What does a strong brand stand for?
There are many things that make a strong brand. I would like to present and explain the most important ones in this article.
What is a brand?
This question is not as easy to answer as one might think at first glance. Because a brand is not just a name or a logo, it encompasses many other aspects.
If we look at Apple, we can feel the Apple brand everywhere, this simple yet elegant design. Whether we visit Apple's website or an Apple Store, everything has been designed according to the same principles.
The packaging and of course the products themselves always have a simple but modern design. So there is definitely always the same design scheme and even the commercials are structured according to the same principle. After just two seconds, the viewer knows that it is an advertising sport from Apple, even if the bitten apple was not yet to be seen.
Developing a strong brand is not about a great brand name or an extraordinary logo, real brand development goes much further. The brand name or logo is just one of the cornerstones of a strong brand, it all depends on what you put on it.
A good brand creates its own fantastic universe in which its own company, as a better earth, meets the needs of its customers and takes people into a surreal world.
A strong brand not only affects the customers, but also the employees of a company. Your employees must also feel the brand, in their dealings with one another and in the behavior and regulations.
Success factors for a strong brand
But now to the success factors that make a really strong brand.
If you want to build a brand, one thing must be clear to you: Not everyone is one of your customers. Unfortunately, you have to tell some customers that you cannot meet their needs. This is the only way to build a successful brand.
If you try to do justice to all customers, in reality you will not do justice to any customer. Some want your product to be of high quality and equipped with the latest technology, while others want a cheap product and can do without a lot in return.
You can't offer both without losing your positioning.
After all, Apple does not offer a really cheap iPhone either. Apple focuses on quality. If Apple suddenly started producing cheap smartphones, the manufacturer would lose a large number of its customers. Because Apple's customers are willing to spend a lot of money on Apple devices if they receive high-quality technology in return. Apple customers don't want cheap technology!
It is a tough decision to shut down certain customers, but unfortunately you have no choice if you want to build a strong brand.
When it comes to customer segmentation, it is important to know who a customer belongs to. You should definitely be able to answer the following questions about your target audience:
- What does your typical customer value a lot?
- What is his level of education and what is he interested in?
- What is the best way to talk to your client about?
- What is more important to your customer than money?
You can only develop a good product if you know what your customers want. Perhaps the best way to answer the above questions is to speak to your customers.
An important point for strong brands is what is known as customer loyalty. Strong brands are more likely to remain loyal to customers than weak ones. But how can companies build customer loyalty?
The best way to build customer loyalty is when companies keep selling their customers high-value products.
The decisive factor here is Net benefit. This results from the difference between the gross benefit and the price that the customer has to pay for the product. There is only a chance of customer loyalty if there is a positive net benefit.
After the purchase, the customer must feel that he has received a product for which, in retrospect, he would have been willing to spend more money. For example, if the customer buys an iPhone and realizes after the purchase that he would have been willing to spend € 100 more on the iPhone, the net benefit is € 100.
The greater this net benefit, the higher the customer loyalty (tends to be). Because customers often only buy from the same company if their needs are met for the lowest possible cost.
Strong brands understand how to sell their customers additional products in addition to the basic product. For example, McDonalds asks if you would like pommer to go with your burger. The fries are a perfect complement to the burger and increase the benefit for the customer.
Cross-selling can not only lead to a significant increase in sales, but also to happier customers. For this, the products that are sold through cross-selling must increase the benefit of the basic product.
Ryanair offers very cheap flights. However, in order for the prices to be so cheap, Ryanair has to save on additional services. There are hardly any extras on a normal flight with Ryanair, but these can be bought at a high price.
For example, if you fly on vacation and have to take a lot of luggage with you, you will be pleased that Ryanair offers the option of checking in additional luggage for an extra charge. Although this extra cost is a lot of money, it is worth the extra charge for passengers who have to take a lot of luggage with them.
If your brand can deliver a special experience, feeling or product to the customer, then you can ask for a corresponding price.
