- A clearly defined and broadly shared set of brand values provides a much more efficient organizing framework for a business enterprise and tell how the organization will get to where it want to be.
- Scott Bedbury, CEO of Brandstream, ex-Vice President of Starbucks and ex-Head of Advertising team of Nike; suggests the answer for this claim:1.Organizations try to differentiate themselves from competitors and brands do that better than anything else.
2.Brands build trust over time – they promise how a company will act and the quality it will deliver.
3.Brand cannot be outsourced and in many cases are one of the most valuable assets of any company.
Relevance and Resonance
- Branding is the art of taking something common and making it more valuable. E.g.:- Starbucks coffee, Nike Sneakers
- A brand is the sum of good, bad, ugly and the off-strategy. It is defined by good product, bad product, good employees, nerds, award winning campaign, awful advertisements, receptionist to caller tune, every public statement made by CEO or a customer on the wall of Facebook.
- Brand is a psychological concept, the residual experience after consuming the product, held in the mind of the public, where they may stay forever and that can’t be entirely controlled.
- Therefore besides generating awareness it is more important to consistently evoking positive feelings about brand.
- Good brand always stand for something. If a brand attempts to be all things to all people, it ends up standing for nothing and ultimately lost in the background.
- A “brand mantra” articulates what lies at the heart of the company, what it is passionate about. It makes a company unique and noteworthy.
- Once a brand mantra has decided it is important to do only those things, consistent with that mantra and avoid getting into anything else.
- Consider following example:
Nike – Authentic athletic performance
Disney – Fun, family, entertainment
Apple – Innovation
Co-branding and Strategic Alliances
- Any decision to broaden the brand must be extremely careful that they are brand-positive and not diluting the brand. Co-branding occurs when two or more brand function together in creating a new product. One brand may be visible while other work in the background.
- Itis the use of an established brand name in new product categories. This new category to which the brand is extended can be related or unrelated to the existing product categories. An existing brand that gives rise to a brand extension is referred to as Parent Brand.
- Brand Extension increases brand image. An established brand name increases consumer interest and willingness to try new product having the established brand name. It increases market coverage as it brings new customers into brand franchise. Wipro which was originally into computers has extended into shampoo, powder, deodorant, detergent and soap.
- Sub brands form part of a family of brands and they are often a means of tailoring a product or service to a particular market sector or niche. Sub-branding is opposite of brand extensions. It means to take few qualities of the original brand and to establish a new brand with just those qualities alone.
- A courier service firm called Ace decides to offer two levels of delivery, within 24 hours or within 48 hours. The 24 hour delivery it calls the Ace Gold Service, the 48 hour one it calls the Ace Silver Service. The Gold and Silver Service are sub brands within the Ace range.
- iMac and iPod are sub-brands of Apple. Another type is a master brand such as Coca-Cola. Coca-Cola does have some sub-brands, such as Diet Coke, however most of the brands the company owns, such as Sprite and Thumbs-Up, are separate master brands themselves.
Building Enduring Customer Relationship
- The best brands respect and meet the emotional needs of their customers based on their core values. They find and develop relevant ways to tap into the emotional drivers that resides deep within each customers. This way great brands distinguish and make themselves stand out from the crowd.
- The most powerful and lasting benefit a brand can give to their customer is an emotional one. As consciously or not, everybody seek experiences that make them think, feel, helping in grow and enriching the lives in some way. A successful brand become part of that process.
- For example, Harley-Davidson. Many people actually buy Harley-Davidson so that they can become a member of the famous “Harley-Davidson Owner Group (HOG)”.
Focus on minute details
- Brands are like highly sensitive sponges – they absorb and reflect whatever is happening around them, either positive or negative. Therefore, it is needed to be protected and presented in the best possible light at all times.
- To improve and safeguard the integrity of the brand, it is important to took every opportunity to tell a complete, consistent and compelling brand story.
- For example, “Shell Oil” a gasoline product came up with the idea to work on improving the quality and cleanliness of their gas station rest rooms. The basic idea was that with cleaner rest room, people with families are more likely to choose a Shell gas station over the competition. Interestingly, the idea worked very well.
- Brands reflect the values of the people who drive them. It is people who bring a brand to life, reinvent them periodically, manage them and ultimately sustain them.
- The people who are mainly responsible for managing the brand are:
1.Frontline Employees – As they interact face-to-face with customers
2.The CEO – who represent the brand to the various stakeholders
The bigger a business grows, the more scrutiny it comes under from people of different strata and someone, somewhere is going to be unhappy about what the brand does. Therefore it is important to consider;
- Community engagement program to generate goodwill
- Showing that the organization has a heart and soul besides profit
- Putting money where everybody can see it – like some development or, environment program
- The marketing ideas should be consistent with what the company stand for and believes
- “A brand is a living entity, and it is enriched or undermined cumulatively over time, the product of thousand small gestures”.
Relevance, simplicity and humanity
- The seven core values of all great brands are:
1.Simplicity – Great brand never try to be everything to everyone, rather they consistently deliver better experience than competitor can match
2.Patience – Marketing does not equal brand building
3.Relevance – It’s more important to add value than to cut cost
4.Accessibility – Great brands are highly accessible by consumers
5.Humanity – Great brand evoke emotional response from customers
6.Omnipresence – Successful brands always find ways to be placed where they need to be
7.Innovation – Big Brand flow from a company culture where innovation is a regular affair rather than a single occurrence