The experience of savoring fine wine, especially with those whose company you relish, is one of life’s great pleasures. So too, finding a brand that you truly love can be a satisfying experience. Comparing a company brand with fine wine is a way to grasp the complexity, essence and style of a well-designed brand.
We are constantly bombarded with advertisements for various brands, and the internet has provided companies with even more ways of influencing potential customers. For a business, this means the competition for customers has multiplied, making it even more important than ever for your brand to stand out and attract potential consumers.
Just like a fine wine, a pleasing brand is smooth – easy on the eyes, with no harsh or bitter impressions. When you encounter a quality brand, you instinctively recognize the professionalism and personality behind the brand.
Consistency, consistency, consistency. All of your marketing needs to remain consistent, including your online and offline marketing strategies. When your brand is inconsistent, it will confuse and lower the impression of your brand, just like inconsistent wine offerings.
Appeals to a Certain Consumer
Not all wine appeals to every wine-connoisseur and neither do all brands appeal to all people. Even so, a good brand can be appreciated by everyone. For example, who doesn’t love Coca Cola advertising and branding, even if they don’t drink Coke? In the world of wine, Sutter Home (their White Zinfandel is a favorite of mine) is a winery brand that is favorably recognized worldwide.
When it comes to wine, presentation is of ultimate importance. That said, a great glass of wine can be enjoyed as much in a plastic cup on a picnic as an elaborate presentation in a fine restaurant. The context of the presentation is important, however, so pay attention to how, when, where and to whom you represent your brand.
Old Standbys Stand Out
People prefer brands they know and trust. It takes time and consistency (see above!) to build a brand that people come back to time and again. Seek the services of a professional or do your research to create and sustain a brand that stands the test of time.
Pay Attention to the Competition
Competition can enhance your brand. Pay attention to the branding and marketing strategies of other businesses in your industry, and learn from their success as well as mistakes.
Uniqueness is Distinct
Top brands recognize that they have to stand out and distinguish their company from others in their industry. There are many ways to do this. One of the reasons I appreciate Sutter Home is because they continue to innovate with a series of environmentally-friendly packaging to enhance their brand position as being “sustainable” and “eco-friendly.”
Recommendations are Valued
Everyone appreciates recommendations from people they trust. In today’s highly competitive online marketing universe, building brand advocates is an essential part of having a successful brand. There are lots of innovative ways to do this. Cultivating and educating brand advocates (also known as brand ambassadors or brand agents) is really a new twist on the oldest-known branding strategy – word-of-mouth marketing.
Expertise is Cultivated
People clamor to try wine that has be recommended by prominent wine critics. So too, people will listen to your advice once you have established credibility in your industry. How do you become an expert? Here is an article to get you started. “Marketing Strategies to Make You a Celebrity.”
Improves Over Time
Advertising strategies from past decades appear archaic and old-fashioned. Every brand has to continually stay up with present day practices. Gallo Family Vineyards, a prominent winery, continues to add product lines, celebrity representatives (Sugarbabes singer Heidi Range signed up to be the face of an extensive consumer marketing campaign. She even dyed her hair blonde red in order to promote the new wine.) The brand continues to nurture its partnership with Surfers Against Sewage, a widely recognized environmental charity that works to improve the cleanliness of oceans and rivers.
Brand marketing campaigns can be costly, but don’t let budget constraints limit your dreams of building a great brand. Investing in a reasonably-priced marketing professional can save you money over time by helping you focus on what truly matters and limiting expensive mistakes. There are lots of resources available – take the time to educate yourself. This is one area where it pays to “do it right the first time.”
You don’t have to spend an exorbitant amount of money to have a fine brand. Most companies can benefit from the help and advice of a seasoned marketer. Look for marketers who have fine-tuned their approaches to focus on long-term, sustainable, high-integrity social web investments instead of options that provide immediate superficial returns, with little or no reward of customer loyalty. The fruit of your labors will be worth it in the end!
What are your favorite brands? Why do you love them?
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