A company and its associated products must present a clear and compelling reason that customers should buy from them. To build brands that mean something to customers, the products and solutions they offer need to effectively and compellingly complete a job or task for customers and/or give them a certain feeling while using their products.
What is Brand Building?
Companies need to have a clear idea about who they are, what they do, why they do it, who they do it for and how they make their customers’ lives more enjoyable, convenient, or valuable when they use their products.
Brands that cultivate meaningful emotional connections with customers are sometimes called intimate brands. Companies that can achieve these clear connections cut through the noise in the market and typically outperform the S&P 500 and Fortune 500 in both average revenue growth and average profit growth.
Companies then reinforce these valuable connections with associated processes, customer support and retention, as well as visual elements like images, colors, symbols, typography, photography and trademarks to create fast and distinct associations with customers and prospects.
Unfortunately, many companies do not have the clarity of a single shared vision internally for what the identity of their company brand should be.
Brand Building Essentials
Brands create emotional connections with customers in which customers’ interactions with products or services improve their lives through convenience, enjoyment or problem solving.
The annual Brand Intimacy Study by MBLM, measures how emotionally connected consumers are to the brands they use.
Each brand is rated on four key factors:
- Users – Consumers the brand has a relationship with
- Emotional connection – positive feelings a user has for a brand and the extent to which their values align
- Stage – the depth and intensity of the emotional connection in the brand relationship
- Archetypes – The degree to which six need states that determine if intimacy is present. They are:
- Nostalgia and
The brand and consumer relationship has shifted with the ages, but each generation’s unique value system has remained the most important piece of the puzzle.
There are very few brands that have the luxury of retaining loyal customers from different age brackets. Amazon, however, manages to transcend age. The retail giant appears in the top five for Millennials, Gen X, and Baby Boomers—with the latter awarding the brand their #1 spot.
Every generation named “enhancement” as Amazon’s defining trait, meaning their lives have improved as a result of the relationship. The “ritual” trait also scored high, with users claiming the brand has become ingrained into their daily behavior.
The brand building essentials and tools consist of:
- Operations of Brand
- Sales process
- Order fulfillment
- Business and legal operations
- Supplies and equipment
- Identity of the Brand
- Printed materials
- Designing tools
The Brand Builder
A marketing professional or executive such as a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) who is charged with building a brand is concerned with solving problems via brand building, such as:
- “We need to better differentiate our company/products/solution”
- “We need to be more focused on why a customer should choose us”
- “We need to build a stronger connection/relationship with our customer base”
- “We need to increase repurchase rate/customer loyalty”
The CMO or top branding executive’s responsibilities include:
- Better defining, target audience, needs, motivational triggers, and value prop
- Instilling processes that reinforce the brand
- Improving messaging
- Identifying & Evaluating creative resources/agency that can help establish and build the brand
- Leading, managing, guiding creative resources/agency to ensure projects are delivered on strategy, on budget and on time that helps build the business
- Developing marketing plan to build the brand.
Most Valuable Brands
Putting a monetary value on brands is tricky. However, a brand that connects with customers over time has immense intangible value that translates into increased financial valuations.
Amazon is the world’s most valuable brand—surpassing Google and Apple’s brand valuations.
Amazon’s diverse retail ecosystem allows it to expand to almost any industry segment, including healthcare.
Retail giant Walmart is now providing a digital first retail experience for its customers to accompany its massive retail footprint.
German brands outperformed other countries, with automotive brand Mercedes-Benz holding the title for the most valuable B2C brand in Europe.
In Asia, Samsung is the region’s most valuable B2C brand. The company owns a majority of the 5G market.
Innovation and B2B Brands
Because brands are so closely associated with consumer markets, branding in B2B is frequently an afterthought. However, there are measurements and messaging that can be applied to B2B, especially in support of innovation messaging and positioning
R&D / Product Intensity
Annual research and development spending, new product and product updates
The number of annual patent and grant filings
Number of employees with advanced education levels, published papers, etc.