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Build business through Brand building

What is a Brand?
Im going to put this as simple as I can: A brand is consistant message of who you are. Its your business identity, and should be the same over all of the branding you do, whether its Facebook, Twitter, Google+, you website, or even your business card. This identity is not just about a logo though, its about somet hing that people can relate to, associate with; something which will resonate to customers, to keep them coming back time after time. The American Marketing Association defines a brand as a Name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one sellers good or service as distinct from those of other sellers. A good brand will:

Deliver your companies message in a clear and concise manner Connect you with the customer and motivate them to revisit you Increase your credibility.

How Important is a Brand?


If you want to grow, you need to be something that someone can get behind, and for that, you need to have a company image; a brand. Every company has a brand in one way or another, some are

just more successful than others, and when it comes to successful brands, I cant think of much better than presidential campaigns. In a very short space of time, they build an brand for themselves, covering everything I detail in the following section. Think of Obamas electoral campaign, how many of you have seen a variation of this poster before?

How to Build your Brand


A brand isnt something you can throw together all at once if youre just finding your feet in your field. You need to be able to first find your direction, and then test different changes that you make to your brand as you grow. Sure, if youve got a branding expert doing this for you, it will happen a lot quicker than that, but if youre doing this on your own, then its going to take time. And thats fine, because as you make adjustments, you can ask for feedback, and see how well received it is.

Name
Choosing a brand name What does it mean? What performance/ expectations/ associations does it evoke? What degree of preference does it create?

Brand names should denote Product benefits Product quality Be easy to pronounce/remember/recognise Be distinctive Not have poor meanings in other countries or languages

The first thing that you need to focus on, is clearly stating what you do, not who you are. Hi, Im Josh, Im no one. My first blog was attached to my portfolio at www.JoshuaDunlop.com and guess what? It got next to no views. No one cares who Joshua Dunlop is, but they care what Expert Photography is. Just using the name youre halfway to understanding what Im about, and youre even further than halfway when it comes to IncomeDiary. So choose the right name in the first place, because even though there are successful people, such as Arianna Huffington, who have built a brand around their name, that is by no means easy to do, and I wouldnt recommend it to anyone starting out.

Think about your keywords and what describes you best. Then think about what people are going to Google. As I mentioned in my last post on Facebook promotion tips that you dont know about, its all well and good calling yourself Joshua Dunlop Imagery, but is that going to show up in Google, and will people know what you do when they do find you? Your name HAS to reflect your product.

Design
A visually attractive website is the next step to building a strong brand, that means putting a little bit of money into it, perhaps on a decent WordPress theme, and then changing it to suit your

tastes and niche. I often flick through the websites of people who comment on IncomeDiary, and it seems to me that a lot of people dont really pay too much attention to the design. Ive spent very little money on ExpertPhotography, just the theme, a featured slider, a header, and a logo. It doesnt take much, and we didnt even do it all at once, but I consider all of it to be essential to building our brand.

Your website needs to be welcoming, so think about how it feels to be on there. Does it load slowly? Is there too many ads? Are they too intrusive? Are the colour schemes hard to look at? Are there images where theres supposed to be images? When you get to the bottom of a page, do you want to click on another? Is the theme customised enough so that it stands out from all other people using the same one? These are all questions you need to ask yourself when viewing your website, because building a brand is part of making people want to come to your website, and design is a big aspect of this.

Symbol/Icon/Logo
As my website has grown, my aim has always to be able to be recognised by a single image, because Ive always felt that the strongest brands in the world are made like this. Think of Nike, think of Apple, think of Coca-Cola. Whether the symbol is an image, like the first two, or a manifestation of some text, into a widely recognised symbol. Coca-Cola hasnt changed their logo since they started business and even though theyve chosen a text based logo, you could write anything in that style, and you would still think Coca-Cola.

To help build my own brand, Ive gone with a simple text logo, accompanied by a circular spectrum of colour, which represents the aperture of the lens, which is suitable for my niche. I am slowly implementing the image into different parts of my website, starting at the header, and then as a watermark, and then Facebook, and soon, Twitter too. The Facebook integration of my branding is especially important because it allows me to carry out my brand through my marketing. Not only do I use my logo in my imagery, such as profile picture and wall photos, but I also use the symbol on its own, in the profile picture and as my thumbnail image. This is spread throughout my Facebook page, and then again on the website, in the two Facebook plugins, which only goes to reinforce my brand.

