As you know from reading our last post, branding is essential to growing the influence and success of your business. The best brands make it through tough economic times (did somebody say RECESSION?!) because great brands often receive more support than better businesses. Don't let that go over your head. Yes, a great brand may out last a better business because consumer (you and I) make decisions based on emotion first, logic second. So the more mindshare that your brand is able to acquire within your target audience's brain, the better chance consumers will choose to buy from you vs your competitors, even in hard times.
Harsh Truth: Brands sometimes use their power to provide subpar products at elevated prices just because they have the support to get away with it.
If you are an entrepreneur or considering starting your own business, understand this: Trust + integrity establish the reputation of your business in ways that simply cash grabbing could never. If you are seeking longevity, it is paramount that you build your business on a foundation of worthy characteristics that connect with your consumers beyond the product or service that you are selling. Say what you want about Nike's products, but the motto "Just Do It" has activated all of us at some point in our lives because it resonates with an inherent desire of accomplishment. For this reason, although some may argue there are better quality products available or have an issue with their labor practices in China, no one can deny Nike is one of the strongest brands in the world.
If I asked you what was the oldest brand in the world, who do you think it is? Unless you are from Japan, I am willing to bet tomorrow's lunch that you've never heard of them or the top 5 for that matter. The top 5 oldest brands in the world are:
Kongo Gumi - Construction est. 578 a.d.
Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan - Hotel est. 705 a.d.
Koman - Hotel est. 707 a.d.
Hoshi - Hotel est. 718 a.d.
Genda Shigyo - Paper Goods est. 771 a.d.
Interesting thing to note about these businesses is they are all STILL family owned. That's what I call generational wealth! Although the companies listed above may not have the greatest brand recognition, these companies have achieved longevity through their disciplined business models and the lack of external influences (i.e. Investors) causing a deviation from the plan. You can't argue with results, and to keep a business operating for over 1000 years is honorable + admirable.
The list of the world's most recognizable brands is a lot more, well, recognizable. These brand have grown with us over the years, and largely influence the world we live in today. The top 10 global brands currently are:
Apple - market cap = $2.4T | est. 1976
Google - market cap = $1.2T | est. 1998
Amazon - market cap = $987B | est. 1994
Microsoft - market cap = $1.7T | est. 1975
Coca Cola - market cap = $257B | est. 1892
Samsung - market cap = $284.2B | est. 1938
Toyota - market cap = 217.6B | est. 1937
Mercedes Benz - market cap = 62.2B | est. 1926
McDonalds - market cap = 233.85B | est. 1955
Disney - market cap = 193.15B | est. 1923
Nike - market cap = 146.71B | est. 1964
Facebook - market cap = 270B | est. 2004
These household names dominate commerce globally largely because of the marketing, reliability and status that owning products from these brand represent, then the memories we create with these companies drive us back to patronize them again.
Where does every quarterback go once they've won the Super Bowl?
If you're reading this from an iPhone right now, consider this: Apple hardly has better technology than their competitors, but they got the world to fall in love with their brand and buy the slightly enhanced upgrades of the same phone year after year because they successfully win our hearts with their unique advertisements, encouraging us to: think different. Check out this historic clip featuring Steve Jobs, as he delivers his approach to their unique marketing strategy.
Steve hits the nail right on the head. The best brand speak beyond their product and connect to their consumers through values. A great brand can really build itself to be recession proof!
As an entrepreneur, CEO, or marketer, what is your company's strategy to connect with your target audience and drive sales during these tough economic times and beyond? How can you win the heart, minds, and patronage of the market?
Don't waste any more time without the above question answered! Build As You Grow will provide clarity and formulate your brand to perform in its best effort to achieve longevity and profitably. Contact us to get started today!
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