If you’re a business owner, you want your company to have a well-liked, strong brand.
But what does it mean to have a “strong brand?”
You want to be like Apple. Disney. Amazon. Ikea.
You want both your customers and pretty much everyone to love your brand. Imagine if you could get them to buy your product, solely because of your logo on the product.
It’s an admirable and important goal.
But how do you build a highly valued brand? Here are a few ways by some of the best brands in the business.
Fulfill an important need
Don’t strive to give them what they want. Give them what they really need. If you were to ask people in the early 2000’s what they wanted in a smartphone, they’d say things like a physical keyboard, a pen to make it easier to use the touch screen. A big phone that you could only use your finger to navigate with? That’s impractical. People have lots of wants. But people can’t “want” truly innovative ideas because they don’t exist yet. You need to look beyond the surface “wants” you can get from a focus group and find the deeper need they’re trying to fulfill.
Consistent focused action
After you determine the need you’re going to address for your customer, you need to completely commit to doing everything you can to meeting that need. Disney has 4 business divisions and dozens of companies and hundreds of sub-brands under it. But they’re all committed to one goal. Family entertainment. Nothing else. They consistently ask themselves, “How can we entertain and delight families?” We can do it through theme parks, cartoons, movies, sports, hotels, toys, cruise vacations. All of it falls under family entertainment. That’s why when people think of Disney, that’s what they think of. Not a bunch of random services and products.
Differentiate or die
Strong brands are also distinctive. They’re unique in how people perceive them. They stand out. If you look and act like everyone else, you can’t have a strong brand. Ikea is unlike any other furniture company because they decided they were going to make furniture drastically less expensive than everyone else, so regular families could afford to furnish their house economically. The only way they could do that is to eliminate the huge cost of assembling and storing finished pieces. They decided they are going to be completely different than any other furniture store and that’s why they’re a global brand.
Innovate and iterate
Jeff Bezos had a vision of a website that basically sold everything imaginable. Amazon started with books. But then they went into music. Then they started selling even more products. Knowing that they couldn’t possibly source or produce everything, they allowed small businesses to sell their goods through their site and even store and fulfill the products for them. You really can basically buy almost any (legal) product on Amazon now. But they’re still venturing into new areas, like same-day delivery, cashless stores, buying one of the largest grocery chains. But everything still goes back to their original goal to sell everything from A to Z. If they stayed an online bookstore, they’d be gone like Borders and Blockbuster. Never sit on your laurels. Keep finding new ways to deliver on your brand promise.
Here’s a worksheet you can use to do an audit of whether your company is doing these things.
Download the Brand Strength Checklist
You’ll notice that most of these has nothing to do with having a nicely designed logo or cool TV spot. Those are nice to have of course. But they’re not what truly make a strong brand. As in all things in life, it’s about getting the fundamentals right from the beginning. This is why having a strong strategic foundation for your brand is so important.
If you’d like help with developing a Brand Strategy for your company, Aidia Marketing provides a step-by-step process for developing more effective marketing. Contact us for a complimentary initial consultation.