Slogan/Tagline
This is something that Im currently working on, and it will probably be introduced in the next site redesign. When I describe my site now, I use the phrase:

Branding - or brand-building - has become the El Dorado of corporate marketing departments, advertising agencies, design firms, and consultants. Key point: However, branding goes beyond an attitude, or a logo, or a slogan, or an Your brand is a advertising campaign. Branding is a long-term holding in which your tangible corporate marketing communications are relatively short-term investments. Your asset! brand is a tangible corporate asset - an end toward which all your business efforts should work.

The fatal fallacy, for many companies, is confusing brand-building with real results. Mindshare is nothing; market share is everything. Mindshare is nothing; market Branding is an important tool to gain market share, but for most share is successful companies branding is only one part of brand management
everything!

What factors are important in building brand value? Several factors are crucial in building successful brands, as illustrated in the diagram below:

Quality Quality is a vital ingredient of a good brand. Remember the core benefits the things consumers expect. These must be delivered well, consistently. The branded washing machine that leaks, or the training shoe that often falls apart when wet will never develop brand equity. Research confirms that, statistically, higher quality brands achieve a higher market share and higher profitability that their inferior competitors. Positioning

Positioning is about the position a brand occupies in a market in the minds of consumers. Strong brands have a clear, often unique position in the target market. Positioning can be achieved through several means, including brand name, image, service standards, product guarantees, packaging and the way in which it is delivered. In fact, successful positioning usually requires a combination of these things. Repositioning Repositioning occurs when a brand tries to change its market position to reflect a change in consumers tastes. This is often required when a brand has become tired, perhaps because its original market has matured or has gone into decline. The repositioning of the Lucozade brand from a sweet drink for children to a leading sports drink is one example. Another would be the changing styles of entertainers with aboveaverage longevity such as Kylie Minogue and Cliff Richard. Communications Communications also play a key role in building a successful brand. We suggested that brand positioning is essentially about customer perceptions with the objective to build a clearly defined position in the minds of the target audience.

All elements of the promotional mix need to be used to develop and sustain customer perceptions. Initially, the challenge is to build awareness, then to develop the brand personality and reinforce the perception. First-mover advantage Business strategists often talk about first-mover advantage. In terms of brand development, by first-mover they mean that it is possible for the first successful brand in a market to create a clear positioning in the minds of target customers before the competition enters the market. There is plenty of evidence to support this. Think of some leading consumer product brands like Gillette, Coca Cola and Sellotape that, in many ways, defined the markets they operate in and continue to lead. However, being first into a market does not necessarily guarantee long-term success. Competitors drawn to the high growth and profit potential demonstrated by the market-mover will enter the market and copy the best elements of the leaders brand (a good example is the way that Body Shop developed the ethical personal care market but were soon facing stiff competition from the major high street cosmetics retailers. Long-term perspective This leads onto another important factor in brand-building: the need to invest in the brand over the long-term. Building

customer awareness, communicating the brands message and creating customer loyalty takes time. This means that management must invest in a brand, perhaps at the expense of short-term profitability. Internal marketing Finally, management should ensure that the brand is marketed internally as well as externally. By this we mean that the whole business should understand the brand values and positioning. This is particularly important in service businesses where a critical part of the brand value is the type and quality of service that a customer receives. Think of the brands that you value in the restaurant, hotel and retail sectors. It is likely that your favourite brands invest heavily in staff training so that the face-to-face contact that you have with the brand helps secure your loyalty.

