What is your company, in a nutshell? That question could actually be answered very effectively by your company’s brand. That’s because the brand is basically a set of associations that people make with your firm. And, exactly because it encapsulates your company’s overall image, it can be very powerful. Below, we explain more about why – and how you can take advantage of this situation.
The essential components of a brand
Let’s look at one of the best-known examples of a powerful brand: Coca-Cola. In 2007, branding agency Interbrand surveyed values of global brands and found that the value of the soft drink giant’s brand equity was US$65.3bn, almost half of the company’s genuine market value.
Now, the associations that form a brand can include both intentional associations – in other words, those that the company itself actively promotes – and associations beyond the firm’s control. If, for example, an influential newspaper or magazine publishes an article or review that maligns the company or any of its products, this could lead many people to think more negatively about the company – and this would harm its overall brand.
Examples of associations that could make up a brand
So, in the case of Coca-Cola, intentional associations could include the legendary slogan “The Real Thing”, which refers to Coca-Cola’s status as the original cola drink. They could also include the packaging’s well-known red and white colours, as especially imprinted in the public mind these days with the legendary “Holidays are coming” screen adverts, which have been running since 1995.
Common associations outside Coca-Cola’s control could include the perceptions that the drink is too sugary and unhealthy, or is globally imperialistic. Now, through use of materials like advertising cards produced by our staff here at Alpha Cards, you can influence many of the public perceptions of your own brand. You can, for example, customise the covers and inserts of those cards in numerous ways. And, if your brand attracts negative publicity, such cards can help you to reduce the damage.
One great brand can help you to sell a range of products and services
An especially good reason why cultivating a great brand can be vital to your company’s success is that, with that one brand, you can more effectively sell a variety of products and services. A very British example of a well-regarded brand is Tesco. That company started out as an economy supermarket, but has since branched out to selling furniture, insurance and more. Still, with this transition, the strong Tesco brand associations of ready access and low price have remained.
We could also consider the case of Apple – which, through providing such useful products as the iPod and iPhone and services like iTunes and the App Store, has developed a great reputation for making its customers’ lives easier. Particularly recently, this reputation has likely helped it to find success with its music streaming service Apple Music, which has amassed over 15 million subscribers in less than a year. That’s an utterly phenomenal rate of growth.