What do you think makes great brands so powerful, long lasting and unique even when they’re not selling products and services that are radically different from one another? Have they really got their fundamentals strong or are they simply relying on smart advertising? Let’s check out what great brands really do and how they make that bang-on impression in customers’ psyche.
A great brand makes a long lasting emotional connect
Many experts say that customers purchase emotionally, which is largely true, especially in India, where advertising and branding is so emotionally driven. Do you remember the "Kuch Meetha Ho Jaaye" campaign by Cadbury, the Vodafone campaign with the pug or the Zoozoos and the Surf Excel campaign with "Dho Daala"? Why do these brands use an emotional pitch? Because they know that two washing powders or bars of chocolate can’t be much different from each other after a certain point. In the Indian context, substituting "meetha" with chocolate and "thanda" with Coca-Cola means going straight into the heart of the average local consumer.
A great brand is backed by great products and services
Great Indian brands like Raymonds, Asian Paints, ICIC Bank, Bajaj, Tata, Dabur, Naukri.com, Infosys etc. didn’t become great overnight. There are thousands of product and service providers who come into the market every single day but are unable to float their brand. That’s because great brands need time, patience and constant re-invention. The biggest mistake that most brands make is to be purely aspirational and cool, without maintaining substance, innovation and quality in their products and services.
A great brand elevates just about anything
If you thought that just because you manufacture bolts sold only to industries, you don’t need to have a great brand, then you are completely wrong. Whether you produce shoes, tea, pliers or travel services, you must give priority to branding opportunities and strategies, no matter how small your business is. Great branding can make just about any product or service so powerful that customers may recommend it without even realizing that they are actually doing so.
A great brand always has a story to tell
Every brand works on an association and a story. For instance, people associate innovation with Apple, Reliance with growth, Pantaloons with family shopping, Hindustan Unilever with quality, ICICI Bank with reliability and more recently speed with Flipkart.com etc. Over a few years, great brands build up stories around their existence to increase their connect with customers. This mythological build up can exponentially increase the recall value of a brand in the customer’s mind.
Great Brands are consistent
Apart from maintaining consistency in providing good products and service, great brands also try to keep the same color palette, design rules and visual appeal wherever they go. It’s orange for Barista coffee chains, red for Vodafone, the distinctly recognizable ‘Oooh la la la’ jingle for Kingfisher and the Amul butter girl as Amul’s mascot form decades. Whatever the visual representation may be, a great brand can be recognized without uttering a single word about it.