A lot of businesses see investment in brand as a nice to have, and something that can be turned off to cut costs. Brands that are able to avoid this trap are the ones that ultimately succeed in the long term.
Rare’s Client Services Director Simon Stewart and Head of Strategy Jez Reilly were recently invited to talk about the power of brand and its impact on business performance at the ABN Group’s monthly marketing forum.
The one-hour presentation to ABN’s group of brands was very interactive and focused on the four key elements that Rare considers most critical in building a powerful long-term brand.
The brand is bigger than your logo
A lot of people still think that a brand is a company’s logo. As Reilly is quick to point out, it’s much bigger and a lot more complex than that. “A brand is both tangible and intangible. Mostly intangible. It’s what people remember about you after you’ve left the room. If your brand is genuine, meaningful and distinctive, people will remember you. You have to apply those attributes across everything you do, at every touchpoint. And it’s vital that your staff buy into it. Your internal audience is as important as your external one.”
It balances long-term and short-term thinking.
In the world of home building, it’s easy to fall into the trap of rolling out short term retail activations and promotional offers. “What’s important,” Stewart said, “as evidenced by Binet and Fields’ extensive Marketing Effectiveness study, is balancing those short-term tactics with long term brand building. This helps reduce the reliance on those offers, reduces price sensitivity, increases brand equity and fame and ultimately, drives business growth in the long term.
It has creativity at its core.
Following budget, creative is the second most important determinant of campaign effectiveness. (Some would argue that it’s the most important – Apple famously created their ‘1984’ TV commercial and only ran it once. It still gets talked about today.) On top of this, certain aspects of creative execution such as emotion are shown to be consistently linked to positive behavioural outcomes (i.e., sales, engagement measures and attention).
It’s built on distinctive assets or Brand Codes
Global brand consultant Mark Ritson describes codes, or distinctive brand assets, as what brands use to make themselves recognisable. They are ‘things that are associated sartorially or visually with a brand’ and include assets such as logos, shapes and colours. “Ritson really hammers this point home,” Reilly said. “Codes cannot be overused. The more that these distinct assets are used, the more likely that consumers will begin to associate them with your brand and therefore choose them.” Using the example of Veuve Cliquot, Ritson highlights that the yellow branding and packaging for the brand makes it instantly recognisable in bars and restaurants and makes it easier for customers to choose to buy and drink it.