Take a look at a series of words: Kleenex, Q-Tip, ChapStick, Tylenol, Coke, and Saran Wrap. Now, ask yourself what all of these words have in common. They are all basic products, yes, but their commonalities are a little bigger than that. Tissues, cotton swaps, lip balm, paracetamol, soda, and plastic wrap are the respective products that are mentioned above, while the aforementioned names are respective brands of those products.
In other words, the branding by the companies who made those specific products is so successful that those brand names have become synonymous with the actual products they represent—even when they aren’t talking about that specific brand, people often still use those brand names to denote the basic product. What these companies did to find such success is to build and manage their respective brands. Ultimately, branding holds the key to long term success for businesses and their products—here’s how.
Successful Branding Relies Heavily on Visuals
Image is perhaps the most powerful motivator in terms of creating a brand identity and instilling brand loyalty. The most successful brands do an excellent job at showing how well their product works with clear images, videos, and other ads that communicate clear purpose and success of the product. Swiffer, for example, is one company that does a great job relaying a clear message—that their products clean well. Their photo ads depict a dusty floor with a clean, shiny path cutting through the middle where a Swiffer sweeper has been. Video ads for the company depict the same sweeping floor or dusting ads where visible dust is cleaned up by the Swiffer duster. These print and video ads for Swiffer “prove” that the products clean in an easy, quick fashion which helps to instill trust in the consumer that the products work.
For a smaller business without a multi-million dollar advertising budget, it is still possible to use visuals to build a brand and find long-term success. For a local restaurant owner, a commercial showing what the restaurant’s atmosphere is like or what kind of entertainment they have on the weekends will create a visual depiction of that restaurant as a unique brand. While the budget might not be there to put the commercial on cable TV, the restaurant owner could put the video up on YouTube and link it to their websites or social media accounts. The same can go for print or online advertisements. Think about what successful products, businesses, or restaurants you know of, and you’ll likely realize that each of those businesses had great visuals in the form of videos and ads attached to them.
Successful Branding Relies on a Memorable Slogan
For people to remember a product or an ad campaign, the message and product needs to be easily understood and remembered. Although Budweiser’s commercials from the 90s with the frogs “Bud,” “Weis,” “Er” didn’t tell us much about the product, the slogan was memorable through it’s simplicity and repetition. In a more updated beer commercial, Dos Equis has it’s most interesting man in the world campaign where they always discuss the amazing things that The Most Interesting Man in the World Does, followed by the simple slogan from The Man, “I don’t always drink beer, but when I do, I drink Dos Equis.” With this campaign, Dos Equis has used humor paired with the final, simple slogan to give identity to their brand and create a memorable product. Other memorable slogans include Nike’s “Just Do It” and McDonalds’ “I’m Lovin’ It” campaigns. In each case, the slogan describes the message of the company with a simple, memorable slogan. A company of any size who develops a successful slogan will have a better chance at creating and sustaining a successful brand.
“The bigger a brand gets, the smaller it should act, because no one likes big.” -Andy Spade
A Logo Makes Branding More Successful
A great logo is one way to create a better brand. One of the more successful logos in recent history is the logo for President Obama during his presidential campaign in ’08 and beyond. Featuring the letter “O” created by the rising sun over a field of stripes (looking like a planting field) and in the colors red, white, and blue, the logo successfully captured what Obama was running for in a simple and memorable way. It is easy to walk down a grocery isle or a department store and see what similar logos help to achieve. The Rolling Stones, Starbucks, Pringles, Google, and other entities are additional successful logos. The logo doesn’t have to be an image, but logos with images do seem more successful than ones without.