What qualities make a great brand?
A great brand is a like a trusted friend. You enjoy their personality, are aligned with their values and you know they are being honest and authentic with you. You choose to be around them to listen to their story and know they are listening to you.
‘The whole is greater than the sum of its parts’.
A brand has many qualities and is much more than a colour, a logo or the product or service it offers. A brand is a concept made up of many different ingredients. However, a great brand is one that gets that mix “just right”.
There are five core qualities that all great brands have.
- Authenticity – a brand must be true and honest to be trusted.
- Clearly defined values – there needs to be clarity about what the brand stands for.
- Brand vision – without a focussed vision brands lose direction and are unable to move forward.
- Consistency – at every point of interaction the brand must be conveying the same qualities.
- Flexibility – great brands stay relevant and constantly evolve. Really great brands may set trends, but at the very least a brand needs to be up-to-date.
A good example of a brand that has the above qualities is Bose. Bose is the manufacturer of audio systems. Despite operating in a very competitive market Bose has frequently ranked as one of the most trusted consumer technology brands.
Bose has remained relevant and cutting edge over several decades. It exudes cool, luxury, high-end living with products that are sleek, attractive and high quality. The company has remained relevant and flexible in the ever-changing audio market by having a strong focus on research to stay ahead of new technologies. As we moved from CDs to Bluetooth and mobile devices, BOSE not only adapted, they delivered the same premium, aspirational, well designed products and brand message.
As a business owner, you need to spend some “Brand ME-Time”.
Brand ME time is about realising a brand doesn’t define itself. Setting aside quality time to get up close and personal with your brand is an important part of business best practice. You simply need to ‘Just do it’, a lot like doing financial budgets and accounts.
During this time you need to ask yourselves questions about the brand, its values, its focus and its vision. This ‘Brand Journey’ is a time for team alignment, discovery and clarity. So often your brand qualities are clear to you, but you need to take the time to put these qualities onto paper for everyone to see, share and agree.
You’ve done it once, now do it again.
Staying relevant is really one of the most important factors. Evolving and recreating is part of every brand’s journey. The market isn’t static and neither is a brand. Brand ME-Time is not just a one off event or an inward looking process. It needs to be responsive and proactive to the market conditions.
As part of this cyclical process it’s important to:
- Listen to your customers
- Watch the market for changes and opportunities
- Re-evaluate your vision and values each year
- Be strategic and creative with your brand messaging
Once you have done this… you are ready to start again! Having a clear and concise story and picture of what the brand looks and feels like is what keeps your business moving forward.