Every business, product, service, and person needs to differentiate in today's competitive marketplace. The speed of change is rapidly increasing resulting in both opportunities and threats. Successful brands are developed using a disciplined process that brings value to the target audience. Yet, the majority of products in the marketplace are not well positioned and very few services are branded at all. Therein lies the opportunity to instill a brand building strategy in every organization.
Successful Brands Focus and Sacrifice
Winning brands clearly identify, understand, and bring relevance to the target customer(s). Successful brands do not try to be all things to all people. In fact, these brands fully recognize the importance of delivering a unique brand positioning to the target audience even if that results in other potential customers being sacrificed.
MINI Cooper Brand Wins through Focus
MINI is a classic example of a brand that is the envy of many drivers who may be driving their SUV or standard sedan while dreaming of a MINI. Yet, by "sacrificing" over 90% of the automobile buying public, MINI continues to be a raging success with all ages who are forever young. In fact, when two MINIs pass each other be on the watch for waving and flashing lights from like-minded people.
Successful Brands Make a Promise and Deliver through and Outstanding Experience
A brand is merely a promise to the target consumers. The brand strength or weakness comes from how well the brand delivers on the promise. The biggest mistake a brand can make is to over promise and under deliver. Regardless of the business, there is a value chain that must be well synchronized to ensure a great customer experience every time.
Zappos.com . . . the BRAND is Customer Service
Who would take on the task of re-inventing how people buy shoes? Additionally, what if you said to a shoe buyer, I want you to purchase this pair "sight unseen and without trying them on?" Well, this is exactly what a young entrepreneur named Tony Hsieh dared when he and his team built a logistical giant in zappos.com. This company is the epitome of customer service with a 365 day return policy, real pros on the telephone, a great website and incredible home delivery. Now this is a disruptive brand strategy that fetched $1.2 Billion when amazon.com purchased the company.
Great Brands Create Loyal and Passionate Fans
There are the product features, benefits, costs, and many other attributes that customers consider when considering a purchase. These rational intrinsics help the customer do basic cost-benefit analysis as to whether the product or service is a worthy deal. However, all brands seek to establish an emotional connection that goes well beyond these basics. Creating emotional connections with consumers results in a brand position where no other brand will do.
Apple Wins with Incredible Emotional Connections with Customers
If you are looking for an example of a company that was practically written off many years ago, in one of the most innovative industries, look no further than the old Apple Computer. Re-enter the founder, Steven Jobs, with a vision well beyond the sightline of any focus group and today you see a company valued at over $600 Billion. Add to this story a retail experience that crowds otherwise wide-open mall corridors and you have the typical Apple Store which retails higher sales/square foot than any other retailer. No more, just a dull computer screen but an empowering tool for people to create dreams, enjoy music, communicate, photograph, connect their passion points. Apple is a great brand with supremely loyal fans and an emotional connection with customers.
You, your organization, and your people have the same opportunity to establish a long-term brand platform that will deliver greater results, drive higher personal fulfillment, and create even greater value for your constituencies.
JSW Consulting, LLC, collaborates with clients to create a unique and authentic brand position that resonates with customers while creating a competitive advantage for the client's business. Using a brand adoption process, JSW Consulting LLC, guides the client through an internal assessment, external analysis, brand promise, customer experience, and company culture journey that results in a brand that will stand out for all others.