BRAND BUILDING MODEL : BRAND BUILDING MODEL 4 Steps of brand building Brand building blocks Brand building implications

4 Steps of brand building : 4 Steps of brand building Building brands, according to CBBE model, can be thought of as a sequence of steps, in which each step is contingent on successfully achieving the previous step: Ensure identification of the brand with customers & an association

of the brand in customers mind with a specific product class or customer need Firmly establish the totality of brand meaning in the minds of customers by strategically linking a host of tangible & intangible brand associations with certain properties Elicit the proper customer responses to this brand identification & brand meaning Convert brand responses to create an intense, active loyalty relationship between customers & the brand

4 Steps of brand building (contd.) : 4 Steps of brand building (contd.) These 4 steps constitute fundamental questions customers ask about brands: Who are you? (brand identity) What are you? (brand meaning) What about you? What do I think or feel about you? (brand responses) What about you and me? What kind of association & how much of a connection would I like to have with you? (brand relationship) THERE IS AN OBVIOUS ORDERING OF THE STEPS IN THIS Branding Ladder

BRAND BUILDING BLOCKS : BRAND BUILDING BLOCKS

Brand building blocks : Brand building blocks Resonance Judgement Feelings Performance Imagery Salience 4. Relationship What about you & me? 3. Response What about you? 2. Meaning What are you? Identity Who are you?

Subdimensions of brand building model : Subdimensions of brand building model Loyalty Attachment Community Engagement Quality Warmth,Fun Credibility Excitement Consideration Security Superiority Social approval, Self-respect Primary charateristics & User profiles Secondary features Purchase & usage situations Product reliability Personality & values Durability & servicability History, heritage Service effectiveness & Experiences Efficiency & empathy Style & design, Price Category identification Need satisfied

Brand building blocks : Brand building blocks Salience Performance Imagery Judgement Feelings Resonance

Brand salience : Brand salience What basic function does the brand provide to customers? Breadth & depth of awareness Product category structure

Breadth & depth of awareness (eg Tropicana) : Breadth & depth of awareness (eg Tropicana) At the most basic level, its necessary that consumers recognise the Tropicana brand when it is presented or exposed to them Beyond that, consumers should think of Tropicana whenever they think of orange juice, particularly when they are thinking of purchase in that category Additionally, consumers ideally would think of Tropicana whenever they were deciding which type of beverage to drink, specially when seeking a tasty but healthy beverage some of the needs presumably satisfied by orange juice Thus , consumers must think of Tropicana in terms of satisfying a certain set of needs whenever those needs arise.

Product category structure (beverages) : Product category structure (beverages) Beverages Water Flavour Alcoholic Nonalcoholic Milk Juices Wine Distilled spirit Hot beverages Soft drinks Beer

Product category structure : Product category structure To fully understand brand recall, it is important to appreciate product category structure, or how product categories are organised in memory, for example beverages: As the configuration for beverages show, consumers often make decisions in top down fashion Implications: Understanding the hierarchy gives a clue on how to increase awareness, as well as position the brand In some cases, the best route for improving sales for a brand is not by improving consumer attitudes toward the brand but, instead, by increasing the breadth of brand awareness & situations in which consumer would consider using the brand. For example: - to increase consumption, Tropicana is extending orange drink to occasions beyond breakfast

Brand performance : Brand performance PRODUCT ITSELF IS AT THE HEART OF BRAND EQUITY, BECAUSE IT IS THE PRIMARY INFLUENCE ON WHAT CONSUMERS EXPERIENCE WITH A BRAND, WHAT THEY HEAR ABOUT A BRAND FROM OTHERS, & WHAT THE FIRM CAN TELL CUSTOMERS ABOUT THE BRAND IN THEIR COMMUNICATIONS: Designing & delivering a product that fully satisfies consumer needs & wants is a prerequisite for successful marketing To create brand loyalty & resonance, consumers experiences with the product must at least meet, if not actually surpass, their expectations

Slide 13: Brand performance relates to way in which the product/service attempts to meet customers more functional needs: How well does the brand rate on objective assessment of quality? To what extent does the brand satisfy utilitarian, aesthetic, & economic customer needs & wants in the product or service category? There are 5 important types of attributes & benefits that often underlie brand performance: Primary ingredients & supplementary features Product reliability, durability, & serviceability Service effectiveness, efficiency, & empathy Style & design 5. Price

