In an earlier post, I wrote about the success that Holiday Inn is enjoying in the wake of their complete rebranding. I’d like to dig a little deeper to help clarify what makes a brand. This information will not only cut straight to the point of branding, but will also give you a clear vision of what makes it successful.
In 2007, Nike Inc. invested $702,900,000 in advertising. Proctor & Gamble, parent company of global brands Tide, Olay and Gillette, spent an estimated $5,230,100,000 in that same year in advertising. What makes these numbers particularly staggering is the simple thing they are trying to maintain – their brands. These budgets were invested in assuring that people will feel that Nike is the shoe that they trust, that Pampers are the best choice for their babies, and that Crest WhiteStrips will remove their coffee stains.
Quite simply, a brand is more than a logo, an advertisement, a package design, but an opinion. A preference. Your market has to agree with you- that’s all, and building that brand is nothing more than keeping your consumers in a constant state of agreement. Advertising, R&D, marketing and identity are all just tools on the branding workbench, and the infinite brand sub-categories (brand culture, brand promise, brand expressions, brand advocacy, mindshare) are simply different methods of using those same tools.
If you want to make your brand successful, make sure it delivers on establishing that agreement. Many brands work on trying to convince the consumer of something that contradicts common sense (see Hooters Energy Drink and Trump Steaks). Do what you do well, and take the time to ensure that the quality and consequent word-of-mouth do the selling. This is how the best brands are built.