Updated: Nov 18, 2019
We all know them well. There are certain brands that have gone beyond providing excellent products and services. While being great feats, their abilities to evolve in a changing global environment, and still ‘wow’ us with great innovation leaves us hungry for more. Brands like Amazon, Google and Apple are some of the world’s most valuable, and none of it has happened by chance. Each of these brands is masters at managing their brands and we want to share with you some of the keys to their success.
Be easily identifiable
This may be obvious, but why not? Ensure that potential consumers are able to pick your brand out in a crowded marketplace. Take, for instance, Apple’s logo. This is much more than half-eaten fruit. It is a calling card that speaks to excellence in the tech space.
Oddly enough, many would argue that Apple is not even the leader in computer technology. However, when someone pulls an aluminum covered laptop from their briefcase or knapsack and we see its logo, we immediately associate it with market leadership. An easily identifiable brand helps consumers to sort through the clutter and pulls it inward leading to advocacy and loyalty.
Google, another iconic brand, has also successfully made itself synonymous with researching, as most people refer to looking for something on the internet as “googling”. While the act of researching can be done by multiple search engines, none creates more of a sense of credibility than Google does.
Back it up with your product or service
Perhaps forming the perfect marriage, identifiability goes hand-in-hand with a brand’s ability to create value. While it’s important to be seen, your product or service has to actually work. The consumer has to feel as though the product or service they purchased lines up with the way your brand has been positioned in their minds – in other words, the proof has to be in the pudding so to speak.
Failing on this key tenet can be nightmarish for a brand’s survival, as it is very hard to reclaim customers after you’ve lost them. Some companies are able to do this. However, the costs can be eye-popping. Toyota, while the auto manufacturing giant has been able to rebound, had to spend $2 billion on its recall nearly a decade ago after multiple cases of defective gas pedals sent the company’s brand image that was previously known for reliability into a tailspin.
Consistency is key
When a consumer interacts with your brand – whether it’s the logo or the brand messaging – they have to feel as though they are engaging in a seamless process of moving parts. This is so important if brands want to avoid confusing consumers. Would you take your money to an investment firm whose slogan reads, “Paving the way to your future”, if their posts on social media are consistently about the potential for financial losses? We’ll say that’s highly doubtful.
That being said, brands have to remain consistent. It is an intricate central nervous system for a company. Marketing managers have to remember that there is a constant exchange taking place between the brand and the consumer.
Ensure that you are always in control of the message.
Differentiate! Carve out your niche…
If you’ve tried one product, you’ve tried ‘em all, right? Typically, this is how consumers think. Therefore, usually, the first brand to present an interesting product or service into a vacant space is able to establish strong brand loyalty with consumers. That is how the first-mover advantage works.
It is also important to note the varying degrees of market sizes in a particular niche. If they’re not enough consumers to make a potential business opportunity worthwhile, a brand can never get off the ground – unless they learn how to differentiate their product.
Brands that know how to differentiate their product are the ones who either knew how to create additional value or pinpoint a specific group of individuals that would enjoy a particular tweak to an already existing product or service.
Use your megaphone
Did you hear about the company that came up with a way for human beings to time travel? Neither did we. While that’s because it probably doesn’t exist, the point we’re making is this - a brand can be doing something that we may all agree is cool and willing to pay top dollar for, but if nobody knows about it, it’s a wasted idea. It, unfortunately, becomes unmaximized potential and essentially untapped earnings.
The brands that amplify their message by sharing it with their audience, who may, in turn, share it with their networks, thrive. It’s because they’ve realized the power that social media has afforded them. More and more brands have moved from billboards to the social space because there is nowhere else that creates that kind of global marketplace.
The brands that figure out how to master social media and use it to their advantage are the ones we expect to be around for a long time.
Don’t be afraid to adapt
Let’s face it. We’re all not going to be spring chickens forever. Neither are our most favourite brands. However, while the rest of us may begin to wrinkle and sag, our brands don’t have to. As brands have to remain innovative to stay relevant, adapting to the changing consumer trends is necessary.
Apple’s first product was a computer because its visionary, Steve Jobs, thought it was important for everyone to have the ability to use a personal computer. Two decades later the growing desire for consumers to be able to do more things on the go led to the introduction of the iPod and iPhone.
By understanding the evolution of the modern consumer, Apple has been able to boast one of the most valuable brands in the world a few years running.
Make your consumers the hero in the story
New York Times best-selling author Donald Miller’s book, Building a Storybrand, highlights the 7 principles of creating a winning brand. Throughout the book, Miller reinforced the importance of brands serving as a guide to the consumer – the hero.
Where many brands make a mistake is that they position themselves as the heroes in their story (see used car salesmen).
The consumer wants to feel as if your product or service was made especially for their specific needs. As marketers, we have to remember – once the consumer feels it’s a win, then we’ve won. Our sole purpose of existence is to guide the consumer along a process that we hope creates value for them at the end.
There is an abundance of benefits to implementing effective marketing strategies. Doing so increases your ability to thrive and succeed in a competitive marketplace. The team at Fincastle Media has successfully developed strategies to create value for past and current clients and would be happy to help you succeed in crushing your goals.
Don’t hesitate to shoot us an email. We would be happy to hear from you!