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The 6 qualities of successful brands

How does your brand measure up?
By Tim Trull, Chief Strategy Officer

Coca-Cola. Apple. Disney. Chanel.

Each of these iconic brand names elicit an emotional response. Whether it’s a sense of belonging, being on the cutting edge, family togetherness or the edginess of minimalist high fashion, we all feel something.

What emotion does your brand image convey? If you’re Apple or Nike, brand enthusiasts tattoo your logo on their bodies, shave it into their hair or plaster it on their vehicles.

That’s because brand image encompasses a person’s experience and perception of your product, service or organization. It’s not what you say it is. It’s what your customers say it is.

And whether they express it by memorializing your logo on their bodies or display your logo on their vehicle or other possessions, their perception— in a very tangible way—is reality.

LAVIDGE | There is power in a strong brand

Why is branding so important?

Most consumers have too many choices and too little time to make decisions. Most offerings are similar in features and quality. So, we base decisions on trust and familiarity. The canned vegetable aisle in a grocery store, for example, carries everything from Del Monte to the store brand. Price being equal, which would you choose?

Your brand is what makes your product or service stand out in the crowd of sameness. Here’s a look at the six qualities LAVIDGE has identified that make a brand successful.  

1. Is your brand different?

We live in a world where brand messaging bombards us seemingly nonstop. Our brains protect us from overload by acting as a filter.

So, how do our brains decide which messages get through? It turns out we’re hardwired to notice what’s different. We notice what stands out. That’s why your brand messaging needs to be different from your competitors’. “Me too” messages that fail to elevate your brand from the rest will never break through the noise.

Compare the launch of a new model year for an automobile much like the rest of them on the road to the launch of a new Smart Car. Either vehicle will get your customer from point A to point B, but the Smart Car is designed to do it more efficiently and with ease. Make sure your customer knows about these differences and why they are important.

Focusing on those types of details is what will transform your brand messaging from noise to music.

2. Is your brand dynamic?

Innovation is key to brand success, but not limited to functional benefits of the brand. In other words, a brand that sets the trends rather than reacting to them is going to be more distinct and popular.

Apple has long been known as a trend setter and innovator in technology. To say its iPhone changed the way the world communicates would be an understatement. While competitors have come up with similar devices, they remain dynamic because of a keen sense of how consumers use them and maintain design excellence.

3. Is your brand authentic?

Today, people have a finely tuned sense of what is true and authentic versus shallow and contrived. Consumers are drawn to brands they feel are trustworthy and they can relate to on some level.

TOMS shoes cut through the clutter by creating an altruistic business model in which real people in dire need are provided shoes each time a consumer buys a pair. They live their brand and have become known as examples of good corporate citizens. It’s not just about the shoes.

4. Is your brand relevant?

Consumers need to know what a brand stands for, and that it provides relevance to their personal lives. Brands sometimes reinvent themselves to adapt to the current time or culture, but a successful brand never abandons its roots.

Southwest Airlines, founded in 1971, was originally known for its stewardesses in hot pants, peanuts, no frills cost-effectiveness and a culture of customer service and fun. Even though the stewardesses in hot pants have been replaced with co-ed flight attendants, LOVE has evolved as the way Southwest Airlines illustrates its brand.

5. Is your brand engaging?

The brand experience is not limited to the product or service it provides. Brands are built from the inside out and your brand promise must touch your internal team in the same way it touches your consumers.

Every contact counts. The more engaging, the more people will connect with your brand. The more they connect, the more loyal they become.

Starbucks took coffee to an entirely new level by treating its people as family, embracing diversity and providing an incredible benefits package. Because we know this as consumers we have no problem spending $5 for a cup of coffee with the Starbucks name on it.

6. Do you have a successful brand?

Successful brands touch you emotionally. They become part of your life. The most successful brands even have the power to engrain themselves into our culture.

How does yours measure up?

If your brand doesn’t embody the qualities of a successful one, you run the risk of simply becoming a commodity.

LAVIDGE can help. Our unified agency includes subject matter experts in every area.

Ready for a one-on-one discussion? Give us a call at 480 998 2600 or drop us a line at [email protected].



Tim Trull brings 30 years of experience to LAVIDGE and has developed strategic plans for agency clients since 2004, now serving as Managing Director, Account Planning and Strategy.

Tim Trull
Chief Strategy Officer
Bringing 30+ years of experience to LAVIDGE, Trull has developed strategic plans for agency clients since 2004, promoted to Chief Strategy Officer in May 2024 after serving as Managing Director of Strategy since 2014.

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