Technically, a brand is a name, term, or symbol that differentiates a product or service from its competitors.
But it is much more than that. It is the most important measure of your company’s success. A great brand resides in the hearts and minds of consumers and makes your product or service irreplaceable.
Here are the first three things you should learn, understand and apply for the long-term success of your brand.
1. Don’t sell features. Sell benefits.
Benefits tell the consumer what is in it for them. I witnessed this firsthand working with the Apple Computer marketing folks. Steve Jobs never told us how many megabites a computer or device had, or what processing chip it used. He showed us how cool it was to touch, how easy it was to use, how fun it was to share.
2. Grow. Learn. Evolve.
Think of and treat your brand as a living entity. It will grow and change. You can manage this change by making sure your brand is given the right foundation to be a famous, successful and admired adult. Coca Cola is like our favorite uncle who shares everything with us, continuously challenges us to be better, and embraces every single day with enthusiasm.
In 2011, Coca Cola began rolling out its new plant-based bottles, with a goal of getting rid of petro-chemical plastic entirely by 2020.
We are so interconnected these days as a society and as consumers that the need to team up with other like-minded brands is the new norm. Bulgari and Marriott Hotels are teaming up to launch a whole new luxury experience, Bulgari Hotels and Resorts. McDonald’s now offers premium Newman’s Own Coffee. Taco Bell and Doritos now offer the Doritos Locos taco.
A few things to carefully consider, though: Make sure your alliance offers equal value to each brand, make sure the brand’s values match, stick within your core competency and make the consumer benefit from your collaboration makes sense, not to you, but to your consumer.
Add the book, BRAND Sense by Martin Lindstrom to your arsenal. Just as brands must continuously grow, learn and evolve, so must we as brand managers.