If you’re an Apple iPhone fan, will a Microsoft or Android smartphone do? Of course not. The reason? Apple’s branding has successfully convinced fans it’s the only option. Apple’s domination isn’t complete: Samsung is set to pass Apple for the first time ever in quarterly profitability in part on the success of the Samsung Galaxy S8, a smashing success for Samsung despite the problems with the Galaxy S7. (Full disclosure: I don’t use iPhone or the Galaxy S8, but I do prefer Android).
This story is repeated for many successful brands: Coke or Pepsi, GM or Ford, Nike or Adidas.
Branding is not only about getting your target market to select you over the competition, but about getting your prospective market to see you as the sole provider of a solution to their need.
The objectives that a good brand will achieve include:
1. Clearly delivers the message, more specifically — the right message for the right customers. Cadillac and Lexus aren’t even interested in attracting customers unless the customer wants a luxury car experience. Customers that buy inexpensive, functional vehicles aren’t their right customers, and it’d be a waste of time and money for Cadillac or Lexus to try to sell to those customers.
2. Confirms your credibility in the mind of your right customers.
3. Emotionally connects your target prospects with your product or service. Apple is a great example of this: neuroscientist studies show Apple triggers ‘religious’ reaction in fans’ brains. They’re emotionally connected to the brand.
4. Motivates the buyer to buy.
5. Creates customer loyalty.
This is true of brands that aren’t as big as Apple of Coke or Nike. They’re markets are global. If ours aren’t (yet), then our branding still ought to produce the same objectives for our customers. Think about your own experience locally — do you have a mechanic, hair salon, or chiropractor that is the only choice you would go to? If so, then they’ve created effective branding connection for you. Good branding makes you THE choice to solve your customer’s problems.