What is successful branding really about?
We all have our favourite brands right? And once we start using a brand because it just seems to click with us, we start to believe in the dream of what that product does for us. For instance, I honestly believe I look better in G-Star, and I’m safer in a Volvo.
The drivers behind a brand’s power over our intellect has increasingly perplexed and fascinated me. Some companies just have that bit of magic when it comes to grabbing attention and establishing themselves as fan favorites. Of course, that “magic” doesn’t just happen by itself.
The key to a brand’s magic is the fact that we buy into the dream of a product much more than we buy into the product itself.
From Virgin Airlines low pricing and promise of a unique experience, to Kogan’s assault on expensive electronic goods sold through bricks and mortar stores, attractive brands have figured out how to work their way into their customers’ hearts, minds and wallets.
First up I have to say that creating a solid lasting brand isn’t about jumping on the next trend (apologies to anyone dreaming of a cupcake, frozen yoghurt or pressed juice business), it’s about knowing and acknowledging who you are and being true to your spirit.
The truth is a great brand comes from within, it comes from your values, your essence, a deeper place inside of you. It’s about what you stand for. When you find the strength to step out and tell people about your unchanging world views, you create something unique, something never seen before. That purpose is the lifeblood of a true brand.
When you stay anchored to a purpose, amazing things happen — you’re business can change and you can create a completely new business while staying true to what you’re really about.
A great brand talks differently, it has an opinion and it brings a new viewpoint to the table. It’s passion for an idea or way of doing something, it’s tireless pursuit of expertness and creating awareness.
Not only does a great brand look different, it acts different. A purpose galvanises the team and, acts as a powerful organising idea internally. It adds meaning to customer experiences, it gives clarity to content strategies, and it creates the new Holy Grail: advocacy!
Brands with purpose innovate in small and big ways. They understand that by being fully embraced in a dream to change the world, they will get noticed in ways money can’t buy.
Great brands are not in it for the sprint, they understand they are participating in a marathon. They understand overnight success is not realistic and believe that what they are doing is worth the long steady fight. They understand principles and ethics are just as important as great products or services.
Great brands, and their leaders, get that success comes by staying true to its principles, not chasing trends or flooding Facebook with somewhat meaningless shares.
… and the beauty of it is, you can’t copy a great brand when its created from the ground up and built on the essence and vision of its creator.
Great brands are not easily forgotten. They attract unapologetic attention the way that a self-assured person commands a room.
If you think branding is important, you are right. The difference between running a business and building a brand is a completely different way of thinking — I would love to hear what you think successful branding is about?