In a world where consumers have virtually all of the control over retail purchases, they still make their choices based on brands. They know what they’re getting — whether it’s quality, price or street cred. There’s something that they value, so they choose the brand that delivers it. Those companies who have the most well-positioned brands are the easiest for consumers to choose from. But, what makes up a strong brand? These are the top five factors:
Your employees are often a major touch-point for customers. If they know the position that makes the brand attractive, then they can deliver on it, which only makes the brand stronger at every opportunity. If they don’t know, then you’re probably not delivering on your brand promise too well.
Yes, you want your brand to appeal to customers and prospects. But a strong brand is also attractive to other stakeholders, like your employees, investors, vendors and affiliated organizations. Further, it should appeal to the media that cover your industry, as they should have an understanding of your brand position as well.
A brand is not a logo, a graphic or any other sort of campaign. It’s the position that you occupy in the consumer’s mind. You must be able to support your brand equally through all channels that you communicate with — your website, collateral materials, social media platforms, video, trade booths, etc.
A strong brand meets the consumer’s desires relative to your industry (A lot of the consumers anyway. No brand appeals to everyone). Sometimes, brands are developed based on a company’s core competencies which the consumer doesn’t value much. You can be the very best at delivering something, but it only matters if it matters to the consumer.
You can’t occupy a space that another brand already owns. A strong brand owns its position in the marketplace in such a unique manner that other brands can’t take it from you. All of your marketing communications activity should support your brand position at every turn, making it more and more difficult for your competition to encroach upon your spot. If your brand is easily duplicated, then a competitor could out-market and outspend you and eventually take your position.
Use these five factors of a strong brand to measure against. Then develop a strategy to address all of them and you will gain some of that power back from the consumer.