale of the Story
- Don’t just be a business…be a brand
- Don’t just be a brand… be a fantastic brand
- Don’t just be a fantastic brand… be a memorable brand
- Have a great product and provide great service
- Don’t just tell… SHOW and TELL
- Don’t describe your brand to your customers …Let your customers be an INTEGRAL part of your brand
Photo credit: www.pexels.com