Creating a magical brand with lasting impact
Paper Edition | Page: 15
We live in a fast-changing world where the endless cycle of trends never stops bringing surprises to our lives. I still remember when I got my first mobile phone from my parents eight years ago. At that time, my parents gave me a Nokia phone because, for me, it was then the most famous and renowned brand.
I also realized that most of my friends in high school were using Nokia phones. Even though there were a lot of brands on the market, I still chose Nokia as my mobile phone. At that time, the Finnish company was considered the best mobile phone brand in Indonesia.
It was still my favorite phone brand until many of my friends started using smartphones three years ago. The smartphone trend was very happening at that time, and one of the most famous smartphone brands then was BlackBerry. I forgot about my Nokia phone, and started using a BlackBerry smartphone that offered me an unlimited world that I could explore. I could start with using BlackBerry Messenger, push mail, and I could even access my Facebook and Twitter accounts from my BlackBerry. I was not the only one charmed by this amazing little thing. It seemed almost everybody in this world was too.
What happens now? I see many holding iPhones in their hands, while others are playing with their iPads or Samsung Galaxys. Some of my friends don’t use BlackBerrys anymore. Trends are changing so fast, no one can predict what will happen in the next three to five years, especially in the business world.
It was very surprising to learn that Lehmann Brothers, one of the premier financial institutions in the world, went bankrupt. It was also surprising to learn that the IPO of Facebook went nowhere fast. Nobody can predict the future and the changes that will happen.
So what should brand owners do, especially local ones? What should they do in order to ensure that their businesses or brands stay relevant in the market? When it comes to competition and trends in Indonesia, there are a lot of surprises waiting for us in the future. Rumor has it several multinational brands will come to Indonesia, including IKEA, the Swedish giant of the furniture industry. What should they do?
It’s simple. They should build a “magical” brand that enables them to charm the market with their persona by building great loyalty to their brand in order to survive fierce competition.
What is a magical brand? Is it a brand with a big factory and a luxurious office? Is it a brand with the best quality product and service? Or is it a brand with a good logo or great marketing communication?
I believe all of those factors are important in building a magical brand, but they are not enough. It takes more functional or tangible aspects such as reputation, factory, employees and good products, to build a magical brand. Those things can be claimed by everybody, including your competitors.
I think a magical brand is a brand that is able to offer more than function to customers. Owners of a brand should not only provide good products and services but should also be able to offer a dream to their customers to realize their aspirations and make a memorable brand experience. In other words, they should focus more on the emotional aspects of their brand, not only the functional considerations.
A case in point is in my favorite soft drink brand, Coca-Cola. Everybody knows that Coca-Cola is the carbonated soft drink with swoosh and a unique bottle shape. On top of that, Coca-Cola also teaches us to share happiness and sense of being positive by drinking it. I still remember their advertisement showing African people drinking Coca Cola, whose contentment at tasting the drink leads to them exclaiming “brrrrrrrrrrrrr”.
At that time, the advertisement the very popular in Indonesia and became the talk of the town. Besides advertisements, they also had several active and creative campaigns that touched people’s hearts. I really like their idea of trying to spread happiness by using a Happiness Truck and a Happiness Machine. These are among the reasons Coca-Cola was designated the world’s most valuable brand in 2011 by Interbrand.
What can we learn from Coca-Cola? It offers an emotional and appealing message that makes it unique and distinct from its competitors. Coca-Cola positioned itself differently, not based on the functional aspects, but on emotional ones. They positioned themselves as a happiness maker, a distinctive message that is able to charm the market with their persona. They also deliver their message in a very creative way that is able to excite the market.
That’s why we need to define a clear positioning for our brand that is able to deliver an emotional and compelling message and thus creating a connection between our brand and the market.
So, get ready to leave a spellbinding impression by creating a magical brand!
Ryandwana P.F. is brand consultant at DM IDHOLLAND and Daniel Surya is its chairman and president for Southeast Asia.