Ever wonder how Big Brands like Coca-Cola, Samsung, Facebook, Apple, Starbucks, Google, and Rolex make business seem all so easy? The only one thing these guys have in common – 'a successful Brand Building Strategy'!
So what does this vague broad term/awesome magical secret for guaranteed Business Success - ‘A Successful Brand Building Strategy’ - actually mean?
1. The ultimate ‘Brand’ definition!
Confused? We don’t blame you. There are tons of definitions floating around the market –
The Designer’s definition – logo, website, design, color & look and feel
The PR definition – perception, hype, buzz & reputation
The Banker’s definition – tangible & intangible assets: earning numbers, numbers & more numbers!
The Marketer’s definition – viral communication, endorsements, advertising & marketing: spending numbers, numbers and more numbers!
The Consultant’s definition – flawless execution
While we agree that every Brand entails an optimum concoction of all of the above, the true determinant of a successful Brand is the emotional connect with the Consumer when they interact with you, your product, your service!
In short, a Brand is the extent of customer engagement and loyalty achieved through years of providing a genuine, scalable and sustainable EMOTIONAL EXPERIENCE!
2. Breaking the rules: building your own boundaries
Now that we have ‘defined’ our Brand, how exactly do we achieve this ‘emotional’ connect?
For a Brand to go down in history and survive the ends of time, this has just GOT to be done! Push the boundaries, think out-of-the-box, think crazy, think different… the smartest and most successful Brands have adopted this and set precedents.
The lesson to learn here is not to emulate a successful brand strategy, but Create your Own!
Remember Apple’s genius ad campaign: ‘Think Different’ ? Well, that’s what you need to do too!!
3. Identifying your Ingredients
What makes McDonalds (and not Burger King) resonate with a large burger and fries? What makes Samsung 60% more synonymous with Android compared to any other Brand? What makes Xerox synonymous with ‘photocopy’?
These Brands identified their Ingredients and turned the tables from using ingredients to actually becoming the ingredients.
Before connecting with the Consumer, a real Brand extends its values and emotions to its ingredients –management, employees, infrastructure, brand identity and vision, marketing efforts. Once embedded in the Brand ingredients, the product or ‘emotion’ can then be passed on to the consumer translating into the reputation and the numbers.
4. Whats your X-Factor?
All successful brands have that one single X-factor that differentiates them from the noise – that competition and clutter. Even 25 years later, Nike’s simple yet legendary tagline ‘Just Do It’ resonates with my 10 year old niece to my 70 year old grandfather.
An X-factor must be defined in 2-3 words and have the following qualities:
• Unique – has to stand apart from the competition
• Integrated – easy integration on a multi-user, multi-communication platform whether its a new product, a new ad campaign, new communication medium
• Emotional – has to ‘connect’ with the right chords of the Consumer
• Genuine – the consumer should trust the authenticity of every product offered by the Brand
• Scalable – has to stand the test of time even when the Brand is extended through the launch of a new product / service / feature
• Sustainable – has to be consistently delivered across every product offering, marketing campaign and user experience
5. Working past your limitations
Remember, anything and everything- internal & external affects your Brand. You can’t stop the external noise and clutter – your Competition, the limitations, the negative feedbacks, and the unlimited distractions.
What you can control and manage are your internal resources (the ‘ingredients’). Stay focused; identify and leverage your X-factor to create THE BRAND which makes headlines & creates history.
Brand Building is a long-term strategy; not a short-term miracle! The ‘Brand Building’ exercise must start from day minus 1. A truly successful Brand is one which sets its own standards & then overdelivers on its expectations!