The key to building a great brand - Keep it simple, silly!


(S/SVR) #1

When I have to think or talk about the top brands, I immediately jump to the ones that inspire me! Apple, Google, Tesla, BMW, Walt Disney, Ikea, McKinsey & Co. and so many more happen to be my top picks for the brands that inspire me - and before you can even think of it, I don’t like these brands for their creator or for the actor who features in their commercials. 😅 I like them because they’ve promised me something. And when I use one of their products, I know that they’ve delivered that promise.

Building a great brand is a lot like promising. Building a great brand is also about building trust; people will invest time and money only in something that they trust. Trust is knowing that they’re not going to be let down - and that’s exactly what I, you or your friend would look for in a product from a great brand.

‘A brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room’ - Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com

But how do we make sure that the right things are said when we’re not around? How we do we go about building a great brand? Once, we’ve built a brand, how do we make it big? Well, I guess that you’re about to find out!

1. A brand is a promise

  • We make promises to gain and build trust.
  • People out there like to know that they can trust and believe you. It gives them the courage to go ahead and you might even inspire an individual or two!
  • Similarly, a brand is a promise made between two people - the owner or creator of the brand and the consumer to whom the brand caters to.
  • Creating a great brand with impeccable quality and design not only appeals to the crowd but it also sets a standard in their head - they know that your brand gives them only the best and nothing else.
  • Trustworthy promises help build trustworthy brands and these translate into strong market positions. And strong market positions win.

2. Create a brand that people will believe in

  • When you’ve created a brand that people love and believe in, the trust amps up. And people will be willing to pay premium for a brand that they believe in.
  • Take Nike for example - their shoes have the iconic tick mark logo. And Nike’s promise is about winning. All their ads, campaigns and even their brand ambassadors are winners.
  • ‘You don’t win silver, you lose gold’ Nike’s promise is simple. You own a pair of shoes from Nike, you are a winner.
  • When a brand’s promise ties with your heart, you trust and believe in it more - and that’s the power of marketing!

3. Brand value always hits the home run

  • It is imperative that you stay transparent about the brand and the values that it imparts.
  • The outside world will first evaluate your brand based on it’s values and see if it ties along with their goals, that’s how their trust builds.
  • Now, we all love Body Shop because it’s au naturel - we buy Body Shop’s products because we believe in not experimenting on animals. What if one day, a journalist walks in to discover that Body Shop is in fact experimenting on animals? That whole discovery would just spell disaster.
  • And the next day ethical auditors are brought into evaluate the brand and its products. Body Shop will eventually end up losing 30% of their share price if all this is out in the open.
  • Body Shop’s brand value drops down and their consumers will end up buying bath products from other brands - losing out on consumers is bad for any brand.
  • Brand value is your brand’s identity. Upholding brand value gives your brand a face and once you lose that, you lose your consumers.

4. Truth vs Transparency

  • Being transparent and saying the truth doesn’t necessarily mean the same thing.

Truth resides in faith

  • What we believe to be true, doesn’t actually mean that it’s true.
  • The truth resides in faith - what people believe to be true will remain so until the faith does.

Transparency ties into promises

  • If you aren’t transparent, people won’t believe you.
  • Being transparent does not mean that you have to be an open book - just don’t lie, lies in business can get expensive.

5. Be who you are

  • It’s important to build the credibility of the promise behind the business. And it’s because of your brand’s promise that people are willing to buy.
  • Choose the proposition that’s appropriate for your brand and stick to it - that’s what transparency is all about.
  • There may be times when things don’t go the way you want it to, even with your brand. At times like those you don’t have to tell the world your problems - just be aware of them.
  • If your brand gets stuck in sticky situations, don’t get bogged down. Voice your concerns - it’s okay to ask for help.

6. Hands down, Simplicity wins

  • Simplicity is about conveying things as it is.
  • Complexity is definitely a problem. If your brand’s T&C is a page long, then that’s a problem!
  • Look at your work, read it, review it and if it sounds complicated, take it off!
  • When an individual wants to work with your brand, encourage them to look at your T&C and Marketing pitch - they have to know what they’re in for.
  • Consumers are either busy living or busy dying. In a scenario like that, your brand should motivate consumers to build towards a greater goal.
  • When there’s room for complexity, there’s always an opportunity to bring in simplicity.

7. Stay crystal clear

  • Simplicity, Transparency, Honesty, Truth - all of these point toward a single direction, Clarity.
  • Clarity is summed up with the words, ‘I can’
  • If you ever hear the words ‘I can’t’, then there’s fear. Fear doesn’t let you win.
  • Now when you hear ‘I can’, there’s conviction - that’s empowerment. And empowerment is clarity.

8. If it was easy, then everyone would be doing it

  • Comb through your brand and business to find the nooks and crannies. Look for the blind spots and uncover them.
  • And if you don’t understand them, chances are that no one understands it!
  • Look at Apple Inc.’s brand marketing strategy - their ads are concise and to the point.
  • Apple’s ads offer a complete drill down of their product, but it’s not the kind that’s on your face.
  • It builds the consumer’s interest towards the promise. And the promise is what consumers are after because the promise directly attributes towards the brand’s value.
  • Building a brand that everyone wants to own isn’t easy - it’s a lot of work!
  • And there will be upsides and downsides to it. Embrace the ups and downs - they make your brand stronger.
  • So work hard, sweat it out, push boundaries and build a damn great brand!

And there you go! A little guide to crafting a great brand 😉

We at Skcript work hard everyday to build a brand that will stay in people’s minds for a long time. We’ve got a few tricks up our sleeves that’ll give your brand the edge that it needs and we’d love to help you too - reach out to us to build a brand that makes heads turn! ☺️


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.skcript.com/svr/the-key-to-building-a-great-brand-keep-it-simple-silly/

(Karthik Kamalakannan) #2

This is probably the most definitive post I’ve ever read on brand building. Great job @sankay :slight_smile:


(Sankriti Krishnan) #3

Thanks @karthik :grinning: