Mercedes Logo

Each name brand has its own secrets of success. They may be innovation, prestige, price, leadership, trust, simplicity, evolution, licensing, luck, advertising, authenticity, revolution, aesthetic, emotion, cost, difference, targeting, consistency, speed, ubiquity, experience, advertising, promotion and so on. No matter what the secrets of success are, names brands have common denominators. A successful brand must have superior products or services, a clear brand message, and a point of difference. To reach the consumers who live in a world saturated with brands, a successful brand uses the following messages:

(1) Each brand message is simple and clear. A successful brand speaks to the consumers clearly. Mercedes creates a clear image as a prestigious brand. Mercedes drivers like to feel superior.

(2) Each brand clearly differentiates itself from its major competitors. Branding is to make a product or service distinct from its competition. Apple’s “Think different” marketing strategy emphasizes its distinct, quality products such as Mac and iPod. Its operating system are clearly different from its competitors’.

(3) Each brand message is believable. For example, the slogan of FedEx, “When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight.” is a believable statement. From its central role in the blockbuster movie, “Castaway”, to its public relation stunt with delivering new installments of “Harry Potter” on Amazon. Its brand values are reliability and punctuality.1 Consumers believe it.

(4) Each brand message is relevant to its target audience. Consumers do not generally care what is inside the walls of a particular company. Google views its brand from the outside in and keeps the focus firmly on the user’s experience. Users always want to know what is in it for them. Google’s message speaks directly to them that its search engine is more user-friendly than its competitors. Even though Google’s core business is advertisements, the company successfully makes users think that advertisements are not treated as a priority.

(5) Each brand message is consistent. Consistency leads to familiarity, which in turn leads to trust. Intel has been making good-quality products consistently since 1971. The brand becomes associated with high-quality innovative technology and reliability.

Why are successful brands valued, appreciated, and ultimately loved? Because they have those common denominators–that is, superior products or services, a clear brand message, and a point of difference.

[1] Matt Haig, Brand Royalty (London: Kogan Page Press, 2004), 283.