In essence a brand is a label, which represents the promises your business pledges to deliver. This could be a promise of quality, competitive prices, convenience, fun, nostalgia or prestige. If you successfully choose a great business name, the operations of your business will have a better chance of success with your target market.
In most cases your brand name is the shorthand for your small business.
A good brand will stand for key ideals that resonate with your target market. A bad brand will stand for indifference or nothing at all. Unsure if you believe me? Let’s step out behind the theory for a moment and examine your emotional responses to brands:
The Emotional Strength of Brands
Below is a list of famous brands. Take a moment to read each brand name
- Toyota & Ford
- BMW & Audi
- Ralph Lauren & Yves Saint Laurent
- Vespa & Aprilia
- Amazon & Borders
- Google & Yahoo
- Facebook & Myspace
- iPhone & Nexus
- Pepsi & Coke
- Pixar & Disney
- NASCAR & Formula 1
- Nike & Adidas
- Intel & AMD
- Nintendo Wii & Playstation
- Yamaha & Kawasaki
- Heinz & Campbell’s
- Nikon & Olympus
Notice how your emotions rise and fall depending on the brand you are thinking about? Your response could be anything from a fleeting rejection to a strong bond full of imagery and praise. Your response is based on your experiences (either personal or second hand) and whether your experience lived up to the promises of the brand.
In a comparative situation, when you buy a brand’s product or service, you’re giving its ideals the thumbs up. You are identifying with something within that brand. All things remaining equal, you will generally stay loyal to this brand as long as its price tag matches the value of the brand promise.
What Makes a Successful Brand?
Firstly, a brand must own a promise that is easy to understand and valued by its customers. Famous brands that have managed to own a promise include:
- Wikipedia – Free information online
- Moët & Chandon – Prestigious champagne
- Miele – Premium quality electrical products
- Disney - Fun entertainment for the whole family
- Tiffany & Co – The world’s premier jeweler
- Harley Davidson – The original motorcycle
- Photoshop - The standard for graphics professionals
- Dove - The soap with ¼ moisteriser
- IKEA – Great value furniture
- Black Berry – Access and send information from anywhere
- Heinz - Trusted food staples
Secondly, all brand activities must consistently apply this promise. This means, your promise needs to be embedded through every internal and external touch point and process.
This is where successful brands must be strong and maintain the focus. For months. For years. For decades! But most importantly – through staff changes. Brands should not waiver from their promise just because a few internal people are bored or looking to justify their value. Brands that stray from their promise undermine their long term value.
Brands take decades to build. It is the patient meticulous business owner that will reap the benefits.
What’s the name of your favourite brand? And why?
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