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What makes a good brand?

Brands are something that we ignore a lot but if you mentally step through your day – from toothbrushing in the morning to hot chocolate at night – you have made hundreds of unconscious brand decisions along the way. 

People are making subconscious, biased choices all the time that are based on things like budget, vanity, safety or status. 

I pray at the church of brand. Brands are what make a business successful, and they’re the difference between making money or not. 

They’re also the difference between needing a huge advertising budget or not. 

If there’s not enough brand love or brand advocacy amongst consumers, you’re probably going to have to pay to create some. 

Every great brand needs to be different to its competitors, relevant to people’s wallets, heads and/or hearts, and it needs to be sustainable (and I don’t  just mean eco). I mean can it scale? Can you own that space for the long haul?

If not, then you haven’t jumped the three brand hurdles: Differentiation, relevance and sustainability. 

You need to have a brand soul, also called a brand identity model or brand architecture. 

You need quality cues in your product – quality cues that serve as a shortcut. It could be signature packaging or a signature experience. Tesla and Apple have absolutely nailed this. Apple single-handedly redesigned technology shopping. 

You need to consider what you need to keep if your brand goes global and what you can be flexible about. What are the non-negotiables in terms of what you provide?

Your brand is what gives you stakeholder value; it’s what lets you go to IPO. While it’s intrinsically hard to prove that to a board, people invest in brands; not products or services. 

So what about rebranding? Is that OK?

I say absolutely yes with one caveat: don’t change what people love about you. 

Fashions change and the way we interpret brands changes. You’re allowed to make a prettier logo and tjuz things up a bit. Just make sure that you don’t change the product, service, customer service or the way you speak to people if that’s the thing people love. 

It’s also fine to stay strong with your original brand. Tiffany and Chanel are two brands that have done this. Some brands stand the test of time, and by sticking with one brand, it’s communicating trust and confidence. Those brands are saying, ‘We’ve had it right from the beginning’. 

Three brands I love:

  1. Rationale skincare: I use six layers of serums that I’m sure do something (but I reckon I could find something that did the same thing cheaper). 
  2. Apple: I love it and never doubt it. I have an iPod, an iPhone, an iPad and a laptop. 
  3. Nerada Tea: It’s my everyday go to. It has the least pesticides so I feel a bit better about drinking six cups of it a day. 
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