How incredible would it be to command the top selling price because your company name is so synonymous with a product – such as ChapStick, Kleenex or Tupperware – that you have to register the trademark to protect it from falling into common usage?
Lifetime brands like this – built around the perception of quality, reliability and familiarity – also must be centered around integrity to fulfill the brand promise and to keep consumers coming back.
YOUR BRAND MEMORIES
Think back to your childhood. Why did certain brands make an impact, and why did your family choose them? Were affordability and economy a factor? Was the power of advertising an influence? Were packaging and design an important part of the branding? What were the brands you grew up with?
When I was growing up, these were brands we saw on television and in print advertising:
Quaker Oats cereal
Green Giant vegetables
Oscar Mayer meats
Kool-Aid powdered drink mix
Which brands did your family seek out on the grocery shelves?
Hefty trash bags
Dixie paper cups
Which brands were cool because everybody had to have them?
Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars
Levi’s 501 button fly jeans
Which brands did you choose when you were old enough to have your own money?
Coca-Cola or Pepsi?
McDonald’s or Burger King?
Adidas or Nike?
Ford Mustang or Chevy Camaro?
Chances are, unless your favorite brand let you down in some way, you are still brand loyal. All things being equal, people pick the brands they are comfortable with and those that are familiar.
If a lifetime brand did disappoint you, however, it’s more likely that experience was more memorable than if it was a minor brand. We pack a lot of memories, emotions and expectations into the brands we bring along from childhood.
YOUR BRAND PROMISE
Over the years, your own business brand has developed and grown, whether you were deliberate about the process or not.
For example, you are probably known for being prompt (or not), for providing a quality product (or not), for being customer-oriented (or not), and for keeping your word (or not). These are the areas where household brands know they must excel. Your customers and vendors have accumulated enough experience with you that they can describe your brand in a few words: trustworthy, committed to excellence, exacting and accurate, truthful in all situations, available to help at a moment’s notice.
Your consistency in filling your brand promise strengthens your brand and gives it value.
YOUR BRAND VALUE
People who buy your product want to know what they can expect. You may not be the highest quality offering, but if you are consistent, you will attract buyers who are looking for economy. You don’t have to be the best or the most expensive to be a household name for your customer.
Once you know what your brand promise is, you can begin to spotlight it in your marketing, advertising, and future product offerings.
Being “known for” something is a strong marketing asset, and it sets you apart from your competition.
YOUR BRAND reputation
Today’s customers are busier than ever. If they can choose a product or provider based on someone’s good name, that is a huge time saver. Customers need to be able to choose us without hesitation. They should think, “Of course” and not “Let me think about this.” Our branding is an essential shortcut for customers.
In addition, today’s younger buyers are driven by word of mouth. A good review – or a bad one – can spread like wildfire. One bad experience can turn off a younger buyer permanently. You may not think that’s important now, but these are the customers of tomorrow. Controlling a customer’s positive experience is an essential part of branding, and we must be vigilant in doing so.
YOUR BRAND LEGACY
There is value in being able to consistently attract, acquire and retain customers who want exactly what you are promising. For someone who might want to buy your company or carry it on after you retire, your good name has sales value.
Furthermore, when you make a brand promise that includes integrity, you can build better relationships with distributors, resellers, vendors, and other companies in the supply chain – which is valuable when it’s time to sell your business.
It takes time to systematically build your company reputation, and it takes ongoing work to embed integrity into your brand. You can’t simply say you have integrity. You have to show it and prove it in everything you do. Your brand promise is a legacy that can last throughout your lifetime, and well beyond, if you choose.
When it comes to the value and legacy of your company brand, integrity matters!
For 35 years, Rock LaManna has helped label and graphics company owners make better decisions. If you are ready to sell your business or improve your bottom line, integrity matters! Email Rock@RockLaManna.com for a confidential discussion about services available from the LaManna Alliance.