What Is A Brand And Why Is It Important? Powerful Facts You Should Know

Can you imagine if Maytag® didn’t have its strong brand positioning in place? You might overhear one of its employees say: “So when somebody asks me what I do for a living I say, I sell kitchen and laundry appliances.” Hmm. Not very exciting. And is that really what Maytag sells?

Here’s what Maytag’s brilliantly effective marketing campaign really sells — peace of mind. When you think Maytag, you can’t help but picture the Maytag repairman who has absolutely nothing to do!  That’s smart marketing based on – smart branding. And smart branding expressed with a great story!

GSD&M, a visionary advertising agency based in Austin, Texas brought renewed excitement to the BMW brand by laddering the brand from: A car of great performance to … A company of great ideas. That year, 2006, was their best sales year in history.

The ad agency also took Southwest Airlines out of the airline business and put them into the freedom business. Think about it. See how it feels in your body when you think:  Airline business. Now…Freedom business.

Imagine, too, how the idea of an airline being a freedom business can lend itself to a whole fresh way to pepper the language of its advertising and marketing initiatives.

Today, Southwest is the world’s most profitable airline, posting a profit for the 37th consecutive year in January 2010.

Back to Maytag. The Maytag brand goes far beyond the products it sells. When you think Maytag you think:  reliability, longevity…trust! And, again, the greatest benefit to the consumer: peace of mind. Like the Energizer Bunny® (also brilliantly branded) – it just keeps going and going. Another great story.

Can you see how smart branding creates a strong appeal to the consumer that goes beyond the actual product or service? And, how the story it conveys compels people to act?

What is a Brand?

It’s more than a product. More than a mission statement. A brand has a soul and a personality. It can give meaning and identity to its user, so its benefits can be both functional and psychological.

A product becomes a brand in the mind and heart of the consumer.

Why Is Strong Branding Important?

  • Strong brands are profitable and may be your most important asset.
  • They create loyalty through direct relationships with consumers.
  • They are a short-cut to consumer understanding. Marketing costs are less and more effective.
  • Customers may be willing to pay more.
  • Imagery can be transferred to associated brands or channel extensions.
  • They offer protection against competitive activity.
  • They can put you on the map!

What emotions and associations do you want YOUR product or service to evoke? Think about it. Brainstorm about it. Allow for some abstract thinking.

Successful Brands: What they make us think and feel

Try this little exercise…

MAYTAG®– never needs repairs.

What you think: ________________________________________________________________

What you feel: ________________________________________________________________

Its Soul: ________________________________________________________________

Its Personality: ________________________________________________________________

Now do the same for: DURACELL® – just keeps going and going.

And, for Mac – smarter, faster, easier to use.

And now, try it with YOUR product or service in mind.

If you get stuck, consider hiring the services of an effective marketing communications writer/brand specialist who can help you reveal, distill, and reach existing and potential customers by re-purposing your brand with a dynamic, well-targeted story.

With a strong brand and a compelling story, you can look forward to generating far greater results!

Need help? Contact: onesmartmarketer@yahoo.ca

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