3 Essential Components of a Powerful Brand
Think back to the last significant item you bought. Why did you purchase that particular product? If you are like most people, you gravitate toward recognizable, powerful brands that you know and trust. Brands convey to consumers a great deal of information. The most compelling brands carefully craft their public image over time to build consumer trust and loyalty. It is not an easy task — a brand can quickly fall victim to a bad reputation for incredibly minor problems. In this article, we'll look at some of the most essential components of a powerful brand.
What Makes a Powerful Brand?The best brands eventually become synonymous with the products they sell, and some brand names have even replaced the name of their products altogether. Kleenex, for example, started as a brand but is now used to refer to any facial wipes regardless of the company that produces them. Cultivating a powerful brand takes hard work, patience, and careful management of the company's reputation. The following are three essential components of a powerful brand:
MemorabilityA powerful brand stands out from its competitors by creating something unique and memorable. Any old name will not do. Businesses need to consider their choice of name carefully, taking into account the image they want to portray and how the options on the table reflect those qualities. Create a brand that is too unique and consumers will fail to understand its meaning; create one that is too generic and it will be forgotten. Consumers see thousands of brands and ads every day, so memorability is a crucial component of a successful brand. Some brands have sought to make themselves more memorable by thinking outside the proverbial box. Apple, for example, chose a name that has nothing to do with their product. The company managed to build itself up into one of the most recognized and valuable brands in the world precisely because it was easy to remember and (at the time) exceptionally unique. Other brands have made themselves more memorable through the use of Mnemonics. Mnemonics are a learning technique that aid in the formation of new memories. Marketers have used mnemonics for decades to help consumers remember their brands. Companies most often create jingles or rhymes to coax consumers into recognizing them. There are, of course, other ways to employ mnemonics for your business. Among the most effective are memorable phone numbers and custom domain names. These tools are useful because a company’s contact information is in the tagline. For example, 1 (800) CONTACTS sells contact lenses, and it is easy to infer what they do from the phone number alone. Although the modern marketing trend is favoring domain names, recent studies have shown branded phone numbers (e.g., 1-800-HOMECARE, 1-800-HOSPICE) consistently outperform domain names in consumer recall across all demographics. To learn how other companies have put memorable contact assets at the heart of their brand, read this article. [search-tag]
ConsistencyNothing damages a brand more than inconsistency. Many small businesses struggle with creating uniformity across all marketing channels. Even the slightest change, such as a minor color alteration, could prove disastrous. Therefore, consistency of the brand is essential. Most often, companies fail to create a consistent look and feel to their brand across all marketing channels because they fail to create a brand guidelines document. Business owners who have less experience in the marketing world may assume that so long as banners, posters or ads look good they will see decent results. In reality, every piece of marketing material needs to fall within the given guidelines of the brand—meaning color, design and overall appearance must remain steadfastly consistent. Rebranding, which is a common occurrence in the business world, opens businesses up to all manner of consistency issues. Aging brands may decide to spruce up their image for the modern marketplace, and they are wise to do so. However, to maintain brand consistency, business owners must follow two essential steps to make the transition seamless and avoid creating inconsistency within the brand.
- In the months and weeks leading up to the rebranding, announce the change through newsletters, emails, and even advertising. The goal should be to ensure that current customers loyal to the brand know about and understand the move and stick with your company.
- Throw everything from the old brand away. Do not allow even the slightest inkling of temptation to send out an old letterhead or revert to a previous logo in a pinch. Ensure that employees have also discarded old brand materials.
StoryHumans are intrinsically drawn to stories. In fact, our entire civilization is built on principles that draw from a foundational narrative that gives us place and purpose. Powerful brands leverage storytelling to connect with consumers on a deeper level. Many of the most compelling brands revolve around the origin story of the founder—think Steve Jobs for Apple, Elon Musk for Tesla, Bill Gates for Microsoft, Warren Buffet for Berkshire Hathaway, etc. Consumers want to know the story behind the brand, and behind the person who created it. It helps them to feel as if they know the brand better, connect with the struggle of those who worked to make it successful, and establish trust in a way an anonymous brand cannot do. Creating a foundational narrative for your business is an essential step to building a powerful brand that will stand out in the marketplace. Consumers do not like faceless corporations. Instead, they like to know who is the person behind the curtain. What if you are not a larger-than-life personality? No one is. They appear that way because they have crafted a compelling foundational narrative. All a foundational narrative does is answer one fundamental question: “Who am I and why am I the best person to be doing what I’m doing?” Effective foundational narratives are built upon three essential components. They are:
- Legitimacy: Legitimacy is at the heart of all human ventures. It is the ability to justify your ability to provide consumers with a specific product or service.
- Authority: Authority is a demonstration of expertise that reinforces your legitimacy to the consumer. Repeated displays of your competencies cultivate authority and paint you as an expert in your field.
- Hook: What will “hook” your customers? A hook is a way to get consumers invested in your story and is something that is unique and non-replicable.
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