In February of this year, I met with 35 brand certified peers. During our time together, we shared some of our favorite brands and talked about why those brands stood out to us.
My favorite brand was Disney because of its family-oriented focus. It’s about making people happy: its stories have happy endings and its service model creates extraordinary experiences. The brand has been consistent since brothers Walt and Roy founded the company in 1929.
Some of the group’s favorite brands included Adidas, Tom’s Shoes, Nike, BMW, Sephora, Trader Joe’s, LL Bean, Marshall’s|TJ Maxx, Red Bull, Vitamix, Guinness, Always, Tesla, Google, Apple, Lyft, US Marines, and Southwest Airlines. In listening to the stories of why these smart brands stood out and why they rose to the top of our minds, some similarities began to surface. There are some lessons to be learned from these smart brands for both consumer-oriented companies and business-to-business brands.
Lesson #1 – Have a strong commitment and understanding of why your business exists and how it contributes to the betterment of your target audience and/or the world.
Lesson #2 – Altruism can be a business driver. Stand for something greater than your products or services. Pay it forward.
Lesson #3 – Create an internal environment that is inclusive and where people feel empowered. Make employees your #1 brand ambassadors.
Lesson #4 – Make sure your company’s brand strategy and business strategy are aligned.
Lesson #5 – Create a consistent customer experience at all touch points — online, on the phone, in person.
Lesson #6 – Establish standards when involving third-party resellers in representing your company’s brand.
Lesson #7 – Stand behind your target customers, enrich their world and empower them to achieve their best.
Lesson #8 – Reinvent your product and service offering to continue to deliver upon your commitment to your customers.
Lesson #9 – Provide meaningful experiences that remain in the heart of your customers for life.
Lesson #10 – Really understand who your customers are and embrace what is important to them.
Lesson # 11 – Walk the walk and live and treat others in a manner that is consistent with your brand. Empower employees to do the same.
Lesson #12 – Stand behind the products and services you offer with a guarantee, knowledgeable employees and quality service.
Think about how you can apply some of the lessons above to strengthen your company’s brand to become the preferred brand amongst your target market.
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