Brand imagery : Brand imagery Brand imagery is how people think about a brand abstractly, rather than what they think brand actually does. Imagery associations can be formed: Directly: from consumers own experiences & contact with product, brand, target market, or usage situation Indirectly: depiction of these same considerations as communicated in brand advertising or by some other source of information, such as W.O.M. 4 categories can be highlighted: 1. User profiles 2. Purchase & usage situations 3. Personality & values 4. History, heritage & experiences

Brand judgement : Brand judgement How customers put together all the different performance & imagery associations of the brand to form different kinds of opinions. 4 types of

summary judgments particularly important: Brand quality Brand credibility Brand consideration Brand superiority

Slide 16: Brand quality: There are a host of attitudes customers hold towards a brand, but the most important relate in various ways to perceived quality of the brand Other notable attitudes related to quality pertain to perception of value & satisfaction Brand credibility: Perceived expertise: competent, innovative, & market leader Trustworthiness: dependable & keeping consumer interests in mind Likability: fun, interesting, & worth spending time with

Slide 17: Brand consideration: How personally relevant is the brand Depends on extent to which strong, & favourable association created as a part of brand image Brand superiority: Uniqueness Absolutely critical to building intense & active relationship with customers

Brand feelings : Brand feelings EMOTIONS EVOKED BY A BRAND CAN BECOME SO STRONGLY ASSOCIATED THAT THEY ARE ACESSIBLE DURING PRODUCT CONSUMPTION OR USE: Researchers have defined transformational advertising as advertising designed to change consumers perception of the actual usage experience with the product Following are 6 important types of brand-building feelings: Warmth Fun Excitement Security Social approval Self-respect First 3 types of feelings are experiential & immediate, increasing in level of intensity Later 3 are private & enduring, increasing in level of gravity

Brand resonance : Brand resonance RESONANCE IS CHARACTERISED IN TERMS OF INTENSITY, OR DEPTH OF THE PSYCHOLOGICAL BOND THAT THE CUSTOMERS HAVE WITH THE BRAND, AS WELL AS THE LEVEL OF ACTIVITY ENGENDERED BY THIS LOYALTY: Behavioural loyalty Attitudinal

attachment Sense of community Active engagement Finally, perhaps the strongest affirmation of brand loyalty is when customers are willing to invest time, energy, money, or other resources in the brand beyond those expended during purchase or consumption of the brand Strong attitudinal attachment or social identity or both are typically necessary, however, for active engagement with the brand to occur

Brand building implications : Brand building implications Customers own brands Dont take short-cuts with brands Brands should have duality Brands should have richness Brand resonance provides important focus

Slide 21: THE IMPORTANCE OF CBBE MODEL IS IN THE ROAD MAP & GUIDANCE IT PROVIDES FOR BRAND BUILDING: It provides a yardstick by which brands can assess their progress in their brand-building efforts as well as guide for marketing research initiatives Customers own brands: THE BASIC PREMISE OF THE CBBE MODEL IS THAT THE TRUE MEASURE OF THE STRENGTH OF A BRAND DEPENDS ON HOW CONSUMERS THINK, FEEL, & ACT WITH RESPECT TO THE BRAND: Though marketers responsible for designing & implementing most effective & efficient brand building programmes, success depends on how consumers respond

Slide 22: Dont take shortcuts with brands: Consumer Brand resonance Consumer Consumer Judgements Feelings Brand Brand Performance Feelings Brand salience INTENSE, ACTIVE LOYALTY POSITIVE, ACCESSIBLE, REACTIONS P.O.P & P.O.D. DEEP, BROAD BRAND AWARENESS

Slide 23: A GREAT BRAND IS NOT BUILT BY ACCIDENT BUT IS THE PRODUCT OF CAREFULLY ACCOMPLISHING EITHER EXPLICITLY OR IMPLICITLY A SERIES OF LOGICALLY LINKED STEPS WITH CONSUMERS.: The length of

time to build a strong brand will, therefore, be directly proportional to the amount of time it takes to create sufficient awareness & understanding so that firmly held & felt beliefs & attitudes about the brand are formed that can serve as the foundation for brand equity.

