You’re “All Ways” on brand, for many reasons, and from many perspectives – as individuals, businesses or organisations. But what does this mean?
Lego was recently named the world’s most powerful brand and Apple the most valuable, by Brand Finance’s yearly study (which you can look at here). What do these top brands do to set them apart, what makes them so successful, and why is their value so recognisable?
Sure, these brands are product brands, but the product isn’t the reason they succeed. Companies like Apple and Lego engage in branding both internally and externally, in many different ways, but always with the upmost clarity and passion about who they are and what they stand for. These brands understand their point of difference in the market, and use this to connect to many different stakeholder groups in many different ways.
Apple is the revolutionary brand, always innovating, and always one step ahead, providing accessible aspirational technology to the masses. They are passionate about creating objects of desire. By contrast, the Lego brand is built off its simplicity, creativity and familiarity – the Lego block has remained essentially the same since 1958, and this means that people of all ages connect to the brand on a variety of emotional and intellectual levels. Apple’s knack for popularising their technology, and Lego’s cross-generational appeal proves that branding is so much more than a strong visual presence or a catchy slogan.
For brands as iconic as Apple and Lego, consistent brand performance is key – not just in one area of their business, but in all areas, and if one aspect of their brand fails to deliver to their brand standard, it can radically effect the success of the brand as a whole. Ferrari topped the list of most powerful brands last year, and in just twelve months the brand fell eight spots because its increased production rates reduced the exclusivity of their brand. Ferrari failed to realise that the rare and ‘limited edition’ nature of their products are the things for which they are known and loved, and as a result, they lost touch with a great many stakeholders.
What can we learn from these powerhouse brands? The moral of the story really is, even if you are a personal brand, a start-up or a small business, you must always ensure that you are behaving to your brand standard through every touch point and process. It’s also just as important to make sure that your brand is authentic, and reflects your passions, who you are, and what you have to give. If you can make that your focus, and always stay true to it, you will find that your brand is valued in all ways by you and your market.