What makes a brand strong?

Although there are a myriad of things that can be considered these two key factors will give you a pretty good start. A brand is seen to be strong when:

  1. Its brand promise is compelling and genuine.
  2. It has a loyal and growing customer base.

The brand promise is compelling and genuine

In an earlier post I defined a brand as, “A set of associations linked to a product or service through its name, logo and other symbols that provide a compelling promise of value.”

The brand promise is compelling when its customers perceive it as being more relevant in helping them to achieve their goals than its competition.  In other words, it offers an advantage over alternatives in meeting their needs.

The brand promise is genuine when the brand reliably and consistently delivers it to its customers.

That’s why the old adage that “nothing kills a bad product faster than good advertising” is popular with astute brand marketers. A brand shouldn’t make a promise that it can’t keep if its owners aspire for it to be strong and stand out in the marketplace.

It’s for this reason that brand marketers are usually so passionate about nurturing a tailored business model for their brands–one which comprises the right brand-aligned culture, capabilities and company-wide business practices that span functional silos–to create, deliver and communicate the compelling value that customers are seeking.

A loyal and growing customer base

The brand’s customer base is usually an excellent indicator of the current health and future prospects of the brand.

This is the case even if this base is narrow, so long as it’s growing and the brand’s appeal is strengthening.

The converse is also true.

A brand that enjoys a large customer base that is static or eroding is, at best, stagnant and, at worst, in decline if the brand’s appeal is weakening.

Screen Shot 2013-03-31 at 2.43.01 PMSo the next time you are evaluating the strength of a brand you now know some factors to be considered.  First, you should ascertain whether the brand promise is compelling and genuine. Second, you should evaluate whether the brand has a loyal and growing customer base.

About ashleykonson

STRATEGY CONSULTING | EXECUTIVE COACHING | CORPORATE TRAINING | KEYNOTE SPEAKING | Ashley Konson is the Managing Partner of Global Brand Leaders Inc., a new kind of brand consulting company dedicated to making brands and their teams leaders across the globe. He is a Brand Leader, Business Consultant and Award-Winning Educator, and a recognized thought leader and fervent advocate of the premise that strong brands and businesses achieve and sustain their market positions because they are strong Inside out™.
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3 Responses to What makes a brand strong?

  1. Tom Bise says:

    A strong brand must be consistently relevant,maintain a unique competititive advantage and grow the customer loyalty base. It might sound simple but we all know the challenges.

  2. Devesh Verma says:

    Ashley Konson, you message seems intuitively correct, and the adage that nothing kills a bad product faster than good advertising, is spot-on. However, this line of argument leaves room for questions on the quality of advertising. A good advertisement is also the one that projects the true benefits/ differentiation of the product. Food for thought in this conversation is – Is there a level of maturity that a product/ service should acquired before it decides to run an advertising (brand) campaign?

    A good branding exercise is expected to do exactly that to a product – mature the product and its offerings. This is done by asking the right set of questions and by involving the product design and development and sales team in the exercise.

    Let me know what you think.

    – Devesh Verma

    • ashleykonson says:

      Hello Devesh, my thanks for taking the time to read and comment on my post. I agree with you about the question of “quality” in regards to the advertising. But sometimes we ask to much of advertising or brand communication. and that is my point. If the product is simply unacceptable to the target market then why advertise it. Great advertising wont help. It may just bring about the products demise more quickly and expensively. I don’t think a product needs a certain level of “maturity” before you promote it. Distribution yes. No point promoting your product if consumers cant buy it.

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