Brands should have duality : Brands should have duality STRONG BRANDS BLEND PRODUCT PERFORMANCE & IMAGERY TO CREATE A RICH, VARIED, BUT COMPLEMENTARY SET OF CONSUMER RESPONSES TO THE BRAND BY APPEALING TO BOTH RATIONAL & EMOTIONAL CONCERNS, A STRONG BRAND PROVIDES CONSUMERS WITH MULTIPLE ACCESS POINTS TO THE BRAND WHILE REDUCING COMPETITIVE VULNERABILITY

Brand should have richness : Brand should have richness THE VARIOUS ASSOCIATIONS MAKING UP THE BRAND IMAGE MAY BE REINFORCING, HELPING TO STRENGTHEN OR INCREASE THE FAVOURABILITY OF OTHER BRAND ASSOCIATIONS, OR MAY BE UNIQUE, HELPING TO ADD DISTINCTIVENESS OR OFFSET SOME POTENTIAL DEFICIENCIES: Strong brands thus have both breadth & depth At the same time brands should not necessarily be expected to score high on all the various dimensions & categories making up each core brand value

Building blocks can have hierarchies : Building blocks can have hierarchies Brand awareness: It is typically important to first establish category identification in some way before considering strategies to expand breadth via needs satisfied or benefits offered Brand performance: Often necessary to first link primary characteristics & related features before attempting to link additional, more peripheral associations Brand imagery: Often begins with fairly concrete initial articulation of user & user imagery that, over time, leads to broader, more abstract brand associations of personality, value, history, heritage, & experience Brand judgment: Usually begin with positive quality & credibility perceptions that can lead to brand consideration & then perhaps assessment of brand superiority Brand feelings: Usually start with either experiential ones (i.e, warmth, fun, excitement) or

inward ones (i.e., security, social approval, self-respect) Brand resonance: Behavioural loyalty is a starting point but attitudinal attachment or a sense of community is almost always needed for active engagement to occur

Brand resonance provides important focus : Brand resonance provides important focus BRAND RESONANCE IS THE PINACLE OF CBBE MODEL & PROVIDES IMPORTANT FOCUS & PRIORITY FOR DECISION MAKING- REGARDING MARKETING: To what extent is marketing activity affecting the key dimensions of brand resonance? Is marketing activity creating brand performance & imagery associations & consumer judgments & feelings that will support these brand resonance dimensions? In a application of CBBE model, the M.R. firm, Knowledge Network, found that brands that scored highest on loyalty & attachment were not necessarily same that scored high on community & engagement (see Chart in next slide) However, by defining the proper role for the brand, higher levels of brand resonance should be obtainable

Brand ranking on Resonance dimensions US, Fall 2001) : Brand ranking on Resonance dimensions US, Fall 2001) Rank Brand Order Loyalty Attachment Community Engagement 1 Harley D H.D. H.D. H.D. 2 Hersheys Hersheys Lifetime TV Lifetime TV 3 CampbellsCampb.s Public Broad. Lexus 4 Clorex Discov.Ch. Fidelity Inv. Disc. Ch. 5 Heinz BMW MSM Public B. 6 Kodak Wal-Mart Lexus Wal-Mart 7 Kraft Public B. Discovery C. BMW 8 Wal-Mart Kraft AOL.com Dell 9 Duracell Kodak Chevrolet Toyota 10 Disc. Ch. NBC Hersheys Fidelity Inv.

Slide 29: THE LENGTH OF TIME TO BUILD A STRONG BRAND WILL BE DIRECTLY PROPORTIONAL TO THE AMOUNT OF TIME IT TAKES TO CREATE SUFFICIENT AWARENESS & UNDERSTANDING SO THAT FIRMLY HELD & FELT BELIEFS & ATTITUDES ABOUT THE BRAND ARE FORMED THAT CAN SERVE AS THE FOUNDATION FOR BRAND EQUITY

Brands should have a duality : Brands should have a duality STRONG BRANDS BLEND PRODUCT PERFORMANCE & IMAGERY TO CREATE A RICH, VARIED, BUT COMPLEMENTARY SET OF CONSUMER RESPONSES TO THE BRAND: By appealing to both rational & emotional concerns, a strong brand provides consumers with multiple access points to the brand while reducing competitive vulnerability Rational concerns can satisfy utilitarian needs, whereas emotional concerns can satisfy psychological or emotional needs. Combining the two allows the brands to create a formidable brand position

Why Brand Building Is Important


Looking out into the world today, its easy to see why brands are more important now than at any time in the past 100 years. Brands are psychology and science brought together as a promise mark as opposed to a trademark. Products have life cycles. Brands outlive products. Brands convey a uniform quality, credibility and experience. Brands are valuable. Many companies put the value of their brand on their balance sheet.

