Apple. Nike. Lamborghini. Netflix. Harley-Davidson.
I only mentioned these companies by name, but chances are they conjured up vivid images in your head as you read them. These are brands with power, with reputation – brands that are trusted by millions worldwide and are second-to-none in their respective industries.
But, for most brands – and those mentioned – becoming a household name doesn’t just happen overnight. It takes distinctive vision, remarkable persistence, and indomitable will to get there – with perhaps some luck rolled in along the way.
Often, we might find ourselves gazing at renowned brands as one might stare upwards at a massive, towering skyscraper. We recognize that the building is the result of years of collaborative effort and diligent planning – but at the same time, we might be struck by disbelief and awe.
Just how do you build a brand like that?
While every company is different, as it turns out, all successful brands have three things in common – including the big-name businesses we mentioned earlier. And while there’s no exact ruleset for building a brand, we think these three attributes are the quintessential predictors of a strong brand – from now until forever.
Ready to find out what they are? From us at Yocale – here’s how to build a brand that rises above the rest!
Ingenuity and innovation are what drives business forward. As Bob Iger – CEO of Disney – once said, “The heart and soul of the company is creativity and innovation.”
That’s why companies consistently focus on exploring new ways to innovate old products. For example, today’s phones are nothing like the phones of twenty years ago. Even with all the bells and whistles, at the core of what they are, smartphones are still primarily communication devices – just like Mom’s old rotary phone.
By providing a solution to a problem or uprooting a long-standing business model entirely in favor of a new, slimmed-down approach that saves people money or time, your brand can become monumentally invaluable.
For example, Fred Smith brought novel logistical solutions to a stagnating delivery industry with FedEx. Amazon’s founder Jeff Bezos pioneered the online shopping experience before anybody believed it was possible.
But hold on – there’s no reason for these success stories to inspire feelings of inadequacy! As history has often shown, your brand doesn’t necessarily have to be revolutionary to succeed, either.
Often, disrupting tradition or going somewhat against the grain is enough to set a brand apart and on the fast-track to success.
Richard and Maurice McDonald of McDonald’s launched a billion-dollar empire with a simple commitment to serving their food quickly and efficiently. More recently, Jake Kassan and Kramer LaPlante of MVMT disrupted the watch market by selling stylish and flashy watches at a modest price.
Even if you’re a service-based business that doesn’t sell products, your service is still a product of its own. Set your brand apart by committing to solving a problem or creating convenience and you’ll soon stand out from the crowd.
How do you market yourself?
Businesses often shirk marketing efforts in favor of pursuing product quality, but because we live in a world with oversaturated media channels, finding a unique “voice” for your brand is crucial.
Whether consciously or not, your customers are being exposed to hundreds of ads every hour they spend on internet-connected mediums. According to HubSpot, 87% of people said that they noticed more ads in 2016 than two years previous.
And while internet advertising has made marketing more accessible than ever before, the resulting landscape is often homogenous and deafening. With so many brands “shouting” over one another to compete for audience attention, it can be difficult for your voice to be heard.
That’s why many businesses turn to crafting a distinctive brand voice to carry their marketing message. With so much competition, there’s only so much room for mediocrity.
Take, for example, the rise of responsive and charismatic corporate social media accounts like Taco Bell on Twitter. What might seem like wasted office hours to some regularly makes internet news headlines – and every quick quip or byte-sized serving of humor comes attached with a recognizable brand name.
Or, on a visual level, Apple’s clever use of specific fonts and colors makes their advertisements easily identifiable within seconds. Their devices are remarkably intuitive and feature sleek, elegant builds, and it’s rare to see the company step outside of this design philosophy.
…Well, perhaps with the exception of the Apple Newton. But long since forgiven them for that – and it’s arguable that it paved the way for their eventual success with the iPad!
If ingenuity and identity are the peanut butter and jelly of successful brand creation, then consistency is the bread that holds them together.
Maintaining your brand’s vision across all avenues of your business is essential – especially across areas often perceived to be mundane and trivial. As we mentioned before, successful brands consistently uphold their brand identity in everything they do.
However, some brands fall short here by failing to extend this philosophy to seemingly lesser matters like customer service or maybe even company culture.
For instance, a retail car business might market itself as professional and luxurious, but its online support might be outsourced and incompetent, leading to customer frustration. Or, an exuberant retail brand’s dull and uncharismatic email marketing campaign might catch long-time fans off-guard.
These kinds of incongruencies work against a brand’s authenticity. And as it turns out, once a customer catches so much as a whiff of inauthenticity, it can quickly deteriorate their trust in a brand.
On the flip side, this makes brand consistency an empowering area of focus for businesses of all kinds. Maintaining identity and vision across all of a brand’s inner-workings establishes a brand as authentic, trustworthy, and charismatic – all qualities that customers just happen to love.
There you have it – the three qualities in business that can elevate any brand to new levels of unprecedented success. In theory, they might sound simple, but as always, it’s the execution that matters most.
Still, keep these three in mind, and your aspirations of your brand becoming a household name might not be so distant after all!
For more on brand management, check out our previous post, 7 Things That Make Customers Love Your Brand.
For more on business strategy, online and off – keep up with us here, five days a week, at the Yocale blog!