Some of us remember a time when manufacturers and retailers wanting to reach their customers would simply place an ad touting their brands and products. Ads could take any of several forms — newspaper, magazine, radio, direct mail and, if the budget allowed, television. The message could be subtle or direct. It would run a number of times according to the ad agency's "proprietary" formula and the consumer would ideally respond by going to their local store to make a purchase.
The sign of a great brand isn't only name recognition, but the image you get in your head when you hear the name. You should immediately feel something when the name is mentioned. The best brands allow you to see something as well. Distinct visual images should pop into your head at the mere mention of the name. Crate & Barrel, Dean & DeLuca and Williams-Sonoma are masters at this — three very recognizable names, each with a distinct brand positioning and an identifiable visual aesthetic. Because they're so good at what they do, it made it difficult to find weaknesses in their execution, but there are some. Let's take a close look to see how these three popular brands deliver across multiple sales channels.
Everything you do, everything you say, everything you are — and I mean everything — is a direct reflection of your brand. All of these things need to be managed and controlled, but in a way that doesn't seem managed and controlled. Sound difficult? It is. That's why so few brands actually do it well.
The art of brand building still remains a mystery to many companies. During these tough economic times, business leaders are searching for ways to grow their brands, expand their reach and influence their bottom lines.
Retailers must make a concerted effort to get consumers' attention in today's fast-paced environment, where prospects are subjected to hundreds of adverting messages a day. When it comes to brand recognition, integration is the name of the game. For consumers to really connect with a brand, they must have the same brand experience online, in-store or with the catalog.