I am constantly reminded of a quote that my father often used, “It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.” The same holds true for your brand. Brands are built with consistency, integrity and loyal consumer…a consumer who understands and values the company’s mission, vision and competitive advantage.
Building an iconic brand is not easy, but when it is done correctly, the company icon alone, without any words, will generate awareness and immediate recognition of what that brand will deliver.
Take a look at these iconic brand images. Can you name each of these brands by icon alone? What do you expect from each of these brands? What would you NOT expect from each of these brands? Here’s are 2 examples:
· McDonalds – I expect fast food, fast service and I know what my Big Mac is going to taste like whether I am in Taiwan or Tallahassee (and yes, I have had a Big Mac in both). I don’t expect a gourmet, sit-down meal or a luxury experience.
· Mercedes – I expect quality and luxury. I expect to pay more, but I also expect top-notch customer service, an espresso while I wait and to have my car washed when I bring my car in for service.
Brands like McDonalds and Mercedes and many, many others have built their reputation by doing what they do best. Consistency in actions, consistency on delivering on their “brand promise” and consistency in brand image create iconic brands. In case you are wondering what a “brand promise” is, a brand promise is the statement that you make to customers that identifies what they should expect for all interactions with your people, products, services and company.
I hope many of you had the opportunity to complete the exercise that I threw out there in last Monday’s blog “Building your Brand”. The exercise was designed to help you identify who you want to be as a brand. Through this exercise, you will have a clear idea of what you want your brand to be and the image that you want to project to your clients, as well as the type of client that you want to attract.
Just for grins, I wanted to share with you a version of this exercise that I did with my team earlier this year. Our assignment was to identify brands that we admire that represent the qualities that we want from the BeautiControl Brand as well as identifying our target market. This project helps us to develop a consistent brand image, deliver a brand promise and appeal to our target market.
This image represents that brands that we admire. Here are the qualities of these brands that best represent from the BeautiControl brand:
· Luxury image (Chanel)
· “White Glove” customer service (Mercedes)
· Recognizable brand image (Tiffany)
· Quality and Durability (BMW)
· Consistent, duplicable customer experience (Starbucks)
· Brand Recognition without being predictable (Louis Vuitton seasonal handbag)
· A brand for all ethnicities
· A brand known for skin care and glamour
· A consumer that understands and appreciates the necessity of relaxation and personal pampering
· A consumer that spans all ages and ethnicities
· A consumer who is likely a working mom who is looking for high quality products and/or an opportunity to earn income while being able to spend more time with her family
· A consumer who understands the importance of Spa quality skin care and anti-aging treatments
· A consumer that “grows up” with BeautiControl and spans the generations, making BeautiControl a brand for life.
· A consumer who wants to look her best and stay up to date with the latest trends in skin care treatments and beauty products.
Knowing and understanding this helps us identify the direction that we use to develop our brand identity and protect our brand image. This is the reason that we have created the “Brand Identity Guide” available to you on BeautiNet. This guide will help to ensure that you have all of our approved brand colors, fonts, logos, etc to match the image that we are projecting as a company. This is our “brand bible”, if you will, that guides everything that we do when creating literature and collateral materials to help you brand yourself and brand BeautiControl consistently.
This is an example of the way that we create and maintain a consistent image using our Brand Guidelines. The images, logos, fonts and materials are very clearly consistent and representative of who we want to be recognized as a brand as well as being designed for our target market.
This is an example of what I found when I did an internet search for BeautiControl. You can clearly see how different these images are. If a person who did not know BeautiControl were to do a search, these are the things that they would find. Who is this brand? What do they stand for? What can I expect from them? Are they current and on-trend? Do they say “prestige”, “luxury”, “quality”, “cosmeceutical skin care and anti-aging treatments”. Don’t get me wrong…they are cute, clever and creative, but there is a pretty large disconnect.
Take a look at the materials that you send out to your clients. Are they representative of the brand image that you want to project?