Brands are not merely a symbol or graphic design attached to a product but rather a creative endeavor that seeks to attach a company’s signature, to communicate how a company treats customers, the quality of its products and differentiates its offerings from a competitor’s. Consistently applying this creative process across business units and products is the action that gives a brand its meaning and emotionally ties a consumer to a particular brand. Creating brand value and successfully building its equity requires investment of time, persistence and dedication to speaking with one voice across all channels of media and through every form of marketing collateral.
Every marketer should pursue a long term strategy to insure that the brand promise is consistently applied to every unit or offering, mindful that even a small message dissonance can tarnish the overall effectiveness of a brand and its image. A successful brand strategy relies on a congruent communication and a clear brand image considering all points of contact a brand has with a targeted consumer, whether digitally online or printed offline, to connect potential customers to a particular business through recognition. Inconsistent or confusing messaging will have a negative and potentially permanent effect on brand value.
The spirit of a brand can only be inferred through its products and its advertising. The content of a brand grows and are governed by a unifying idea or guideline. Kellogg’s, for instance, does not attach its name to any one product: Frosties, All Bran, Special K, Rice Krispies all bear the marks of a single intention, marks that display certain values, attributes, and guiding principles. The brand becomes credible through endurance and repetition across all products, creating satisfaction and loyalty with consumers of various tastes and expectations.
SC Johnson, A Family Company, markets hundreds of individual products through 15 product lines including, Drano, glade, OFF!, pledge, Raid, Saran, Scrubbing Bubbles, SHOUT, Windex, Ziploc, fantastic, Armstrong and Nature Source, each branded around “What’s Inside Is Only the Best for Your Family”. A 127-year old family company, SC Johnson is a brand that is consistently touting that it produces products consumers can trust, a company dedicated to giving back and a company with a mission to making an environmental difference, whether it’s products are cleaning windows, sealing in freshness, killing or repelling pests or opening a clogged drain.
A good brand delivers a clear unified message, confirms a company’s credibility, connects emotionally to targeted prospects, motivates purchasers and establishes long-term user loyalty. Just as unity of command is critical to successfully implementing an army’s strategy on the battlefield, speaking with one voice when communicating the brand promise is vital to successfully building a brands value across all company units and offerings.