Give your brand a personality and a clearly recognisable face
Strong brands have a personality and a clearly recognisable face that acts as a vehicle for this personality. They know who they are and what they stand for – and they make this visible and tangible. They have a clear position on the market and stand out from their competitors. Customers and other target groups have a clear mental image of brands like these. They know why they prefer this brand to others. Successful brands are like a beacon guiding our way through the ocean of products and services; they are a haven of trust.
It goes without saying that it takes time to establish such a strong position. The promise a brand makes its customers must be put to the test time and time again – across all channels. Whether as the product itself, during communication or contact with customers, at the point of sale or on the website, a brand must provide the same experience at all relevant contact points. A holistic experience of a brand creates clear brand images that help customers to form preferences. Strong brands are linked to strong positive emotions. Those who manage to reach out to the emotions stored in customers’ hearts and minds can turn a well-functioning company into a desirable corporate brand. Many hidden champions have the potential to develop into a strong brand.
Branding is a matter for the boss
Branding is often boiled down to appearance, packaging and communication. If a company wants to be successful in the long term, however, it must know what constitutes the substance of its brand. It must recognise and define its success patterns. And this is a matter for the boss. It is up to the top management to define and impart the essence of the brand and to defend it against any attempts to dilute it. The success of a brand depends heavily on the status that top managers assign to it.
Employees as brand ambassadors
A brand of course only works when it is brought to life by all of the company’s employees. This is why it is so important for staff to be involved in brand development. They must know what the company and the brand stand for – for it is they who ultimately determine whether a brand is successful or not. As soon as an employee comes into contact with customers, he or she becomes a brand communicator. This is both an opportunity and a challenge: the brand is an anchor for the personnel in a company, a guideline for their day-to-day conduct. Strong brands create identification, boost commitment and performance and encourage loyalty. They also help to attract potential employees. A high level of employee identification with a company’s brand is central to the success of that company.