Lessons in branding from the biggest brands around the world

We have reached an age of be the best, or don’t be. Swedish business man, Stefan Persson, and 2013’s 17th richest person in the world says this: “Loyalty is not won by being first. It is won by being best.” And he’s right. But how do you become the best when billions of companies are fighting for space in the minds of consumers? Well, you can take some tips from some of the biggest, and the best brands in the world.

 

  1. Disney: Your brand is in everything you do

Brand doesn’t just mean the public image of a company. It’s how your employees view the company and how potential customers view the company, both of which stem from the company’s purpose, vision, values, positioning, and personality. It’s easy to have these all set up and leave them in black and white, but true brand value comes when these facets manifest in every single part of the company.

Disney parks’ escapist values as ‘the happiest place on earth’ are enforced throughout all levels of the brand. Employees at Disney parks know that the entire park is a stage, and as long as they are in park grounds, they must remain in character. All park employees must keep the parks as true to the stories as humanly possible by looking the part, keeping all work matters off of social media, and producing accurate autographs.

Now you might not want your company to become a Disney park, but you can take notes from Disney when it comes to enforcing your brand personality.

 

  1. Google: Your employees must be your biggest fans

Brand is so much more than what customers think; it starts internally. If you can get your employees on your side, you’re closer to becoming a brilliant brand. Your employees are your greatest advocates, so you need to create a company culture that favours them. Your brand values and personality need to be reflected in company policies.

Take a look at Google. Google employees are treated to free meals, health care, and on-campus entertainment. These benefits contribute to happy employees, who then contribute to the company in the most productive ways, and ultimately achieve its mission of ‘one-click world information’.

A huge bonus of a healthy company culture is that your employees will talk and the company will attract more talent. What more could you want?

 

  1. Nedbank: Don’t be afraid of an overhaul; you’re never too big to change

Times change and change can be terrifying, especially when a company’s value is on the line. If there is anything we can learn from Nedbank, it’s that change can be the thing that revitalises a brand, and that it can add value more than anything. With the help of HKLM, the multinational bank has recently undergone a branding overhaul. Out with the old, imperial vibe, and in with the new, vibrant, and pan-African.

Old vs new Nedbank logoNew Nedbank coloursVibrant African-inspired patterns

While brand is a whole lot more than appearance, appearances do still matter a lot. Visual identity is what links a brand’s purpose, vision, values, positioning, and personality with consumers. The connotations consumers hold of a brand are ultimately shaped, apart from service and quality, by the brand’s visual identity. Because of that, a brand’s looks can make or break it. And when a brand’s looks age, it’s not good; it signals that it’s comfortable in the past, and that it has no meaningful place in the future. A brand reboot could be the game-changer your business needs.

There are countless lessons, do’s and don’ts, and tips we can all learn from other brands’ successes and failures. The single key to successful branding is to watch and learn.

Jessica Evans is a final-year Journalism and Media Studies student at Rhodes University. While she has experience in lifestyle and science writing, she has developed an interest in branding, HKLM’s speciality. She joined HKLM for a week and diverted her writing and editing skills towards a beat totally new to her. Jessica hopes to gain experience as a copywriter and to build her knowledge of the world of brands.

Jessica Evans

Jessica Evans is a final-year Journalism and Media Studies student at Rhodes University. While she has experience in lifestyle and science writing, she has developed an interest in branding, HKLM’s speciality. She joined HKLM for a week and diverted her writing and editing skills towards a beat totally new to her. Jessica hopes to gain experience as a copywriter and to build her knowledge of the world of brands.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: