Good brands help develop customer loyalty and trust in the company.
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Companies with strong brands have in common the 3 Cs of branding: clarity, consistency, and constancy.
We'll get to the 3 Cs of branding in a minute, but first let's define what a brand is.
The term "brand" is usually defined as a unique identifier, such as a logo or other design that gives a specific value to an object associated with that particular identifier.
One example is the Playboy bunny logo. It is a very recognizable identifier in that when it is placed on any product, any customer will be able to instantly associate it with the characteristics of the Playboy brand. This has allowed the Playboy brand to have crossover appeal and expand into other areas of the entertainment business.
The strong brand has even been able to assist in its relative success in the fashion industry. So now the question that should be asked is: How to develop the strong brand?
The answer to that question lies in the three Cs of branding.
Clarity is a characteristic of a strong brand. In a strong brand, there is no vagueness in what they are and what they are not. Companies that have a strong brand truly comprehend their unique promise of value and how it differs from those of their competitors.
Cirque du Soleil, for example, is clear about their commitment to the reinvention of the traditional circus and artistry. They do not have the big-time animal acts or the concessions going up and down the stands as in a typical circus. Cirque du Soleil is more like a production or theater in that they try to convey emotions through their presentations involving only humans. Their presentations are intricately decorated with artistic flair to reinforce this fact. Thus, clarity is the focus when these attributes are emphasized.
While it is essential in being clear about whom they are, in order to be considered a strong brand, they must also be consistent.
The hallmark of a strong brands is that they are always what they say they are. Volvo, for instance, has always been about safety. They don't change their focus from model to model. When new editions come out each year, safety is the number one priority for Volvo. In all of its branding and marketing efforts, Volvo tries to consistently communicate this message through their advertisements and commercials.
Another example is Tiger Woods and Nike. Prior to Tiger Woods, Nike had Michael Jordan as a representative of its products.
What do Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan have in common? Unparalleled excellence. Both are the best athletes in their respective sports. What is Nike trying to convey to their customers? They are showing them that their products are consistently the best among the competition.
In every consumer good that has the famous "swoosh" symbol, customers should always expect to get an excellent product. This undoubtedly helps strengthen the Nike brand and help gain a multitude of loyal customers.
The third C in the 3 Cs of branding is constancy. A brand is considered strong if it is constantly under public eye or media attention. Sure, it is great to have a product message that is clear and consistent, but it won't be as effective if the product is not always visible to your target market segment.
A specific example of a constant brand is Coca-Cola. One would be very hard pressed to go the entire day without seeing anything relating to Coca-Cola. Products of Coca-Cola can be seen almost anywhere and everywhere from vending machines to regular people drinking a Coke. In addition, they can be found most of the time in TV commercials and billboard signs. Coke has definitely become the strongest brand by being a constant in our society.
There are other factors that go into developing and maintaining the strength of the brand. However, no brand can be considered strong unless they pass the 3 Cs test.