It all starts with a dream and a strategy to get there

Work : 6 Keys to a STRONG Brand

1. Brand Identity – Have an identity for each brand. Consider the perspectives of the brand-as-person, brand-as-organization, and brand-as-symbol, and brand-as-product. Identify the core identity compared to the peripheral identities. Tweak the identity as needed for different market segments and products.

2. Value Proposition – The key element to the success of any product is its value proposition. You must fully understand the emotional, self-expressive and functional benefits of your products relative to its cost. Lastly, you must honestly compare this ratio to that of your competitors to access the strength of your product.

3. Brand Position – Have a brand position for each brand. The brand position is created by actively communicating key aspects of the brand. These are the attributes of the brand that should give you a clear differentiation in the marketplace.

For example Target and Walmart are both retailers; however, Walmart’s brand position is “best price” while Target is “high style”. Target would not have seen the success that it has by being a “me too” company. By setting themselves apart from Walmart, they have carved out a niche for the more sophisticated buyer looking for bargains.

4. Consistency – Maintain symbols imagery, and metaphors that work. Products and styles change with time; however, your brand position should remain consistent. For example, think what releasing a $10,000 BMW or Harley Davidson manufacturing all their bikes in China would do to the brands.

5. Brand Leverage – Understand the potential to leverage other brands when it makes sense and reinforces your own brand. For example it made perfect sense when Diamondback Truck Covers, a small manufacturer of a diamond plate truck cover, wanted to co-brand a new product with Hummer. The company saw the advantage of pairing the “toughest truck cover on the planet” with the perceived quality and ruggedness of the Hummer brand.

6. Track Brand Equity – You must constantly monitor consumers and competition. If your brand is “Lowest Price” and you don’t have them anymore, there’s a problem. The world is a dynamic place and you must constantly be challenging your company to stay on target with your brand.

Note: This list was developed from Building Strong Brands, by David Aaker