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Simply Irresistible Brands.
4 of our favorite brands. And why they’re lovable.

We were sitting around our virtual office the other day discussing our favorite brands. And then we started thinking—what exactly makes them work? Why do they resonate so well with their audiences? How do they manage to survive and thrive in the marketplace?

A brand is more than just a logomark or a color palette. A brand represents who you are to the world. It encapsulates your mission, vision and aspirations. It ties your company to your products and services. It connects with your audiences. If a brand wants to be successful, it’s got to tap into those core elements.

When you get down to it, the key to creating a great brand is to be more human. Show your humanity by ensuring your brand represents your mission and what makes you unique. Then infuse your brand throughout your products and marketing.

Marketing Tip: 4 Steps to Create Brand Love.

1. Know yourself and your mission. Then live your brand in everything you do.

Craft a compelling mission statement that describes why you do what you do and what gets you up in the morning. Know what “dent” you want to make in the universe. Your mission will be the basis from which you can develop brand love.

2. Use product-audience alignment to define your differentiated value. Why are you unique?

Develop offerings that align with your mission and your audience. Understand your audience– from who they are, to “what makes them tick.” Then align your products and services with what they want. A great way to learn who your audience is and what value is by conducting customer surveys and interviews.

3. Stand out with a clear brand identity. And a human-centered brand promise.

Create a distinctive brand presence that is easily identifiable as yours. To get noticed, you’ll need to stand out from the competition. You need to bolster that which make you unique.

4. Communicate and connect through human marketing.

Build relationships with your audience through human-centered, branded content and creative assets that highlight your value and underscore your brand essence. Remember, if you don’t toot your own horn, no one can hear the music.

Here’s a look at some of our team’s favorite brands and why they’re so successful.

For a lot of people, Target is the go-to destination for picking up essentials. And non-essentials. Really just about anything from home décor, to groceries, to clothing and accessories, to items for kids. Even if you go not intending to purchase anything, you’re almost guaranteed to leave with something you “can’t live without.”

But this is no accident. Target is a master at connecting its offerings to customers’ needs and communicating its value to the marketplace — with Walmart, Costco and other big box retailers often mimicking.

What Target gets right:

Mission Statement: Target’s mission is “to help all families discover the joy of everyday life.” From the physical store and employees to their commercials and ads, they are welcoming and inclusive.

Product-Audience Alignment: The company “lives” its mission through its products, services and experiences. Target offers fashionable, delightful products at reasonable prices to their customers. The company’s tagline– “Expect More. Pay Less.”– clearly communicates this value to its audience.

Clear Branding: Target has a unique and easily recognizable brand. Its brand assets have a bold, graphic look. All of its marketing, from its website to its social media posts, communicate it as a brand that is fun and energetic. Even though the brand reversed its logo from red to white and all caps to lower-case in its brand refresh, the most recognizable elements of the brand have remained constant. The bullseye logo has been around since 1968, showing the lasting power of a simple and memorable logomark. It’s iconic.

Human Marketing: Target connects to people on an emotional level. To many, Target is more than just a retail store. It’s associated with fun shopping memories with family and friends. How many people enjoy a weekly “Target-run”? Target has strategically tied into this sentiment. Its marketing clearly communicates that Target is a place where people of all types can find exactly what they need.

When you passionately believe in a brand, you become an influencer to those who will listen. In your brand journey, you become a customer, and then perhaps a shareholder, as you watch Tesla the startup become the most valuable car manufacturer. Tesla has transcended its elite car company roots to reach downmarket with the best $25,000 electric car. Its vision of being a global energy manufacturer and environmental steward has reinforced its status as a cult brand. It’s made in America, China and Berlin. What’s next?

What Tesla gets right:

Mission Statement: Tesla’s mission is “to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.” It’s doing this with cars, charging infrastructure and a direct-to-consumer sales approach, and it’s winning.

Product-Audience Alignment: From sleek and functional cars that lead the battery electric vehicle category, to solar power collection and storage, Tesla leads where other companies can’t. By listening intently to its audiences, it anticipates global needs. It’s a dreamer’s dream company.

