When Branding Doesn’t Work

Branding is essential, and we are sure you have come across many benefits a strong brand brings about. We see successful brands with powerful branding such as Nike and Apple. Apple’s 2020 brand value stands at $140 billion, ranking as the third most valuable brand in 2020. However, branding is more than just having a fancy logo, a name or creating visuals for your company. If you believe that is what strong branding is and where the power of a strong brand comes from, you are wrong.

A brand is more than a logo

Building a brand is more than the surface and material level that audiences see. Instead, branding should be a holistic strategy that takes into account your marketing, vision, mission and what your whole brand stands for.

Consider Tesla with a Wall Street valuation higher than any United States car manufacturer. Tesla only shipped 76,000 units of cars in 2016 during a year where automobile manufacturers shipped 88 million cars. Tesla can achieve such valuation, not because of the superficial level of branding, but its brand is built on the future. Tesla dives deep into their brand. Tesla is more than a brand in fact, but it is their mission that distinguishes them, in wanting to create a long-term sustainable society that future generations can be proud of and enjoy. This is what drives their business and strategy, not branding.

It is a myth that branding is what creates the brand. Your brand should not only be about branding through logos, a fancy brand name, tagline or visuals for your business. A brand is the collection of your values, vision, mission and your customer experience. Branding without considering all those is highly inadequate.

Integrate marketing with branding and keep it consistent

Once you have identified what your business stands for and the value it seeks to deliver, dive deep into your strategy. You might be familiar with integrated marketing communications, which is a method to promote a message through multiple strategies that are working together and reinforce one another. Consistency is key. The branding through logos and taglines should work together with marketing across various channels and vehicles. You should have one voice that reflects your company. This is the strategy towards having a strong brand. It would be best if you integrated your different marketing channels that reflect what your brand essence is.

Branding doesn’t work if you do not have a strategy that is integrated, and indeed, a strong brand is not through branding on a superficial level. If you are still not convinced, consider Apple. Sure, the Apple logo is highly recognisable, but why are consumers willing to pay so much for Apple products when there are other comparable brands? Apple places a strong emphasis on the value of their products and the connection it forges with its consumers. It is a brand with a strong brand identity, and it is the meanings and values consumers perceive and associate with that Apple logo. Whether it is in the brand image or pricing of Apple products, it is seen as a premium and one that offers value in return.

Brand Positioning – Coca-Cola

Now, consider a long-standing brand Coca-Cola, and think for yourself how do you think they have either maintained or changed their brand positioning throughout their brand history. Coca-Cola’s purpose is to ‘’Refresh the world. Make a difference’’, and their brand positioning does relay that message. Coke has constantly positioned itself as a beverage company that creates joyous experiences for their consumers. Their brand values and vision is conveyed and integrated into their advertising strategy.

Take a look at Coca-Cola’s ad in the early 1900s. In 1905, Coca-Cola used the tagline ‘’Coca-Cola revives and sustains’’. The brand positioned itself on the product benefits Coke brought about to consumers, retaining its purpose on the experiences the brand brought to their audiences.

Fast forward to the 21st century, Coca-Cola’s branding and positioning have mainly remained consistent. If you take a look at their tagline, their present one is ‘’taste the feeling’’.

Their shift to the new tagline in 2016 bridges feelings of happiness while emphasising on the taste of Coke. Their tagline does not go far from their global positioning while reflecting their brand values. Whether it is in Coca-Cola’s slogan to ‘’open happiness’’ or the present shift to ‘’taste the feeling’’, their brand values and messaging has been consistent across their advertisements and communication. This helps to create a strong branding identity that consumers can resonate with.

Forgetting About Consumers

A brand has to bring value to people. Consumers appreciate a brand that is meaningful and has shown to act on the values they stand for. Brands need to have a strong understanding of their target audience and create a brand that matters to them. A brand without values, vision or mission, is likened to an empty shell. Once you have established the core of what your business stands for, ensure that you convey it across the various media, vehicles and campaigns you embark on. Always know your consumers well, and your brand has to speak to them. Avoid confusing them but create a brand identity that leaves a lasting impression on them and nurture them into your loyal customers.

Branding without a strategy potentially burns a hole in your pocket with no returns. Businesses have to treat branding as a strategy that reflects the brand essence and value while integrating it with marketing communication that is consistent in reinforcing your brand’s identity, mission, vision and value.

Sounds intimidating? De Mellows has the solution for you with our revolutionary Brand MarTech success-proven blueprint to grow brands that matter. If you are at a loss and need a free consultation on branding and marketing to grow your business professionally, email us at ask@demellows.com today.



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