7 Key Ingredients of a Successful Brand

It has never been more important to stand out in the crowd of competition that businesses are facing today.  It is critical to create a unique identity and value proposition through strategic branding. While it’s important to offer a quality product, strategic branding is at the core of the companies that succeed in the chaos.  

That being said, here are seven ingredients that put together make a successful brand:

Audience Knowledge
The best brands have a thorough understanding of the demographics of their target market, their interests, and how they communicate. Understanding the target market is critical because it provides direction for the tone and reach of a campaign, along with the identity of a brand, while helping to create a human connection between a business and an audience.

Uniqueness
Establishing a brand identity requires something distinctive. It simply needs to have one special thing that separates it from the competition. “In reality, it’s possible to be “a one trick pony” as long as that trick is really good,” according to Forbes. Once a company figures out what that is, it can concentrate on it.

Passion
While it’s possible to build a brand in the short-term without passion, it’s almost impossible to sustain it long-term. When you examine successful people like Steve Jobs, they all have a passion that keeps propelling them to work hard and deliver greatness – leading to enthusiasm and joy, which is infectious. Consumers often become just as enthusiastic about a product, leading to word of mouth advertising.

Consistency
When consumers come back to a business for repeat sales, they expect to receive the same level of quality as they did the first time. No one wants to deal with a company they can’t rely on for consistency. That’s why it’s so important to adhere to a quality standard with a product.

Competitiveness
Today, for a brand to make a name for itself, team members should thrive on competition and constantly strive to improve. When it comes to the major players in any industry, none simply sit back and hope that their consumers will do the work. Instead, they tend to be the movers and shakers who work tirelessly toward building and optimizing their brand, going above and beyond consumer expectations.

Exposure
Another part of being recognized as a successful brand is the ability to reach consumers through multiple channels. Larger companies have an advantage gaining exposure because they usually have a bigger marketing budget and more connections. They can pay for television commercials, be featured in globally-recognized magazines, and rank highly in search engine results pages. But, the Internet and social media have narrowed the gap between small companies and large ones. There are more tools that offer any company a chance at establishing their brand. By developing a presence on networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+, anyone is able to reach almost any consumer.

Leadership

Just like any thriving community or sports team, there’s typically an influential leader behind every successful brand. To coordinate the efforts of team members and guide a strategic vision for a brand, someone has to step up. The leader resolves complications and acts as a liaison between different departments to keep everyone on the same page.

About the Author: Amanda Ciccatelli, Social Media Strategist of the Marketing Division at IIR USA, has a background in digital and print journalism, covering a variety of topics in business strategy, marketing, and technology. Amanda is the Editor at Large for several of IIR’s blogs including Next Big DesignCustomers 1st, and ProjectWorld and World Congress for Business Analysts, and a regular contributor to Front End of Innovation and The Market Research Event,. She previously worked at Technology Marketing Corporation as a Web Editor where she covered breaking news and feature stories in the technology industry. She can be reached at aciccatelli@iirusa.com. Follow her at @AmandaCicc.  
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