When you’re doing market research for consumer brands, you really have to get to know what it is that makes a killer brand. But what are the qualities of a truly great consumer brand? In a sea of competing names, how can we pick out the very best?
If you want to know how to tell the difference between greatness and mediocrity when it comes to brand, then take a look at the following ideas:
1. A Clearly Defined Audience and Mission
The best brands in the world already know who their target audience is and they consistently cater to and communicate with that audience effectively. To get to this state typically requires a decent amount of investment of time, energy and resources, but when you have the ability to quickly, simply define your audience, then your marketing becomes easier and the brand itself starts to go from strength to strength.
In addition, this idea shouldn’t be misunderstood as a brand identifying one niche and marketing to that segment. In fact, the strongest consumer brands will have wide and eclectic audiences, and the difference is that they know every segment of that audience inside and out.
2. A Strong and Recognisable Identity
Next, another thing all the best consumer brands in the world have in common is a clear identity. The faster you can recognise branding from simple factors such as colours, logos, slogans and more, the more effective and powerful that brand has become. Strong brands are consistent in their approach to these things, using the same colours, fonts, slogans, advertising styles, and more.
Certain factors here and there may change, such as celebrity endorsement, or a slight change in colour to mark some kind of product special edition or seasonal offering, but the overall identity of the brand doesn’t change in the most fundamental and important ways.
3. A Unique Business and/or Service Model
The first time people visited the Apple store, they noticed immediately that the way business was done there was very different to other electronics stores they’d been to. For instance, the casual approach to staff uniforms using simple monochrome t-shirts and jeans is a stroke of genius. It not only keeps costs down, but makes staff seem more approachable and friendly. That’s all before we get to the lack of a checkout counter, and all transactions being able to be done on the spot.
One of the reasons Apple is such a powerful consumer brand is its unique model for doing business. Those brands that can find a unique way of making the consumer experience easier and more enjoyable are the ones that become world-beating brands.
4. Media Savvy
Next, a strong knowledge and affinity with social media and other media platforms is a must for a strong consumer brand. Knowing how to funnel different messages through different channels to communicate key information to different audiences becomes a crucial plank of the brand’s overall marketing strategy. Since each platform brings different elements — using hashtags on Instagram, for example — brands will invest in talent and skills to make media work for them.
5. Consistency in Quality
Another hallmark of any strong brand is the ability to produce the same standard of quality over and over again regardless of how many times it is demanded. Food and beverage brands like McDonald’s feel the pressure on this one in particular, ensuring that a Big Mac tastes and looks the same in every city and every territory in which the franchises operate.
6. Public Trust and Respect
Finally, one other key element of a strong brand is the fact that it carries the trust and respect of the public. When a brand becomes synonymous with these virtues, then it’s a sure sign that the brand has really “made it” in the world.