How high this premium price should be essentially depends on the added value that you deliver to your customers. Of course, the price should not be so high that the net benefit of the product becomes negative.
In addition to the added value for your customers, the price of your product depends very much on your customers' willingness to pay. If your target group thinks the product is cool, but cannot afford it or is not willing to spend money for the added value you offer, you will not be able to sell it successfully.
Ultimately, your brand should also match the price. Aldi, for example, will never offer premium products because they are very expensive and the Aldi brand stands for low prices.
So, when determining the right price, 3 factors play an important role:
- Added value for the customer
- Willingness of your customers to pay for this added value
- Positioning your own brand
A strong brand will be able to charge a higher price in most cases and, as a result of this higher price, generate significantly higher profits than other competitors.
The internet has made it much easier for people to communicate with one another and with significantly more people at the same time. This fact can be positive as well as negative for companies.
Because through the connected community, positive, but also negative, word-of-mouth propaganda spreads faster and easier than before the Internet.
If you do a good job and offer your customers a very high added value for an attractive price, then the connected community will become your friend. The positive messages about your brand and products spread by themselves.
But if you offer a bad product at a high price, this will tend to spread even faster. In social networks, negative news usually spreads much faster than positive news.
If your company is exposed to such a shit storm, then definitely take your community and their criticism seriously. Try to talk to people and convince them that their criticism will be taken up and acted upon. Then actually implement the criticism and eliminate the weaknesses of your product. This is the only chance to survive a shit storm on social networks.
The customer experience lasts long before a customer buys your product and long after the purchase.
Make sure that your brand world is already tangible for your future customers before they buy. For example, make sure that your ads always convey the same image of your brand. It is pointless to portray a brand as young and adventurous in one quarter and then to change the values of the brand in the next quarter and use attributes such as security and stability.
consistency is one of the important magic words here. The basic message of your brand should always be the same. Only the content of the advertising message can vary.
But the customer experience continues even after the purchase. For example, does your customer service meet the demands that customers place on your brand?
Before and after the purchase, the customer should always feel your brand and know what it stands for.
Take a look at the 4 P’s of marketing and make sure that your implementation of these four P’s fits your brand.
Does the product with its benefits and properties fit your brand?
Are the sales channels designed in such a way that they convey your brand world?
Do your advertising messages convey the values of your brand?
Does the price match the positioning of the brand?
As already mentioned several times, the Value to the customerbased on your product and your brand, one of the most important success factors.
The product has to deliver huge added value to your customers. Inferior products have no long-term chance. Even if your brand is being enhanced by the best advertising; Your customers will notice immediately if your product cannot keep the promises made in the advertising.
Failing to meet customer expectations is one of the most serious mistakes any company can make. So make sure that the promises in the advertising are kept.
Positioning and differentiation
Your brand can't be just any clone of an established brand, because when in doubt, people prefer to go for the original.
Create your own brand. This should clearly differentiate itself from the competition. The clear the differentiation, the higher the chances of winning customers.
Suppose there are only car brands that cater to the upper income brackets. Then a good differentiation could be to establish a car brand that makes cars for the lower income brackets.
But you don't just have to differentiate yourself from existing competitors, you also have to establish a clear positioning so that your customers know exactly what your brand stands for.
Communicate this positioning on your website, in social networks, in press releases, in interviews, in advertisements and at all promotional events.
Differentiation is what sets you apart from your competitors. Positioning, on the other hand, is what you stand for.
Which values should a brand always contain?
A brand should always contain the following 3 values:
Customers need to trust your company and your brand. Trust is the basis of every business. Make sure that your customers trust you. You can achieve this, for example, through test reports, seals of approval and your friendliness and courtesy.
Customers love brands that provide background and insight into the company. Such insights automatically make your brand more personable.
Show how your product is made and clearly show what makes your product so good and how the (high) price comes about.
But a brand has to be one thing in particular: authentic. Never try to be something that you are not. Exactly this also applies to brands. Customers notice very quickly when brands are only acting out a certain role.
You and your employees must correspond to the values of your brand.
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