By: Matthew Roberts, Marketing Director, 11/17/17
There are certain traits that all successful brands possess. And while it’s a given that a company must offer a quality product or service, effective branding is what helps it thrive and grow. In this post, we explore five common characteristics of successful brands.
What Great Brands Have in Common
1. They have sound yet unique business models that help them establish leadership positions in their industry. Whether being known for innovative products or cutting-edge services, they know how to separate themselves from the competition in a way their customers relate to. Once a brand knows who it is it can concentrate on developing its unique identity and value proposition through strategic branding.
2. They value greatness over growth and their sense of purpose is clear. While all businesses want to make money, a brand must stand for something more meaningful. Rhino Foods, based in Vermont, evolved from supplying raw cookie dough to Ben & Jerry’s into a leading producer of frozen dessert products. Since ice cream is a seasonal product, the company “lends” its employees to other local companies during the off-season. They also pay above the state’s minimum hourly wage, offer performance based bonuses, and offer ESL classes to the refugees who make up 30% of the staff.
3. They focus on the long-term. That long-term goal is often achieved through prominence and consistency. For example, no matter where a brand’s logo appears, it always looks the same, and that consistency fosters recognition. These brands know, too, that their brand’s logo takes center stage in any advertising or promotion (think the Starbucks Siren logo). They’re also consistent in how they serve their customers and deliver on their promise year after year.
4. They know how to use social media. A sharp storytelling skill is another thing great brands have in common. They use their social media campaigns to complement their website and other advertising, always clearly communicating their core message. A wonderful thing about social media is that brands don’t need a big budget to engage and delight their target audience. Brands who understand why people share what they do are the ones that best succeed online. One of the best examples of a brand leveraging viral exposure is the Dollar Shave Club which has used social media to create a huge following and customer base.
5. They know the importance of visual branding. Take, for example, Shake Shack. The popular burger chain’s “Stand for Something Good” logo perfectly reflects their mission statement and commitment to quality food. Tasty as the food is, though, no small part of the brand’s success can be credited to its sophisticated sense of design. The iconic graphics the brand uses has now made it a globally recognized brand.
A Common Theme
Every company strives for long-term customer loyalty, satisfaction, and retention. All the traits listed here act as an umbrella to the one key feature all great brands, big or small, have in common: they connect with the customer. They do it by:
- Grounding their brand identity in emotional values.
- Giving long-term relationships priority over short-term success.
- Constantly reminding themselves they are in the business of serving, not selling.
Brands that know how to connect on an emotional gut level have learned the secret to creating valuable, sustainable customer relationships. And those meaningful connections are what lead to true brand loyalty.