“A successful brand is a living entity – and it is enriched or undermined cumulatively over time, the product of a thousand small gestures” – Michael Eisner, CEO Disney
Power brands can outlive their founders and, aside from the vagaries of business and the economy, become immortal. A brand is ageless, it evolves and lives forever.
Successful brands are bigger than boom times. While almost any business can sustain itself in a thriving economy or when there is little competition, but when the going gets tough it is the company with a tough robust brand that powers on, while unbranded businesses are more likely to falter and fail.
Brands build loyalty and trust. As human beings, we are attracted to people with like minds, feelings and personalities.
Successful Brand managers leverage this human trait by connecting with their customer, delivering to their needs and providing a personality for the brand often without the customer’s conscious awareness of ‘their’ mutual and growing relationship.
However, you cannot build a brand by accident, overnight or by simply implementing ad-hoc tactics.
Brands, like people require nurturing, protection and care and are successfully brought to maturity through careful planning and dedication.
Today, a successful brand has to appeal beyond a product-benefit or attribute to win the buyer’s preference, and so marketing values, brand essence and brand personalities have been created in order to build a bond ‘beyond the product’ with the customer.
If you’re not using marketing effectively and efficiently, you’re starting way behind your competitors and providing them with an enormous potential advantage. In fact, these days, marketing can be the differentiator in an undifferentiated world — think bottled spring water:
Why does Evian spring to mind when it has no obvious or demonstrative product advantage?
The answer surely has as much, if not more to do with pure branding, than it has to do with pure water!
It is important that you recognise many of the characteristics and tools that the big successful brands use so effectively – that you can also deploy in the marketing of your company.
The Benefits of Investing in your Brand
Obviously, companies do not spend considerable time and money in developing their brand unless there is a return on their investment. The principal reason is that a good brand can do a great deal for your business and will increase sales.
1. A Successful Brand increases sales
Through generating leads by communicating to better-qualified customers with a message that impacts them and differentiates you from your competitors, you will increase sales. A brand also increases sales through increasing customer loyalty, premium pricing and understood differentiation.
A Brand retains customer loyalty. Importantly, as we all know from first-hand experience, loyal customers become your best (and cheapest) sales force by extolling your virtues to their friends and family.
A valued Brand keeps the customer coming back, easing the pressure on your marketing efforts, lowering your total cost of sale and increasing your profit margins.
2. A Successful Brand gives you permission to charge premium pricing.
Recognised and understood brands command higher prices for their product because customers perceive added benefits from a brand they trust. Conversely a brand can better defend its pricing, rather than be forced into discounting during tougher times.
A Brand differentiates you from your competition. Your product, organisation or service can stand out from the competition, imbued with special qualities that are communicated via your brand.
3. A Successful Brand improves profit.
By converting increased and better qualified leads into increased sales. Reducing wastage through more focused targeting and accuracy of the ‘right message’ to the ‘right customer’ segments results in improved marketing to sales ratio.
4. A Successful Brand builds value.
Increased profit – as a result of increased sales and more efficient and effective marketing – will drive up value, but more importantly, your brand’s value can demand higher multiples when you are ready to sell – or when hungry acquisitors place a value on your business.
Begin to think and treat your brand as a tangible asset. Building your brand is also a smart and effective way to build a great exit strategy for owners of independent companies.
But remember, like a child, a successful brand needs to be carefully nurtured, cared for, protected and managed with discipline to reach maturity in order to realise its full potential.
BrandQuest is a strategy and brand management consultancy that intrinsically believes that great brands are born of the founders and staff who work there. They are not the result of an outsourced creative endeavour but the cumulative knowledge that a company possesses.
Since 2007, BrandQuest has developed a process that within a 3 week time frame can extract and refine this inner knowledge into a powerful brand strategy.
Our clients work with us because they seek:
- Increased brand and business value
- Alignment, clarity and direction for their Branding
- Robust, authentic and fearless advice