Three pillars of a great brand

Pillars of a great brandEveryone and everything has a brand – it’s what you think of when you think of that car, athlete, restaurant, city, website, speaker, software, neighborhood, protein bar or shoe company. Every good brand has three key elements that make it work. It provides the foundation for the creativity to be built on. Let’s get into it.

Authenticity

The brand you choose has to be representative of who you are and what you stand for. If it’s not, it’s hard to put on a façade 24/7. Or worse, your potential customers spot a fraud and buy from your competitor. Staying true to you is the number one rule of branding. Find out who you are and be that every day. 

Example: Hermes Birkin bags

They are exclusive, hand-crafted and high end. They’re not for everyone and everything involved with buying one underscores the Hermes brand. Acquiring one takes a mix of effort, connection and a bunch of money, which support a brand of exclusivity. Listen to this podcast for the details.

Uniqueness

Once you’ve nailed authenticity, you need to make sure your brand is unique. It’s always hard to stand out and harder in some industries with a lot of competition. Let’s take a look at pizza. There are dozens of national chains and thousands of local restaurants fighting for the attention and dollars of a pizza-loving country.

Example: Domino's

They needed a way to stand out in a commoditized industry, so they branded themselves as the fastest chain. It started with the “30 minutes or it’s free” campaign and has evolved to fast and easy ordering via phone, online or app. When you need a pizza fast, you think of Domino's.

Simplicity

People are bombarded with up to 10,000 brand messages per day, according to the AMA (whoa!). That means your audience has precious seconds to decide if your brand is worth a longer look. A complex or in-depth brand that takes a minute to understand is a problem for consumers that don’t have a minute.

Example: Google

When you want to find something – directions to a meeting, restaurant reviews, the number of home runs Babe Ruth hit in 1927, you go to google. When you think about Google – finding answers comes to mind instantly. It’s easy to get and easy to remember. The company has dominated its field by owning a simple idea – find. 

There’s more that goes into creating and promoting a brand but cover these first and you’re off to a good start.

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