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What is a Strong Brand? | Newbie Introduction to Branding

July 3, 2019
Szymon Zurek
3 min
starbucks coffee cup standing in nature on a wooden table

What is a Brand really?

This is a really short article about what is a strong brand. If you know what a brand is, take a look at how a brand creates customer loyalty.

No brand and a strong brand is like the difference between a plain cotton T-shirt and a plain cotton Gucci T-shirt. A brand is how people feel about your business, your product or the service you provide. Brands stimulate by being part rational, but they mostly appeal emotionally. People will forgive a strong brand if it makes a mistake. Likewise, people won’t forgive a weak brand if it makes a mistake.

The Secret to Building a Strong Brand

So, what is the secret to have a strong brand? The answer is simply to focus. FOCUS. Great brands stand for something, not a lot of things just that one thing. For example, Volvo defines their brand with a single word – SAFETY. Sometimes you have to think beyond the category to know what you stand for and what to focus on. For example, Harley Davidson doesn’t stand for a more powerful engine, a more reliable bike or a smoother ride. They make makes motorcycles and they stand for FREEDOM.

Starbucks differentiates itself in many ways and offers a consistent and strong brand experience in every Starbucks you visit. They even have their own language. Starbucks has created a unique community of coffee lovers that are true brand ambassadors. It doesn’t get any better than that. Starbucks had realized they weren’t in the business of serving coffee, they were in the business of serving people.

Can a Brand’s Monetary Value be Measured?

So, can you put a monetary value on a strong brand? They can only be estimates as brands cant be measured because they are based on emotions and perception. For example, the Nike logo was done for $40. Now it’s worth millions. It is estimated that about 63% of the value of the Coca Cola corporation is their brand. So that is their design identity, personality, tone of voice, language and public perception. Here are a few more examples for you. Microsoft’s brand is estimated to be worth $65 billion. Fords’s brand is estimated at $30 billion. All this money for something that doesn’t really exist in the material world.

How to Nurture and Protect your Strong Brand

So, a brand is worth protecting and nurturing, but how can you do so? Here are a few key points to help maintain or even grow your brand.

One: be different.

The world is filled with parody products and services. Make your brand stand out.

Two: be vigilant.

Don’t allow your brand to do things that it shouldn’t.

Three: be relevant

The marketplace changes constantly. Make sure your brand keeps up.

Who Owns the Brand

So, who really owns a strong brand? The brand manager? The VP? Well you see, brands are owned by the people. It used to be a company that would tell people about their brand. It was a one-way communication stream. Now, it is much more of a conversation with public feedback. But don’t worry, this instant feedback can be very useful. This feedback gives you a glimpse into what’s in the hearts and minds of your customers, and allows you to take action when you need to. It is also a good way to look into your publics behaviour and psychographics (see our article about consumer behaviour). It will also help you stay focused which is a good thing.

A Strong Brand – Quick Recap

  • A brand is much more than your logo or the color of your truck fleet. It’s something intangible. It’s what people think of you, but mostly on an emotional level.
  • Great brands are focused, they stand for something.
  • Great strong brands are not just seen and heard, they are experienced in a unique way.
  • A brand can have tremendous value and should be treated that way. Keep your brand healthy by being different vigilant and relevant. F
  • Finally, never forget that people, your customers. Own your brand. Listen to them respect them. Most of all, earn their trust.

Our Favorite Sources when it Comes to Building a Strong Brand

Chris Do

Roberto Blake

Gary Vaynerchuk

See our case studies

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