Why Brands Are Stronger Than Products
When the products themselves hardly differ, what makes a a buyer choose your brand above all your competitors? It’s the art of product branding to harness the power of emotions.
It’s pulling at the heartstrings… it’s delivering on a promise… it’s creating or being part of an experience they never forget. If you create the same experience consistently, consumers trust you for it and keep coming back. There are many factors that cause consumers to have an emotional connection with a brand. One of the most prominent factors is whether the consumer forms emotional attachments to your brand on a deeper level. If the consumer takes a trip down memory lane and mentions drinking a Coke or using a Kleenex, the product branding has been successful.
Ahead we examine two of the most emotionally relevant brands to see how they put this concept into action.
The Legendary Consumer Electronics Company
First up, the oh so cool Apple. As many of you know, every summer Apple announces the newest product or software they are going to put on the market. And every summer the public and press eagerly wait to hear what this next big thing is. They are just dying to know how it is going to improve their all of our lives.
How did we get to this reality? Apple built its brand through creativity, expression and challenging the status quo. Another component of the brand building entailed redefining the retail experience through the Apple Store. If you have ever been in an Apple store, you know that there are at least a dozen “geniuses” standing by, totally focused on you. They will answer any question honestly and amicably. They never make you feel dumb for not knowing something or pressure you into a particular product.
This unique shopping experience deepens consumers’ emotional connections with the brand through face-to-face collaboration and advice. A lot of this can be traced back to Steve Jobs’s obsession with customer experience. This singular focus garnered fierce customer loyalty. It positioned Apple as an industry leader that consumers trust completely for all things tech.
The Magical Food and Beverages Company
Our next company is Coca-Cola. Over the decades the company has had a long-running theme based on happiness. Marketing and advertising campaigns focus on what happiness is, relating it to opening the iconic bottle top. How can a company create a product that not only invokes satisfaction, but goes further to deliver joy?
Consistency is something Coke does flawlessly, but they also keep up the times. As needed they refresh their brand without diluting it. A strong brand enables them to consistently create campaigns that are genuine. Whatever the campaign is, it resonates deeply with consumers, reinforcing emotional connections with the Coke drink. For example, the “Share A Coke” campaign evokes satisfaction when the consumer sees his/her name on the bottle.
But the campaign goes even further: its effortlessly turns consumers into brand ambassadors when people buy personalized Coke bottles for others. In this way Coca-Cola is literally building community and the campaign is spot on with their brand. People who drink and share Coke feel warm, fuzzy, and friendly. Herein lies the magic of branding: consumers don’t think of Coke as a beverage company. They think of Coke as a happiness company.
Do Customers Trust Your Brand?
Examine your organization’s current standing within your market. Document some takeaways about how you use emotions to put your brand at the top of everyone’s list. Whatever product or service you are selling, find a way to make your target audiences emotionally attached to your brand. Establishing bonds with your customers is one of the most powerful tools to use. Pay close attention to what kind of brand relationships they want to have and create them. Treat their trust like gold and consumers will reward you for it.