It’s always interesting to see how a brand comes together and what contributes to its success. It can seem like companies that excel at branding effortlessly create something magical, but the truth is that they put a lot of thought into the platforms they produce.
While branding encompasses everything from customer touch points to visual appeal, there are typically four components that go into branding success.
I was recently at an event where they showed the teaser video for the all-new Jaguar F-type. In the video, they “show” the luxury sports car covered in a silky red fabric. You hear the music and the engine revving to blow the fabric around artistically but never see the vehicle. It is the perfect idea behind anticipation because you could not even see the vehicle, yet you were excited about its launch.
This kind of ad really builds your expectations and gets you hyped up about the product. You could say the same for Apple. Every time they launch a new product, the masses do not have to test it out or read customer reviews—they simply wait in huge lines to get their hands on the latest version of the product because they already know it will be good simply because it’s an Apple.
Good brands do not produce merchandise or deliver services that consumers tire of easily. Instead, after a consumer anticipates the deliverable and receives it he or she relishes it. That brand new iPad you finally purchase doesn’t just get tossed aside, does it? You explore it, you take in all of the features and the sleek design.
Even when a soda fan buys a bottle of Coca-Cola, he or she isn’t just happy to own it—they are excited to relish it. No, they savor it. They drink it all in, savoring each sip (and as Coke hopes, then buy another one).
Good brands not only drive consumers to purchase and subscribe to what they have to offer. Their consumers enjoy using their products and services time and time again. They relish not just acquiring it—but using it.
Another trait of strong brands is the ability to express themselves, and the good ones know they can do it with more than their image or alluring visuals (though that helps!)
The way a brand expresses itself can include programs it offers for customers, or a distinctive form of advertising it uses. Or it can be via sensory branding.
Clinique recently introduced its High Impact Extreme Volume mascara. Most women don’t want their mascara to dry out, but Clinique went a step further to help them feel secure that their mascara would say perfectly moist. When you shut the top, it clicks shut with a soft, crisp click. Many women who enjoy Clinique products may gravitate towards them anyway, but this one stands out for more than its label—this one is all about the sound.
Strong brands are easily recognizable and remembered. Do consumers easily recall your brand?
Think about Nike. To start, the brand’s logo is easily identifiable. What makes this brand’s approach so distinctive is that they can launch numerous campaigns that are all different yet unite them under the same look, feel and experience. From Michael Jordan ads to this summer’s Find Your Greatness campaign, the brand continuously delivers and does it in a way that is fresh each time yet falls underneath the brand’s umbrella.
When you think about brands that have a strong identity, do they encompass each of these aspects? Probably so. That’s because branding takes more than just a visual identity or tagline to thrive. The best brands know how to attract and engage consumers—and make sure they’re loyal in the future.