Why some brands are recognizable by phrases, shapes and sounds - and how to reach that stage.
THE GOLDEN ARCHES
Everyone has experienced the late night drive home. It doesn't matter where you are coming from or where you went, but the feeling of being tired, sore and overwhelmingly hungry is familiar to everyone. Then on the horizon...the golden arches.
It's not just that you recognize those golden arches as symbol or logo. You've attached the McDonald's brand to so many feelings and memories. Moreover, you don't just know that it is McDonald's, you know exactly what you will receive every time. That's the power of brand.
I understand that McDonald's might not be your go to. However, we can all probably look around the room and see ten brands without leaving our seat. The most successful entrepreneurs, organizations, and companies all have recognizable brands. Consumers not only recognize their logo or name, but they have attached services or products they like to that brand and continue to use them over and over again.
CONSISTENCY, CONSISTENCY, CONSISTENCY
How did these brands rise to the top? Consistency. (Check out Google Chrome below.) And this means consistency across the board - media, messaging and delivery. You won't be able to accomplish your objective, whether it be selling products or gaining followers, if you do not have alignment of your brand across everything. The consistency of your brand is not only attractive, but it will become recognizable and synonymous with your products and services.
YOUR BRAND STORY
You may think that it all comes down to "branding" then...so just hire a good graphic designer? Sadly, no. What really will connect with your consumers is your brand story. Consider the quote from David Brier below.
If you don’t give the market the story to talk about, they’ll define your brand’s story for you.
Brier here identifies the crux of the matter - every brand has a story, whether you want yours too or not. What most do not understand however is that brand stories are most effective when the consumer is the lead role of the story not the company or organization.
Consumers (just like any normal person!) experience services and products through a first person lens. They are not looking to see how they fit into your story. Instead your brand story should fit within their story. Let them interact with your brand according to their story. To do this your brand needs to be accessible and alluring. Each consumer should be able to see how your brand fits into their story.
DEFINING YOUR BRAND TO YOUR CONSUMER
Why do people connect with brands and bring them into their story? Mainly because those brands are well defined and are accessible to the consumer.
Take Apple. Apple is sleek. Techy. Modern. Suave. The consumer isn't attracted because they enjoy the internal processing speed of Apple devices. The consumer brings the Apple brand into their story because they want to be suave and modern.
Let's look at Target. Does Target say that they have the best prices? Claim the best products? No, but target is accessible. They are for everyone. They are homey. Comfortable. Reliable. Consumers relate to the Target brand because it is not over the top, nor cheap.
Good brands are accessible, alluring, clear, and defined. They don't cram their story onto the user, but allow their story to fit into the story of their consumer.
So what are the basics to elevating brand? Consistency of brand. Clarity of story. When your brand is well defined it comes of off as authentic, which is most important when winning consumers. Understanding your brand story is the first step. After that you can align your branding. Then your messaging. Then deliver your services consistently so that consumers continue to connect with your brand even after a transaction has finished.