There’s no understating the importance of building a powerful brand. If you’re going to launch any type of product or service, your brand is what speaks the loudest about you. It’s what determines whether customers buy – and, how much they buy. As Jeff Bezos says, “A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person.” We all know from building our own reputations that it takes time, consistency, and a commitment to the things that really matter to us. But, over time, reputation can become something powerful. Reputation is why friends recommend us to their clients or introduce us to significant others. Reputation can make or break a relationship.
That’s why Bezos’ quote is so powerful: a company’s brand creates that same glue, or can break a company. Both a brand and a reputation are built over the long term as assimilations of all of someone’s memories about it or experiences with it. To make a brand that’s truly irresistible, though, it goes beyond just being consistent in providing good experiences (although, that is a foundational hallmark). Here are three keys to adding that air of irresistibility to your brand.
1. Stand For Something
Think about your brand as the mouthpiece for your company. This is a powerful place to incorporate in a mission statement, so that it’s clear to customers what you value. It’s worth noting that people do invest in ideas and energies – because this is what makes a cup of coffee so much more than just a cup of coffee. Take Starbucks, for example. People will pay $5 for a latte not necessarily because a Starbucks latte is so much better than an average one, but because of the brand they’ve built for themselves.
Specifically, Starbucks has built its brand around community. This is implicit within every visit a customer has. Customers are encouraged to stay and hang out, even all day if they’d like, with nonstop access to outlets, wifi, and comfortable tables. The bakery selections incorporate other businesses, and some may remember Starbucks’ free “music of the day” slips. Now, it’s worth noting that Starbucks never implicitly said their “brand is community.” Rather, the brand experience stands for something that just gave that sense of community and camaraderie to everyone who walks through the door. Figure out what your brand stands for, then determine how you can be implicit about how you offer that.
For example, if your brand is all about empowering people to take the next bold step in their personal lives, bring this powerful message to your copywriting team and use more bold, empowering statements. Feature stories of people who have done the same. There are many ways to get creative with this.
2. Let Your Brand Be Inspired By What Inspires You
Some of the best brands don’t start out in uncharted waters. They begin by what’s inspiring to the founder – which is why founder stories (such as Sara Blakely and her red backpack) can also create a powerful brand aura around a company. What inspires you, personally? What inspiration did you bring into the creation of your company?
Again, much of this is implicit, but the key is that it’s consistent. Take italian entrepreneur Salvatore D’Amelio, for example. His fashion boutique, Minimal Couture (MNML), sold over 200,000 units of their signature MNML branded sweatshirt, making the brand name iconic and a must-have in the Italian market. D’Amelio’s secret? His passion for the Italian lifestyle. “It is an undertone, but the brand I built for MNML is grounded in everything I love about the Italian lifestyle – the food, sports, cars, boats, and events,” he explained.
Since many others are also compelled by the Italian lifestyle, this inspiration speaks to them through the clothes, evident in the success of the MNML iconic sweatshirt. It’s true that passion – albeit ‘invisible’ – can spark a brand feeling that is transitioned from founder to customer.
3. Bring Branding Into The Little Details
It’s always the little touches that bring a brand its truest success. Just like Starbucks mastered the branded experience of coming in-shop, many product-based businesses have taken to their packaging to offer more brand-based excitement to customers. Take Glossier, for example. The skincare brand is known for delivering their products with plenty of pomp and circumstance, like a party in a box. This comes down to the words on the inside of the boxes, with quotes like “SKIN FIRST, MAKEUP SECOND, SMILE ALWAYS” or just a simple and powerful “YOU LOOK GOOD.”
These little details don’t just bring joy in the moment – but they can spark intrigue because they’re shareable. Someone who LOVES the packaging of the product they just purchased is likely to share pictures or unboxing videos on their social media. In some cases, you can even put in a cute laptop or bumper sticker that says something cute or funny and also has your brand logo, and if someone likes it enough, they’ll add it to their laptop right then and there.
The key difference between branding and reputation is that brand incorporates everyone at your company and each of your customers into a powerful community of people who value the same things. The more you can bring this vision – and everything that inspires all of you – into your company, the more irresistible your brand will be.