Building strong brands is an evolutionary process. It takes time, ideally some consumer insights and research and many factors need to be considered. Until recently, a lot of businesses spent their entire focus on creating a brand identity, i.e. how it looks.
At the ‘Identity’ stage of brand development, you’re essentially creating the visual representation of your brand and its personality, while aiming to differentiate from competitors. This is an important stage as it is crucial for brand to visually resonate with your audience, however it’s foolhardy to stop there. You might be able to get a brand across the line with just great looks, but it sure is a short-term plan.
With social media savvy millennials and even the rest of us, we’re all seeing through ‘pretty picture marketing’ and are searching for what's behind the brand – being its brand values.
Where Brands Can Fail:
1. Not including their brand values as part of their brand story or marketing communications.
Just look at ‘Thank you’ Water. Essentially, it's just water, but it’s their values/purpose and beliefs that make their audience want to get behind the brand. See their website: thankyou.co/
Steve Jobs spoke about the importance of a company’s values;
“To me, marketing is about values. This is a very complicated world, it’s a very noisy world. And we’re not going to get the chance to get people to remember much about us. No company is. So, we have to be really clear on what we want them to know about us.”
2. Not allowing any budget for post launch marketing activities.
Launching a website and telling your friends will not be sufficient to ensure your brand’s success. You need to allow budget for both awareness* and communications** of the brand.
*Awareness: You need to get your brand out there and tell the world. That might be via social or digital advertising, local area marketing, or media and PR.
**Brand communications. This can be done fairly cost effectively by delivering e-newsletters to your client database, posting on your social channels, creating a quick video on YouTube etc.
Where Brands Shine:
1. Do something that is unique to you, your personality and your values.
Communicate through a marketing activity that helps differentiate you from competition and clearly represents what you are about - this is where you can become more than just 'a brand'. Richard Branson at the time he was launching Virgin Airlines knew that he could never compete with the likes of British Airways, so he added something to the campaign that no one could ever replicate; himself! By adding his personality to the brand mix, he achieved worldwide media coverage for the campaign without paying for it!
See here 13 brilliant marketing stunts done by Richard Branson.
2. Always provide the experience of a lifetime!
Whether it's a phone call, a coffee chat, meeting, selling goods, packaging design or store fit-outs remember to create a memorable experience. At the heart and soul of every great brand is an awesome experience to be had and for some companies that part is hard to nail - let alone market it. However, if you can encompass the personality, the values, the purpose, the ‘why’ of the brand, there are many great ways to provide great brand experiences on all levels: from the store design, entry, welcome experience, the buying experience, even down to the packaging. This is why Apple stores were developed, not necessarily to sell product, but to sell the experience.
“The very successful Apple retail store model gives prospective customers direct experience of Apple's brand values. Apple retail visitors experience a stimulating, no pressure environment where they can discover more about the Apple family, try out the company's products, and get training and practical help. Apple retail staff are helpful, informative, and let their enthusiasm show without being brash or pushy.” Taken from http://www.marketingminds.com.au/apple_branding_strategy.html
And once you purchase an Apple product and take it home, such as the iPhone you lift the box lid and the product is packaged masterfully; not hidden underneath cardboard or covered with bubbles. Apple is great at keeping the brand experience consistent both in-store and the home, including buying and even opening the product.
See Here - The Top 3 Best Brand Experiences of 2016
Written by: Craig Edwards (brand consultant / director)
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