Power of Brands: The Secrets of Branding

As part of my uni course, we get a subscription to Kanopy as part of our yearly fees. Kanopy is an online database that streams more than 26,000 films to higher education campuses worldwide.

When I was exploring the site, I came across a documentary called Power of Brands. My next module is based around brands and storytelling so I was intrigued to watch it to find out the secrets behind branding and what’s behind a label. The 50 minute film gives the audience an insight into how brands are created and explores why some succeed where others fail.

The film also looks at the latest techniques and marketing strategies in Europe and America, including the use of social media and augmented reality. The Power of Brands shows how luxury brands are often ‘refreshed’ to attract new generations of customers across the globe.

To create a successful brand requires long-term planning, dedicated and forward vision, not to mention consistency over time. Achieving branding and success, power and influence will follow.

The first brand that the documentary explores is Coca-Cola, one of the most valuable brands in the world, valued at $79 billion. Everyday almost 2 billion Coca-Cola drinks are consumed across the globe. I feel that the chief marketing officer must feel tremendous pressure to have such a great responsibility. Joe Tripodi, Chief Marketing and Commercial Officer at Coca-Cola states that the company’s success comes from creating an ‘…emotion connection with people and also a cultural connection.’ These connections are created, nurtured and maintained through branding.

Quality and authenticity are still essential elements of modern branding, but are just a small proportion of Coca-Cola’s global success. Building a multi-national brand, in my opinion, requires massive amounts of discipline and focus. From the very beginning Coca-Cola had a mystery about it because nobody really knew what was in it. I still question this today! This secret formula captured the imagination of the public.

What is the secret of a strong corporate identity? Back in history Coca-Cola had a standard approach to the branding: they created a portfolio of the exact colours used for the logo and the specific designs for their branding, ensuring that each bottle finished with an identical final product.

I did not realise that Coca-Cola provided their drinks to soldiers fighting in the war. Not only did this remind the men of home, but it also did wonders for the brands positive image and reputation. They are seen to refresh the mind, body and spirt of the world, despite negative global events and tragedies. This was a perfect example of the US government and a brand working together: Coca-Cola recognised the opportunity to help US servicemen, but also to grow globally at the same time. The documentary states that some nations have used branding not just to generate economic value but to also promote the social values of one nation all around the world.

Virgin is another company that has built a long-lasting global brand identity. The Virgin brand has brought incalculable wealth and prestige to Britain. This is a great example of how a brand, the owner and a company get intertwined. Richard Branson has definitely captured the world’s attention and is not afraid to launch brands all over the globe.

I do not feel that any of these global brands would have found success if it wasn’t for the quality and reliability of the goods and services that they supply. Branding is also about persuading customers to buy products that may improve their lives. Unilever pride themselves on doing just that! Through branding and marketing they make people believe that everyone in society should have across to good hygiene.

In today’s society, consumer deeply cares about how brands behave in relation to their communities, societies and their environment. Global warning, sustainability, brand values and ethics are major factors of a brand’s reputation today.

I feel that successful branding can touch people and connect people all around the world with similar values and similar aspirations in a way the national governments and international bodies cannot do. Pioneer of this is Disney. I have got to say, I am definitely a lover of this brand; it is just so uplifting, positive and happy. It is valued at $150 billion dollars meaning Disney is the most powerful leisure brand in the world. Disney is so much more that its material goods; it’s about people’s imagination, allowing people to come together to experience things to create powerful, lasting memories.

Dunhill is a brand with flagship stores in multiple countries around the world. They provide consumers with a one stop experience: party, shop, get garments tailored, eat and even pampering sessions. Consumers can enjoy this emotional connection with the brand. I know that even I would rather buy an experience, rather than a physical product. This desire to develop emotional connections with their target audience is why we see brands buying and developing extremely expensive store locations. This is in an attempt to show consumers that the brand is more than just about the products they sell but an experience that you can get additional value out of.

Celebrity endorsement, dressing and styling publicising events is another way for brands to increase their reputation and build brand recognition, even creating a conversation online. Similarly, exhibitions, shows and galleries, often with life models and displays, are another way of allowing the media and consumers to view a brand’s collection first hand and gives the brand the opportunity to personally connect with the audience, showing off their style and heritage in a personal, face to face manner. This also promotes long-term value of the goods.

Overall, I feel that loyalty towards a brand is one of the most important factors to successful branding and long term success. This is often achieved through consistency, listening to consumer demands and building a connection with the consumer. The documentary shows how brands have become an ambassador for a country and the power and reputation enjoyed by successful brands can exceed their monetary value. The narrator ends the film by stating, ‘In the 21st century, if you own the brand you will own the power.’

I know that this is a very long post, but I could have shared so much more on this topic. I would highly recommend watching this if you can get access to it; I found it very interesting.


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