Ever wondered why a pair of denim costs more with Levi’s tag? And even though it is more expensive, people still buy them? The answer is ‘trust’. Trustworthiness promised to the consumers by the organization through its brand.
We all prefer wearing ‘branded’ clothes, why we would spend for a pair of hiking boots with a ‘Woodland’ logo stamped on it? We trust brands and what they stand for. Every brand stands for something, every brand promotes an idea or a value. So why are values important for a brand? We’ll get to that in a bit. First, let’s get a clearer picture of what ‘brand’ means. The brand is the personality of an organization, just like in an individual, the personality matters and says a lot about the organization and what it stands for. The brand has two characters, the face of the brand and the base of the brand. The face of the brand includes all the exterior characters like the logo, taglines, etc. the face is what people remember, everyone recognizes a Nike symbol. The base of the brand is what the brand receives inside closed doors like the values and principles. So why are values so important? A building needs a strong base, the base is what holds it together, it is the same for a brand as well, a strong base with concrete values and principles will decide how the consumers see the brand.
A brand is to an organization like what a baby is to its parents. The brand is like a growing child that needs to be fed values. People don’t simple a Rolls Royce because they have the money, they buy it because of what the brand stands for, premium luxury and status. I’d like to give two examples of brands that have become giants due to their values and policies.
How did the products made by college students in a garage get to where it is today? Its almost like Jobs foresaw the future. Apple branded a promise of performance and high living. They priced their products high and spread the word on how Apple is the next big thing the world will see, the result? Consumers who wait in line to buy the latest product they have marketed. From iPods to MacBooks, Apple is doing everything right and owning an apple product is like making a statement. Apple reversed the marketing strategy from ‘what, how and why we make’ to ‘why, how and what we make’ hence putting the principles in front. Breaking standards and reinventing is what business is about, Apple did it successfully.
Royal Enfield is a British motorcycle company that manufactures bikes in India. They’ve been in the automotive industry for over a century and they’ve become a cult symbol due to what they stand for, all this without advertising on the television. People buy the Enfield for its simplicity, Enfield’s Standard 350 has been a fan favorite for many years, even though it lacks basic necessities and high tech stuff offered by its competitors, Enfield still has a strong fan base of people who are ready to adapt to the bike rather than buying a bike that has adapted to the present needs. While all its competitors are rigging their bikes with the latest of technologies and tuning them for high performance with great fuel efficiency and a lot of colors to choose from, Royal Enfield is standing its ground with a few colors to choose from, not so great mileage by today’s standards and they don’t even offer basic fuel gauge! To be honest, the quality of Enfield’s bikes has dropped after the government’s rules on emission standards, it doesn’t even sound like the trademark Enfield, but people still buy these bikes for the name, brand and what the brand has delivered over the years.
Values are important for branding; consumers need to trust a brand and what it stands for. A brand has the power to influence people and their buying patterns. Just like in an individual, the values and principles that are gained will go the way on the road to success. To conclude, a brand is important and the values that are incorporated will sell more products than advertisements ever will.