Symbolism: Why you are there! The most successful brands are inclusive include values greater than themselves. A lifestyle a philosophy an emotion a point in time and moving forward with society.
A story: Most major brands have a story. Examples: Starbucks a social “third place” handcrafted fresh coffee. A great example is Subway, fresh better for you with personalization and customization empowering consumer choice.
A track record: When your business is first starting out, don't fool yourself into believing that your marketing efforts are 'brand building' efforts. They're not because to build a real brand, you have to have an extensive track record with consumers.
Trust: When you've consistently delivered for your customers long enough, you'll gain the type of trust that many brands have. Case in point: McDonalds no one says they have the very best burger. Yet the convergence of product quality, product consistency, contemporized brand messaging build long term trust.
Expectation: When a consumer chooses a product or service because of brand association, he or she is buying an expectation. Perhaps it's the expectation that the branded product is of higher quality or that the service will be provided in a more efficient manner.
Differentiation: Expectation is often borne of differentiation. Many brands offer products and services that are commodities but they're successful in developing some differentiation for their products and services that consumers are sold on. Differentiation does not mean different it means familiar.
Imitators: Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and you're probably not a 'brand' until you have competitors trying to copy you.
Market leadership: Top brands are usually looked at as leaders in the markets they compete in. Know how you’re going to get there; have a plan.
Adaptability: The best brands are flexible and capable of reshaping and reinventing themselves and their messages over time. Coca-Cola is a good example of a brand that has never abandoned its core product but has evolved its message over time to keep up with changes in the marketplace and society at large with new products in avenues of distribution and flavors.
A strong marketing presence: Although it's nice to believe that you can market yourself for free on Facebook and Twitter, the reality is that brands aren't advertising on television and radio because they're dumb. Building and maintaining brand equity requires awareness; and awareness requires broad marketing efforts.
Since 1991 retail food consultancy Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche for more on Steven A. Johnson and Foodservice Solutions® visit http://www.linkedin.com/in/grocerant, twitter.com/grocerant or Facebook Steven Johnson