Have you ever heard the famous story of Coke in its initial years? It is believed that coke sold a total of only 10 bottles in its first year of operations. If you look at that number now, it really seems insignificant if we consider the fact that coke is now selling a total of 1.8 billion bottles a day. Yes, 1 800 000 000 bottles of coke are sold a day. That’s over a million percent increase from what they did in the first year.
But how did they do it. The answer to that is also explains why a company that was nonexistent 30 years ago, Apple, is now the world’s largest company by marketshare valued at $850Bn and likely to be the world’s first trillion dollar company. It also explains why Uber a company that was literary invisible back in 2009 is now one of the world’s largest transportation companies.
The answer is branding. All these companies are where they are today because they managed to brand themselves relentlessly and establish themselves as the ideal solutions to whatever problems people may be facing and guess what? They did it so well such that no other companies could match up to them.
In the 21st century, it’s a fact that the internet rules and having digital content is now a must for any company that wants to make a name for itself. If you look at Nike, when they branded and marketed their Air Jordan’s, they worked with Weiden Kennedy to make one of the best shoe commercials ever made and guess what? Their sales really skyrocketed.
All I’m simply saying is that a strong brand is the missing puzzle that will transform your small company from being small to being big and world dominating. Here are some takeaways and things you can learn from the world’s largest companies on how you can build a kickass brand.
- Audit the marketplace
Dropbox is testimony to this fact, if you want to create a strong brand, you need to first understand and know your target market so that you can make your marketing solutions to customly reach them. One other thing apart from understanding your target audience is to look at what your competitors are doing. An example of a company that did this so well, is Pepsi. Before going to their branding agency to kickstart the campaign for Pepsimax to counter coke Zero. Pepsi looked at how coca cola had branded coke zero and hit the market with better ads and branding efforts than those of coke and guess what, Pepsi outcompeted coke in the game.
Apart from Pepsi, another company that outmarketed an established company was Gett. Its campaign strategy was simple, they looked at Uber, identified Uber’s weakness and guess what, they established their brand based on those weaknesses and up to today, they are making a killing.
- Take a look at these things
Why do you think Apple’s think different campaign was a key part of their branding strategy? My answer to that would be because Apple was initially laying out its purpose as a company. John Sculley, the previous marketing executive for Pepsi who led Apple’s think different campaign attributed the success of the campaign to some key things such as
- The problem being solved.
- Appealing factors of the company
- Why any customer would want to develop a relationship with the company.
That’s what you should also do for your company if your goal is to develop kickass brand. Your branding message must have first and foremost a solution to a particular problem the consumer must be facing and something about your company that will entice a customer to want to develop a relationship with you.
- Work with a Branding Agency
Apple is an $850bn company, Facebook is valued at $470Bn, Uber is valued at $50Bn but all these companies have worked with branding agencies whenever they launch a new product or even when rebranding themselves. The companies could afford to hire some branding experts and do it in-house but they don’t even try to, why? Because they are not into branding and having a team to focus on branding would be a distraction that will cripple them and preventing them from focusing on their key processes that are required for their businesses to grow.
By going the external route when branding their products and company, they know that they will find people who will be honest enough to constructively criticize them where they are going wrong and that is how they always stay afloat and at the top. If you want to build a strong brand for your business, do not do it yourself, look for a branding agency to do it for you and you won’t get it wrong.
- Having a brand manifesto is key
Look at the big brands in your field, one thing will be common across all of them regardless of the AdWars they may fight and how they may sometimes make petty explainer videos like the ones Google and Microsoft made while ridiculing each other’s browsers. The common thing is that all these brands have a document they call the brand manifesto and they stick to it religiously like a priest would to his bible.
Your company stands for something and that ‘something’ should be the epitome of your company’s brand manifesto. But what does it take to create a compelling and effective brand manifesto. Simply put, if you hire a creative agency in New York, they would have copywriters who specialize in writing such and they would simply articulate your brand’s manifesto in a simple but effective manner.
- The brand comes first before the product
What’s the difference between Facebook the company, and Facebook, the website? Or what’s the difference between Apple, the company and their underlying products. The answer to that is pretty simple. Facebook the company has a goal to connect you and your friends while the website is the platform used for doing that. If you pay attention to their ads, Facebook clearly articulates that it is there to connect you because they know that that’s what you need to connect. To build a strong brand, no matter how cool your products may be, pay less attention to them and hammer on your message, how you aim to bring a difference in people’s lives.
Lastly, branding is the only sure fire way to ensure your survival for long in the marketplace. Have a strong branding message and work with the best branding agency New York and you will be assured of building a company that lasts just like ford.