Have you drunk a Coke lately? Have you gone to McDonald’s? These brands are recognizable around the entire world. What about them makes them tried, true people pleasers? A well-executed approach to branding is a key part of the immense success enjoyed by such companies.
They’ve also been a very long time in the making. What you see today is a culmination of years of research and trial and error. The world’s best brands have been tweaked and reinvented and are constantly changing in small ways without changing and losing their repeat customer appeal and an awful lot of work goes into building a brand that’s so incredibly successful. Is it worth it? Put it this way: Who hasn’t heard of the names mentioned above?
Obviously, 99.9% of all businesspeople aren’t going to have that sort of brand – but you never want to treat it as any less. Your brand is your name recognition; your image. It is what makes you and your business unique, desirable, and honest, and, most importantly, worth spending money on. To you, a brand should be your business’s identity, and it should be a part of you that you care enough about to constantly improve.
To customers, however, a terrific brand is a bit different. Customers aren’t going around, by and large, looking at the intricacies of your business. What they’re looking for is good product(s), and something that resonates with them and would cause them to spend their money.
The overall idea is for a customer to enjoy your brand and not only its particular products. To them, the brand is a set of emotional attributes that keep them interested. This could be the colourful packaging, the way they were treated by a sales rep, or a combination of things that bring them satisfaction. The bottom line with the brand is to create customer loyalty and influence their purchase.
A great brand will live inside a customer’s head and help guide their decision. But what makes your brand that terrific? What would you have to do in your business to turn your idea or startup brand into a winner? There are a few key elements in a successful brand.
First and foremost, your brand needs exposure. The more people know about it and have access to it, the more name recognition your brand has. However, there’s much more to it than the marketing approach you take. Before you even advertise, it’s imperative that you have a stellar product to begin with. Quality has to be an attribute synonymous with your brand for it to be successful.
You have to offer great customer value. The brand needs to resonate with your customers on a monetary-slash-emotion level. Great savings for great value will definitely stir up some good emotions. To that end, your brand also needs to be different than what’s out there already. Take good care to ensure that you’re creating separation in the market.
Is your brand economically viable? Depending on what your brand “is,” you can work through trial and error, through focus groups or even through giveaways to make sure there’s interest in your brand which, in turn, leads to demand for your product.
Lastly, coming full circle, the most important factor in name brands is the marketing. You need to not only advertise your brand initially, but you have to keep it competitive and in people’s minds by constantly redirecting the marketing strategy. Even if you’re only after a niche market, the scope of your brand has to be large in order to be successful for a sustained period.