Behind these three simple words, nothing less hides than the recipe for success of the biggest brands in the world. This sounds a bit too simple? But like almost everything in life, the simple solutions are usually the best. And if you search for the secret of success, you come across the same old factors.
Every success story starts with an idea. And at least one person who had this idea.
However, considering that these guys share the earth with more than 7 billion others, which certainly also have hundreds or even thousands of ideas in the course of their lives, one wonders inevitably, how some ideas ripen to something big and billions of others disappear into insignificance, as quickly as they appeared. So what makes the difference?
Without an idea anyway nothing works. And without an idea of where the journey is leading to, an idea has little chance to develop and will swiftly been forgotten.
Unless someone takes this first tender idea and develops a vision of what it could become of. If this visionary is also able to inspire others and get them enthusiastic about his vision, the idea has a chance to become reality.
Over time, the pure idea and the gradual realization of this vision becomes a real product or service – and maybe even a company. Even major brands such as HP, Apple or Microsoft started also small. Today they are gigantic corporations, but the roots of their meteoric rise can be traced into the teenage bedrooms and parents’ garages – the magical places where once all started.
Even Facebook was first just a nice little idea that should help students to find fellow students, for example to exchange books, to work together or simply to exchange. But Zuckerberg had a sixth sense and sensed the amazing opportunities of a network like this.
And, as we know now, he was right with his vision. Other networks which had been developed at the same time and offered essentially the same, could not prevail and disappeared without someone had taken notice of. But why? What have folks like Mark Zuckerberg and their companies have done differently?
Truly successful companies and products have not only started with a good idea which they turned into reality, thanks to their vision and single-mindedness. They also took the decisive step further and invested in marketing and branding to make real brands out of their products and companies.
Because brands and branded products differentiate themselves from no-name products and their providers by an individual brand image – like the personality of a person – and lifts them out of the anonymous mass by their recognizability and differentiability. Only in this way a differentiation of two or more seemingly identical deals is possible.
Because the more we recognize things, the more familiar they are to us. And it does not matter whether it is a person, a situation or just a company and its products. The more people have, independently of each other, an equal as possible picture of a company or a product, the more it is perceived as a brand with clearly identifiable characteristics.
Is this brand image corresponding to positive, it creates the necessary confidence or even an emotional bond, in order to enable consumer decisions from the gut – without evaluating individual facts.
Despite our years of experience in building and optimizing brands, it also happens to us, that we spontaneously decide ourselves for the branded product when we stand in front of a supermarket shelf. We admittedly notice the alternative articles also, but consider them as not relevant, as long as we have the feeling that our preferred brand is worth its price.
In determining the recoverability, the pure facts, such as quantity, quality or ingredients, play a much smaller role than we would concede that as an enlightened consumer, but rather what we associate with a brand personally. These links are nothing but the collected experiences with a brand or a branded product. And therefor it is not really relevant, whether it is our own experience or that of third parties which in turn are considered as relevant and credible.
Not for nothing big brands pay Hollywood-like salaries to footballers, like David Beckham, just for wearing their boxer shorts, or to top model Heidi Klum, for using the right hairspray for the perfect hairstyle, or to an actress like Eva Longoria, when she purrs sensuous through a stylish penthouse, to make cat food a gourmet experience for purebred cats.
Is it really possible to place start-ups with more ideas than money or a family-owned company with a history that goes back generations, with the branded products of billion dollar corporations on the same footing?
To cut a long story short: YES! Even in the B2B market. The Raffel study showed that companies which invested in brand building, achieved a higher market share and could enforce higher prices.
1. Reduction of decision-making risks for the customer: A strong brand conveys competence and quality and thus reduces the risk of a bad buy for the potential buyer.
2. Orientation and identification: With a brand, a company or product lifts itself out of a complex competitive environment.
3. Image transfer: A product or service gains additional quality and differentiation potential by using a product of a strong, high-quality brand as a component of its own product or service. The best example: Computers with Intel processors which are marked with the well-known logo “intel inside”.
4. Relief: A strong brand builds an imaginary image of a product and its provider in the minds of decision-makers. No matter whether it concerns the B2B segment or the consumer market. It relieves the potential buyer in finding information for his decision-making.
Surely you have already an idea of what it could become of. More we do not need to build a strong, distinctive brand together with you.
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