It takes a lot to create a strong brand.  Great branding is the residue of product excellence, compelling marketing, and consistent consumer engagement - among other things.  Here are the The 6 Secrets of Strong Brands.  

Companies who develop great brands:

 

1.  Know Their Consumers

 

Companies with the strongest brands always invest in knowing more about their consumers.  They create tangible relationships with them to try to know who they are, what they want, why they want it, what their expectations are of the category, what they expect from their product, what they think of the competition, what they believe makes their brand special and different, etc.  Striving to meet consumer needs around foundational questions like these - on a daily basis - informs the marketing and brand building process and becomes infused in everything they do.

 

2.  Are Strategic

 

Informed by a continual flow of smart consumer insights, the strongest brands are a product of effective brand strategy.  At the core is a compelling brand positioning.  Developed to most effectively meet consumer needs, this is the direction that defines the personality, look, feel, and message of the brand.  It becomes the brand’s DNA and establishes a set of creative and tactical guardrails that guide everything that touches consumers.

 

3.  Execute Compelling Tactics

 

For a brand, tactics is where the rubber hits the road.  It is all of the various ways that the brand engages with consumers - advertising, social media, pr, events, direct marketing, etc.  Tactics can only have the greatest impact if they flow from sound strategy - if they talk to consumers in their language, about things important to them (physically and emotionally resonant), and at times and places when they are open to that kind of interaction.

 

4.  Are Consistent

 

Building a brand is creating relationships with people.   As such, at the core, the same kinds of things that govern personal relationships are also relevant in brand ones.  Integrity is paramount!  Consistency of effort and experience are absolutely key to building the kind of trust necessary for enduring relationships.  Beyond that, with consumers being hit with up to 10,000 marketing messages a day - consistency is important simply to break through the clutter.

 

5.  Always Deliver on their Product Promise

 

Strong and enduring brands cannot be built on “smoke and mirrors”.  Companies must deliver a consistently strong user experience with their product or service - or all of the best marketing in the world won’t matter.  A continued focus on exceeding consumer expectations is critical to establishing a profitable long term brand relationship.

 

6.  Build a Strategic Company Culture

 

These tools have their greatest  impact when they are infused into a company’s culture.  Far greater than simply following direction from senior executives, when a consumer and brand focus becomes a part of the company ethos is when brands become their best.   The entire company becomes organized around doing the things that creates success.

 

Great brands (and therefore great financial returns) come from companies that embrace the central role that the brand plays in their business.  They understand that everything that touches consumers communicates and they strive to ensure that each interaction is on strategy.  

 

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Tags: brand, branding, positioning, secrets, strategy, tactics

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