Building a Brand with Research and Strategy
If you are serious about building a brand for your business, blog or product, here are some thoughts on what to consider.
Start building your strategy by thinking about who you are, what you do and why anyone should care. Imagine a personality for your brand. Be different, be it by product selection, service offering, way of communicating or anything else you can think of. Build a reputation. Are you an expert? Is your product a specialist item that solves a need? Can you prove your superiority? What’s your market? What are your opportunities and threats within that market?
Brand strategy is powerful, and as so often, the simplest strategies are the best.
The power of the ‘big idea’
Coca-Cola. Everybody knows it, loving or hating its omni-presence. Most will say they love it because of the way it makes them feel. That’s an amazing effect to have as a drink! Coke promises fun, freedom and refreshment – and whilst the brand is ever evolving, it combines its nostalgic heritage with cutting edge campaigns centred around ‘sharing happiness’ which resonates with millions and connects consumers to the brand.
‘Always coca cola’ may have changed over the years, but Coca-Cola reinforces its values through celebratory promotions – like recently celebrating its 125th-year anniversary (“Sharing Happiness”) and the London Olympics (“Move to the beat”).
“According to a survey released in July by Research Now, Coca-Cola scored over 90% in brand awareness among respondents from the US, Canada, UK, France, Germany and Australia. One of the few marketing platforms that are relevant to a global audience, the Olympics have allowed Coca-Cola to solidify a powerful association in the minds of billions. Through its consistent presence at the Games, Coke, a sponsor since 1928, continues to build its brand strength, reach, and impact every time the Olympic torch is lit.” – Interbrand
Coca-Cola has another attribute that is vital for a successful brand – despite being a giant corporation, it remains flexible, innovative and reactive, working with local knowledge and respecting its heritage. It embraces new digital media as much as traditional promotions and has created connections far beyond the world of drinks to ‘common sense’ audiences in the events and music industry.
“Coca-Cola may be 126 years old, but with more than 50 million fans on Facebook, 1.8 billion Coke products consumed daily and 3,500 beverages in its diverse portfolio — Coke’s still got it. – Interbrand”
Create a Legacy
Brands live on even when those who have defined them are gone. Look at Apple and Steve Jobs’ legacy.
Steve Jobs managed to create a brand that is so well-respected and loved that it has sparked off a whole cottage industry of Apple accessories, affiliate shops, goods designed to look good with Apple products – and despite new challenges the brand has having become a household name with their iPhones, iPads and Apple TV, his legacy lives on.
That’s the magic of creating a brand rather than just a service or product.
If your business is a blog that becomes a brand, you can have guest writers, or ghost writers – as long as the values you introduced to the brand are still respected and the experience is consistent, people will follow the brand rather than just you.
NETMUMS are an example for that very effect – it’s a forum that has evolved to a trusted brand and is now pretty much an institution for anything family related, companies paying to advertise on the site or to have their products reviewed.
British Airways did a FaceBook campaign during the Olympics in London 2012 which invited viewers to see the plane on your own street at http://www.facebook.com/britishairways #HomeAdvantage. The message was to stay home and watch the Olympics, which didn’t work for everyone – but the idea was nice…
Marmite has always had the simplest of strategies – Love it or hate it. Its Facebook campaign is once again a personal approach to brand messaging with changing page profile image of Marmite lovers or haters. Emotional! (And fun…)
And why should you care about all this?
“Only one brand can be the cheapest. The rest have to use branding. The stronger the brand, the greater the profit margin.” – Marty Neumeier