EM360 Digital Blog

08 Sep 2015
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What make a brand successful?

With the vol­ume of com­pe­ti­tion that busi­ness­es face in most indus­tries, it’s nev­er been more impor­tant to stand out and devel­op a unique iden­ti­ty and val­ue propo­si­tion through strate­gic brand­ing. While it’s obvi­ous­ly impor­tant to offer a qual­i­ty pro­duct or ser­vice, effec­tive brand­ing is often at the heart of the com­pa­nies that thrive.

Accord­ing to Jer­ry McLaugh­lin, “brand is the per­cep­tion some­one holds in their head about you, a pro­duct, a ser­vice, an orga­ni­za­tion, a cause, or an idea. Brand build­ing is the delib­er­ate and skill­ful appli­ca­tion of effort to cre­ate a desired per­cep­tion in some­one else’s mind.” Let’s explore the com­mon char­ac­ter­is­tics of suc­cess­ful brands, so you can build your brand accord­ing­ly.

1. Audi­ence Knowl­edge

The best brands have a thor­ough under­stand­ing of the demo­graph­ics of their tar­get mar­ket, what their inter­ests are, and how they com­mu­ni­cate. Unless it’s a mega chain like Wal-Mart, most busi­ness­es have a speci­fic tar­get audi­ence they’re pur­su­ing. Under­stand­ing the tar­get mar­ket is crit­i­cal because it pro­vides direc­tion for the tone and reach of a mar­ket­ing cam­paign, along with the over­all iden­ti­ty of a brand, while help­ing to cre­ate an organ­ic, human con­nec­tion between a busi­ness and its audi­ence.

Try­ing to appeal to every­one (ie, ignor­ing the con­cept of a tar­get mar­ket) can be coun­ter­pro­duc­tive, caus­ing a company’s brand to become dilut­ed. Find­ing the right brand­ing approach requires first under­stand­ing the tar­get mar­ket.

2. Unique­ness

Estab­lish­ing a brand iden­ti­ty requires some­thing dis­tinc­tive. For instance, Apple has become known world­wide for their inno­v­a­tive prod­ucts and min­i­mal­is­tic, aes­thet­ic appeal. When it comes to ser­vice com­pa­nies, Domino’s Piz­za used to guar­an­tee that their piz­za would arrive in 30 min­utes or it’d be free. In terms of a sell­ing point, TOMS shoes donates a free pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair of shoes that are bought.

Cre­at­ing an iden­ti­ty with­in a niche doesn’t demand a rev­o­lu­tion­ary idea. It sim­ply needs to have one spe­cial thing that sep­a­rates it from the com­pe­ti­tion. In real­i­ty, it’s pos­si­ble to be “a one trick pony” as long as that trick is real­ly good. Once a com­pa­ny fig­ures out what that is, it can con­cen­trate on it and should gain recog­ni­tion in time.

Do you know what your unique pro­duct, ser­vice, or sell­ing point is with­in your niche? If not, start there when build­ing your brand­ing strat­e­gy.

3. Pas­sion

While it’s cer­tain­ly pos­si­ble to build a brand in the short-term with­out pas­sion, it’s almost impos­si­ble to sus­tain it in the long run. When you exam­ine mas­sive­ly suc­cess­ful peo­ple like Steve Jobs, they all have a seri­ous pas­sion that keeps pro­pelling them to work hard and con­tin­u­al­ly deliv­er great­ness. That pas­sion leads to enthu­si­asm and gen­uine joy, which is infec­tious.

Con­sumers often become just as enthu­si­as­tic about a pro­duct or ser­vice, lead­ing to word of mouth adver­tis­ing and refer­rals. Pas­sion also helps busi­ness­es per­se­vere through inevitable set­backs.

4. Con­sis­ten­cy

When con­sumers come back to a busi­ness for repeat sales, they usu­al­ly expect to receive the same lev­el of qual­i­ty as they did the first time. Restau­rants and their food and ser­vice qual­i­ty are a great exam­ple of this.

No one wants to deal with a com­pa­ny they can’t rely on for con­sis­ten­cy. With so many indus­tries being sat­u­rat­ed with com­peti­tors, incon­sis­ten­cy is often enough of a rea­son for con­sumers to take their busi­ness else­where.

[From forbes.com]

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