Does your brand have what it takes to be successful in today’s market? Nowadays, forging a brand that is widely recognized and loved by many demands more than merely offering a unique product or a valuable service. Effective digital marketing has become an absolute necessity. Without a strong brand and a memorable online presence, modern businesses can’t stand a chance against their competition. Luckily, several brands have kindly paved the way for your business by executing intelligent and research-backed branding decisions.
These highly successful brands share at least five common traits.
- A strong vision and mission
- Authentic business decisions, marketing and leadership
- Consistent and customized content
- Memorable brand experiences
- Constant Innovation
In today’s blog, we’ll be defining these traits, providing examples of companies that have succeeded by employing them and sharing suggestions for their application in your own business.
Vision and Mission
Establishing a clear vision and a strong mission is the first step you should take when composing your brand. We will further explain this process in future blogs, but for now, all you need to know is the following: your vision is the mental image of the world you want to create. Your mission is the role your business will play in creating that world. For example, BrandShine’s vision is of a world where impactful and meaningful companies can succeed and grow. Our mission is to provide affordable, modern and competitive digital presences so that our vision can become a reality. Making sense so far? Awesome. If you’d like some more examples, check out this article about brands that prioritize sharing their values and visions.
One of the most popular and recognized brands in the world, Starbucks, succeeded using this strategy in 2008. Believe it or not, in the late 2000s, Starbucks was in dire straits. They weakened their neighborhood coffeehouse brand when they expanded to hundreds of new locations and began offering non-coffee related products. The steep decrease in sales and stock price required them to close 900 of their stores. Forced to revitalize their brand, they launched a multi-million dollar marketing campaign with agency BBDO that emphasized the quality of their products.
They positioned their brand experience as a preferable and cost-effective element of anyone’s coffee routine, even during a recession. Their adherence to their original brand values proved a tremendous success: in 2014, the company reported $1.6 Billion in annual revenue. Having a strong mission is not only crucial for your brand recognition and sales– it also has an impact on your employees. Studies show that mission-driven workers are 54% more likely to stay at a company for five years or more.
Authentic Actions and Leadership
In today’s digital landscape, a company’s actions, production methods and leadership ethics are entirely available for the public to judge. Time and time again, companies that lean into this vulnerability are successful due to their pure authenticity and steadfast adherence to their brand values in all aspects of their business. 91% of consumers said that they are more likely to buy from an authentic brand than from a dishonest brand, and 86% of consumers prefer an authentic and honest brand personality on social networks (Smart Insights, 2017). This research proves that modern consumers prefer brands to which they can relate and trust.
Let’s consider some case studies. After a steady decrease in sales since their start in the early-mid 1900s, Converse shoes returned to their roots in 2007 with their “Chuck It” campaign. They authentically embraced their old-school roots and reclaimed their core following, regaining popularity as a lifestyle brand. In 2001, Pabst Blue ribbon rediscovered their audience and reinvigorated their brand by employing authentic word-of-mouth marketing, which resulted in a return to their status as one of the top-selling beers. Read this article to learn about ten other companies that are using brand storytelling to improve their authenticity.
If you need any more motivation to prioritize authenticity, consider this: organizations that score well in consumer trust are two and a half times more likely to be high-performing businesses. Today, social media outrage prompts inauthentic brands to fall by the wayside as they are exposed for their hypocrisy and boycotted worldwide. Don’t let your company be one of them.
Creating content is, in our humble opinion, the single most crucial step a business can take towards improving its SEO, building a loyal following and establishing itself as a trustworthy resource. Branded content is an opportunity to educate your potential customers; in fact, 80% of people like learning about a company through custom content. 68% percent of people read about brands that interest them, and 60% of people will seek out a product after reading about it.
Furthermore, companies with a blog produce 67% more leads than companies without one, and 78% of consumers believe that companies focused on custom content are more trustworthy than companies that share generic content. Cleverly strategized custom content performs better than content published with no specific audience or long-term goals in mind. This strategic process is called content marketing, and it generates about three times as many leads as traditional outbound marketing. So, what are you waiting for? Start creating smart, unique and audience-specific content today. You’ll see returns in no time.
Memorable Brand Experiences
Brand experiences can take many forms. A brand experience, or brand ‘touchpoint,’ can be a simple exchange with an employee, an encounter with unique packaging, an online interaction, or perhaps a remarkable brand event. Creating memorable brand experiences is both an art and a science. Investing in producing masterful brand experiences will elevate your brand above even your fiercest competition.
There are endless digital opportunities for creating memorable brand experiences. For example, Dominos pizza rolled out a feature by which customers can simply message them a pizza emoji and receive a delivery. Everlane, a clothing company, uses a private Instagram account to test new products with select audiences. Lego took the all-important step of connecting with its die-hard audience and asking them what new products they’d like to see. Their fans responded that they wanted to create and build rather than buy fancy new pieces. This resulted in Lego Ideas, a platform where makers can submit their own creations and potentially have them included in a new set. As a result, Lego generated $5.2 billion in revenue in 2015.
There are countless other examples of companies using social media and burgeoning technologies like Augmented Reality to create unforgettable interactive experiences. As a consumer, you probably know that first impressions are incredibly important for establishing brand loyalty. 48% of consumers report that they are more likely to become loyal to a brand during the first purchase or experience. So, take the time to connect with your target audience, figure out what makes them tick and then craft brand experiences that will carve a place in their mind for your business for years to come.
80% of executives agree that their business is at risk due to innovations made by competing companies. Innovation is key to growing your business, outshining your competition and creating an office atmosphere of experimentation and excitement. At BrandShine, we employ the practices of Design Thinking and Growth Hacking with our clients, which we will discuss in future blogs.
According to this article, the top six obstacles to innovation are:
- Long development times
- Selecting the right ideas
- A risk-averse business culture
- Not enough great ideas
- Lack of coordination
- Lack of customer insight
Luckily, Design Thinking solves most of these problems by encouraging a process that includes customer empathy and thorough research, while fostering an environment of constant experimentation, open brainstorming and speedy development. Again, we’ll revisit Design Thinking soon. In the meantime, spend time brainstorming ways to improve your customer experience and elevate your brand.
Successful brands can take years to build, but when executed correctly, your brand can make a true impact on your consumers and change the world. By following in the footsteps of these innovative and strategic brands, you will greatly increase your chances of success.
We hope you enjoyed reading our first blog entry for BrandShine Learn, an educational platform designed to inform and entertain past, present and future clients. If you’d like our help with establishing your brand, creating custom content, crafting brand experiences or fostering innovation at your company, please contact us at www.brandshinecreative.com/#contact. You can also schedule a 30-minute private tutoring session with us. We look forward to hearing from you!