Success always leaves clues and branding is no exception. The great thing is, you don’t need to be on the scale of Coke in do what the greats do. That’s why we’ve complied a list of the top five traits of every successful brand.
Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonalds said it best with his famous insight on business-customer relationships.
“Look after the customers and the business will take care of itself.”
This simple, yet powerful understanding of the relationship between both groups has proven itself to be a solid “Law” in business. This is because consumers are first and foremost, people. They respond well to positive acts like generosity and concern, no matter who it is coming from. If a brand is able to capture the same essence of a ‘good person,’ then they will respond positively.
With social media being used so frequently today, brands have more opportunities to build on their relationships with customers than ever before. In fact, a new study by the Internet Advertising Bureau has found that 90% of consumers would recommend a brand to others after interacting with them on social media.
Alright, let’s do a little experiment…
Think of three different brands of soft drink right now. Go!
Don’t take too long, just the first ones that come to mind!
Have you got three? Good.
When we asked one of our IT staff the same question, he answered with “Coke, Pepsi and Fanta.”
Now we’re not sure what your answer was, but we feel confident assuming that the brands were famous and not obscure choices from your local grocery store.
The reason for this exercise was to illustrate a point. The reason that our IT guy chose those three particular brands isn’t because they necessarily are superior in quality, but because they have carved a space for themselves in the “soft drink” portion of his mind.
All successful brands have this trait. You can’t think of Internet searching without thinking of Google, or fast food and McDonalds. Through their branding efforts, they are they go-to in our minds.
We’ve done a lot on the topic of integrated marketing and its importance for success in business. In a nutshell, it refers to marketing that is consistent in its messaging across all touch points.
For example, Apple’s main brand message is “Think Different.” In every element of their marketing, they make sure to highlight the fact they do things differently. From their “Mac Vs PC” ad campaign to their minimalistic design style, their first point of call is that they do things differently.
Coke’s brand message has changed over the years, but since 2009 it has been “Open Happiness.” Throughout every single marketing effort, they have ensured that their message comes through. Every commercial involves people opening Coke in a setting that is incredibly fun and exciting. This constant reinforcement secures the message that Coke creates happiness.
Another fitting quote that is brilliant in both simplicity and accuracy is by self-help guru Tony Robbins. His insight is not only applicable to branding, but life in general.
He said, “When you’re not growing, you’re dying.”
What he was saying that we often have an idea of being ‘stuck’ or ‘stagnant’ with our careers, businesses or lives that equates to no gain or loss of success. Rarely do we think that a plateau is the same as going backwards. However, he suggests otherwise.
The world is constantly changing, which means that the idea of a ‘plateau’ is relative to a certain point in time. In many cases when business owners say that they are standing still, they forget that the rest of the world is moving forwards, which means they are actually going backwards. This means that businesses need to constantly be adapting in order to succeed.
Things are no different when it comes to branding. Successful brands are always changing their approach to connect with their customers. Hashtags, Facebook giveaways, Instagram competitions all meant nothing a mere 5 years ago, and now every major brand in the world uses them as a key part of their marketing strategies.
If you do a great job, consumers will talk about you. If you bring something new to the table, other brands will talk about you.
Brands that innovate consistently will set themselves apart from the competition and become the focal point of their industry. If we once again look at Apple, we see innovation at the highest level. Both its products and marketing efforts are innovative, which keeps their brand in the spotlight.
Being ‘innovative’ as a brand can come in many different forms. It can be a product or service (think Uber), it can be a form of marketing (think Old Spice) or it can even be the level of trust its customers have with it (think Google).
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