Clear Branding: When you see that capital “T” and the color red, you know its Tesla. Whether on the front of car models S, 3, X and Y (which, by the way, spells “sexy”) to the company’s powerwalls, car chargers and branded products—customers know there’s something unique behind the brand. Quality, safety, performance and sustainability support every product, every decision and every touchpoint.

Human Marketing: Tesla offers the best in-car experience in the business. It has a user-friendly web app that makes it easy to warm up the car and schedule a maintenance appointment. All the other car manufacturers are playing catch up to meet Tesla’s unrivaled, human-first customer experience factor. It’s good to be the king, Elon.

Purple has put new life into a sleepy industry – mattresses. If you’ve been searching for the perfect mattress, or just want to have the best night’s sleep ever, then look no further than Purple. Through its clear mission, high-quality products and refreshing communications, Purple has definitely made a name for itself, the kind of promise that dreams are made of.

What Purple gets right:

Mission Statement: Purple’s mission is to make the world a more comfortable place by revolutionizing cushioning.

Product-Audience Alignment: Purple’s mission directly ties into its products and marketing. Purple’s emphasis on comfort led the company to develop and patent a unique product, Hyper-Elastic Polymer™, and use it in all of its products. Purple is perhaps best known for its Purple mattress, which was developed to be the world’s most comfortable mattress. And far and wide, people are raving about its quality. The mattress has even garnered over 19,000 5-star reviews on its website.

Clear Branding: Whereas other mattress competitors have gone with softer, “sleepier” themes, Purple’s brand is big and bold. Drawn from the color of its Hyper-Elastic Polymer™, the brand color is distinctive and easily recognizable. You can spot it from a mile away.

Human Marketing: Purple’s clever ads and commercials give the brand a fresh, tongue-in-cheek feel. Its nerdy, scientific personality pays homage to the company’s scientific approach to sleep technology and reflects the strong research and development behind the product.

Are you stumped about what to have for dinner, breakfast or snack time? Well, just stop by Trader Joe’s! There you’re sure to find a delightful selection of unique, consistently high-quality products, many of which are organic and humanely raised. And there are new items to discover each week. Whether it’s shopping day or not, there’s always a good reason for a visit to Trader Joe’s!

What Trader Joe’s gets right:

Mission Statement: Trader Joe’s achieves its mission by providing its customers with “outstanding value in the form of the best quality products at the best everyday prices.” The company strives to create a welcoming environment, where customers can experience innovative and delicious products from around the world.

Product-Audience Alignment: Trader Joe’s knows that its customers are adventurous eaters with high standards who are willing to try items that are a bit “off the beaten path.” And to help customers push their boundaries even further, Trader Joe’s has amazing customer service. The company offers free samples of products (at least in normal, pre-COVID times) and readily accepts returns for any reason. Its employees are friendly, well-informed and prepared to help.

Clear Branding: Trader Joe’s conveys its friendly but adventurous and slightly quirky feel through its brand identity. Its logo has a unique font and its other graphics have an old-timey, hand-made feel to them. Its branding extends to the irreverent names of the wide variety of private-label products like “two buck Chuck” wine and “everything but the bagel” seasoning.

Human Marketing: Trader Joe’s marketing is fun, adventurous and approachable. These qualities are embodied in the Fearless Flyer mailer, which is another tie-in to its bold spirit, and whimsical, colorful graphics and communications. Trader Joe’s has something for everyone — high brow, low brow, even unibrows are welcomed.

Putting your brand into action.

As you can see, a great brand doesn’t just happen on its own. It requires a lot of thought, planning, research, creativity and skill. And once you’ve got the makings of a great brand put together, you’ve got to promote it, which is a whole other challenge. What we call branded action.

But it’s well worth the effort. When everything just “clicks,” your brand will last a lifetime, or longer! A great brand is truly unstoppable.

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Elizabeth McKenna, CAE

Principal & Managing Partner

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2021-01-22T14:07:21-06:00
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