Why? Well you dont have to look very far. When Tata Motors of India bought Jaguar and Range Rover from Ford, what did they buy? Factories? Raw Materials? Employees? No Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley helped Ford sell the brands to Tata for $2.56 billion, and the brands were worth more than all other ingredients combined. Likewise, when Kraft bought Cadbury for $19.5 Billion what did they buy? The chocolate? The factories? The recipes? The candy makers? No they bought the brands. And when Four Seasons Hotels, Inc., a Canadian-based international luxury, fivestar hotel management company, sold itself to Bill Gates and and Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia for $3.8 billion what did they buy? Locations? Restaurants? Staff? Beach front property? No they bought the brand. The list goes on with many examples such as InBev acquiring Budweiser to add to their house of brands that includes Stella, Becks and Labatt. Or Geeley Motors of China acquiring cult Swedish Auto brand

Volvo. Or Mahindra of India buying Ssangyong, Koreas third largest car company. Branding is fundamental. Branding is basic. Branding is essential. Building brands builds incredible value for companies and corporations. If you are still not convinced, let me give you another example. The dollar is a world brand. In essence it is simply a piece of paper. But branding has made it valuable. All the tools of marketing and brand building have been used to create its value. On the front you will find the owner of the brand: the Federal Reserve. There is a testimonial from the first President of the United States, George Washington. There is a simple users guide: This note is legal tender for debts public and private. And if youre still not convinced, the owner has added the all important emotional message: In God We Trust. The dollar is a world brand. It confers a uniform value globally. But as I said its really just a piece of paper. Branding has made it worth something. I mentioned earlier that brands are more important today than in the past. There are a few reasons for this. Firstly, the world has come online and there are

many new markets and a growing middle class in places like India, China, Brazil, Russia, South Africa, Nigeria, Indonesia and in many more places. These consumers buy brands. They buy premium brands. The best branding today is based on a strong idea. The best brands have remarkable creativity in advertising to help them break through peoples wall of indifference to create brand heat and product lust. Case in point the recent turn around of Chrysler and its reliance on marketing and advertising. Or look at the reinvention of Levis. And a final example is this campaign by my own agency which has helped reenergize one of Americas great iconic brands Jim Beam. Secondly, when we create new brands at my New York City advertising agency StrawberryFrog, we have fewer brand names to choose from. The Pharmaceutical Industry has patented everything under the sun for new medications. This makes existing brands, with their strong, well-known names and credibility more valuable. It also means creating a new vibrant brand is a challenge which requires a sophisticated strategy. It is not just about a product and a name, its about a lot more.

The sophisticated strategy is a cultural movement strategy. I believe that building brands now requires a cultural movement strategy as opposed to simply a brand building strategy. A cultural movement strategy can accelerate your brands rise to dominance. Once you have cultural movement, you can do anything in a fragmenting media environment, maximizing the power of social media and technology. The world has changed. We are now living in the age of uprisings and movements. I have written about how to build a brand in this new age in my new book Uprising. Now building brands has become a lot less expensive and smart brands can take advantage of new tools and rocket up there globally, very fast. In the face of the current economic challenges, its worth noting that brands do better in tough times compared to unbranded products. Brands outlive product cycles. And in these challenging times, there are still great brands being built. Brand owners still recognise opportunity and their brands will thrive in the years ahead. Brands such as H&M of Sweden, or Tesla a great new car brand, as well as new names

such as Toms Shoes, Honest Tea, and a rising brand from Florida called European Wax Center which Inc. Magazine named a company to watch. No branding, no differentiation. No differentiation, no long-term profitability. People dont have relationships with products, they are loyal to brands. In a movement strategy, brands have a purpose that people can get behind. Brands can inspire millions of people to join a community. Brands can rally people for or against something. Products are one dimensional in a social media enabled world, brands are Russian dolls, with many layers, tenents and beliefs that can create great followings of people who find them relevant. Brands can activate a passionate group of people to do something like changing the world. Products cant really do that. In todays world, branding is more important than ever. But you cant simply build a brand like they did in the old days. You need a cultural movement strategy to achieve kinetic growth for your brand. With that, the skys the limit.

