Well, Canada Day has long come and gone and sadly (almost) the summer too! We are looking forward to fall and the taste of a crisp Canadian apple. To kick off the new season, we return our Brandspotting focus to highlight the aspects of what makes visionary brands. Parties to celebrate Canada 150 will continue, so if you have an event this fall and holiday, we can still help you customize your celebration right up to the end of December.
Investigating visionary brands
All sorts of things combine to create a visionary brand: A great product or service, strong identity, a compelling story. A brand can help companies create awareness, compete, and command premium prices. Ultimately a visionary brand can add substantial real value to the company. One area we will look at is how corporate culture increasingly plays a key role.
Genius in blue t-shirts
Take a great brand like Apple, they carefully take care of every single aspect of their brand. The product design, intuitive function, the clean matte white packaging and iconic wordless logo. Not to mention cult like following of consumers, developers and investors in the company. Apple ranked number 1 on the Forbes 2017 world’s most valuable brand list, with a brand value of US$170 billion.
Apple also knows an important aspect of brand value comes from the team within. They have really smart ‘geniuses’ in blue t-shirts. Their stores generate among the highest productivity retail spaces in the world. Their customers are loyal, returning again and again, to spend thousands on the latest device, and to get help using it at the Genius Bar.
Just ten years ago, the iPhone launched. As they get set to introduce the iPhone8 in the next few weeks, Apple is already enjoying plenty of speculation about the new design, as well as earned media in the financial, tech and consumer spheres. In the image at left by Nodus and Gordon Kelly, interesting the Apple logo is not even necessary.
Culturing brand ambassadors.
People play a key role. We have noticed it is not just Apple, companies are engaging this aspect of building a visionary brand more than ever. Corporations no long just hire employees, they seek brand ambassadors. At all levels. At the same time, “corporate culture”, plays an important role in attracting and retaining good people to work for them.
The best are able to convert employees into brand advocates, gurus and ambassadors.In many sectors there is more and more competition for people. We are exploring how organizations go beyond pay and benefits, and create a strong corporate brand and cultivate employees as brand ambassadors. It goes way beyond t-shirts.
I give you my word
Another aspect of visionary brands is how they tap their human resources for the oldest form of advertising, word-of-mouth. Relevant more than ever today. Companies look for employees to add their voice to external social media ‘influencers’ — the contemporary digital form of word-of-mouth. Although the lines are blurring when it comes to influencers independence, if they are paid to say something nice about a brand.
Human contact from knowledgeable staff is still very relevant as a brand tool. Influence is expensive to buy, and very valuable. It is no accident the most desirable companies to work hard to attract, train and retain good people as brand ambassadors. Genius.
Next, we will look at an example of a successful brand that is closely tied to a colour: purple.