1. They know their audience
Knowing who you are trying to reach, what motivates them and what they are trying to overcome are crucial to building a successful brand. If you’ve ever spent hours with your team trying to work out what your website, or campaign is going to say (and I don’t mean refining it or workshopping a concept) but those meetings where you don’t know where to start you probably haven’t defined your audience well enough and in most cases your brand also. You won’t be able to delight your audience and build a brand they will love if you don’t know who they are.
2. They know why they exist
Successful brands know why they exist, they have defined their why or brand purpose and that drives everything they do as a brand. Brand purpose is the reason your brand exists beyond making a profit and it is so important both internally for your team but also for your audience. Most brands never articulate their ‘why’ to their audience bar sometimes being on their website but it runs through everything they do and your audience will respond to it. In order for your audience to believe in your brand, feel connected to it and understand what you are trying to achieve you first need to understand this also.
3. They are consistent
Consistency is the lifeblood of branding and the most successful brand’s know this and double down on it. Stay true to what you are doing and be consistent in executing your strategy whether that is through your design, messaging, business development, marketing or inter culture, it wants to be consistent with your brand.
To build a loyal following you need to commit and stand by what you believe and are communicating and it needs to be in line with everything else you do. Brand’s are built in the mind of your audience and if you are putting out confused and mixed messages then your brand will stand for confusion in the mind of your audience or worse still they won’t remember it. Imagine if you were trying to learn the lyrics to a song but every time you listened one or two lines changed by the 4th or 5th listen you wouldn’t know which was the original set of lyrics, this unfortunately is what most businesses do with their brand.
4. They are different
Successful brands are only in that position because they’ve managed to articulate their differences from the competition, better than their competition and in the simplest, most effective and memorable way.
This articulation with successful brands is through all the layers of their brand, the visual identity, brand voice and personality, brand strategy and core brand platform are all set up to position them as different from the rest. This rings true with every successful brand you can think of and they make a habit of doing this (consistency).
One of the biggest mistakes we see brands making when they come to us is when they are trying to emulate the competition and cluster together with a similar offering rather than finding the gap in the market. This strategy longterm leads to reducing prices, customer confusion and a brand identity crisis or a confused brand that has lost / forgotten what made it unique in the first place. Build something unique not similar. If you want your audience to love your brand you need to be recognisably different and unique.
5. They cater to their audience
Successful brands solve their audiences problem or help them overcome a frustration or challenge they are currently facing. It doesn’t have to be a big problem and sometimes it can be hard to pin down exactly what it is you do to help your audience but it is crucial to understand the role you play in your audience’s life. Successful brands cater to their audience and understand that their product or service is the vehicle to get them from being stuck, frustrated, or challenged to a better state, aspirational identity, happier life and it is understanding the journey your brand plays for your audience and mapping it out for them that is crucial in building a successful brand and raving fans.
6. They use storytelling
Storytelling is one of the oldest forms of communication and entertainment so much so that psychologists now think that our own personality is built on a narrative and this is the way we structure and view our life. So essentially we are hard wired to react to stories and be moved by them emotionally. Successful brand’s use storytelling to evoke emotions, visualisations and help to take their audience on a journey. Using emotive, visual words in your messaging that paints a picure for your audience of where you are taking them and how life will look after interacting with your brand is a powerful way to engage your audience and move them to take action.
7. They have a defined brand personality
Make sure your brand has personality – brand personality is the combination of a defined brand identity and brand voice sprinkled with added emotion and a well constructed brand platform and strategy. Your brand should be as much like a person or character as you can, it should have goals, dreams, values and beliefs all of which go in to building a personality that makes your brand unique and your audience delight in interacting with it. Your audience can’t form a relationship with your brand if it doesn’t have a personality or something they can relate to, whether your brand is caring, transformational, empowering, fun or wise let that show in all you do and build a relatable persona for your audience to engage with. Brand archetypes will help with fleshing this aspect out even more and allow you to map a personality to your brand and to your audience.
The video below explains this in more detail. If you enjoy the video please subscribe to our channel where we share weekly insights to help you unlock your brand’s potential.