Examples of Huge Branding Successes and How You Can Achieve Them Too

One of the most important components of defining your company is defining your brand. To become successful, you need to make sure that your logo is recognized instantly. Not only is this important for advertising reasons, but it is important as your company continues to grow. The trick is figuring out how to develop your companys brand strategy to make sure its up there with the big name brand superstars. Lets take a look at a few of these companies and how you can learn from their branding tactics. Coca-Cola How does a soft drink create a brand that is recognized around the world? Sure, it helps that the brand is worth about 70 billion dollars, but it wasnt always like that. Cokes strength is that is always finds a way to connect with its current customers. The brand has had to make a lot of changes since 1886 to keep up with their audience, including changing their logo over the years to become more modern and thinking of creative campaigns to keep up with the times. The best example of a successful Coca-Cola campaign was their 2012 Super Bowl commercial. Coke is always very forward thinking about how to create a brand that can relate to their audience. Their commercials pictured two polar bears: one rooting for the New York Giants, and the other rooting for the New England Patriots. The commercials that would

play depended on who was winning the game. This is a great example of how the 125-year-old brand is still able to stay current. Marketing takeaway: Relate to your audience and connect with your customers.

Geico When you think of Geico, what do you think of? The gecko? Their tagline, 15 minutes can save you 15% or more on car insurance? Geico is the prime example of using a mascot to define your brand. Geicos challenge was getting peoples attention to promote car insurance, and while other brands can often use their products and services to excite audiences, insurance is something everyone needs, but it usually isnt too exciting. The Geico gecko has revolutionized and defined Geicos brand. By having a character that discusses the benefits of car insurance in humorous situations, Geico is able to get into the minds of people of all ages. Even younger children are drawn to the gecko, despite the fact that theyre not looking to buy car insurance. The key to their success has been putting a face to their brand. Marketing takeaway: Be creative and find a unique, exciting, and attention-grabbing way to express your message.

Apple

Apple is the quintessential example of what brands strive to be like. Apple is associated with products that are easy to use, simple, and high quality. The brand is known to be representative of a way of life, leading its customers to say proudly, Im a Mac. Apple did not use traditional methods to become a company with some of the most loyal users. Instead, they used emotion to connect with their customers. Apples design was focused on making a persons life easier through its products. They showed their customers they were trustworthy and reliable. Apples focus on human connection made its brand representative of a friend more than just a business. Not many companies can say that. Marketing takeaway: Communicate with your customers in a way that earns their trust and loyalty and makes them want to tell others about your brand.

JetBlue JetBlue revolutionized the airline industry by creating a new way to fly. Instead of flying simply to get from one place to another, JetBlue turned it into an experience. JetBlue came with friendly flight attendants who went out of their way to make flying meaningful. Each seat was equipped with a television set as well. JetBlue saw a niche in the market and took advantage of it. People were not happy when they were traveling, and JetBlue found a way to fix that. Their brand became well known for the experience associated with flying.

Marketing takeaway: Find your target customers pain points and figure out a way to solve them. Make your product or service an experience, not just an expenditure. Comcast There are a few brands that are only associated with the complaints they get when they are not functioning properly. Comcast is in an industry that you often dont hear good things about you only hear when people complain that their Internet or cable is out. Comcast took that feedback and ran with it. Comcast was the first company to offer customer service on Twitter. They recognized that the tool was perfect for real time engagement and took it to another level by utilizing it to service and interact with their customers. Instead of getting complaints about a product that wasnt always reliable, they started getting praise for the immediate attention given to the customers. Marketing takeaway: Use different techniques, such as social media, to provide additional ways to allow your customers to reach and engage with you, and to show them that you care about their concerns and feedback. So there you have it 5 strategy lessons from top brand names that you can implement for your compan