Written by Canon Wing

I teach entrepreneurs and organizations the proven action steps to stand out within their market, improve the perceived value of their business, and better connect with their audience through naming, branding, storytelling, and communication platforms.

January 14, 2022

Top 10 Branding Truths All CEOs Must Know

When you need to shop for something difficult to find, a unique gift or tool, you are likely to turn to Amazon because you know you are most likely to find it there. What makes you and millions of others on the planet have this kind of confidence in a brand like Amazon? What are the branding strategies that can help brands generate this sort of trust and conviction? Here are some of the branding strategies that Fortune 100 companies use; strategies that can help give a new direction to your brand.

Start by choosing the right name.

The story goes that Jeff Bezos first wanted to name his company Cadabra (as in abracadabra). But the smart businessman that he is, he soon realized that this would be misunderstood, forgettable, and liable to be mispronounced. So that idea was nixed because Bezos understood, as brand experts do, that a good name works for you 24×7 and a bad name works against you 24×7.

So choose carefully, be understandable, memorable, and relevant. The right name can become generic – for instance we now ‘Google’ something when we want to locate it or know something more about it. We FedEx something that we want to courier. We offer Kleenex to someone who is crying rather than offering them a paper napkin. In the UK they ‘Hoover’ the house on cleaning days, and in India, they will go to the store and ask for a ‘Cadbury’ because Nestle’s Cadbury is just about synonymous with chocolate!

Earn their trust, become beloved.

As entrepreneur Lisa Gansky said, a brand is a voice and a product is a souvenir. There could be a million products and services out there that could be similar to what you’re offering. Why should they choose yours? Well, you have to be unique to your customers to become their preferred choice. Your brand has to be able to do the job that your product or service says it will do but also needs to create an emotional connection and fulfill an emotional need.

A company has to be able to follow through by doing what it says it will do. For instance, Amazon claims to be the most customer centric company in the world. They make sure their customers are heard and the quality of their customer service shows how committed they are to this goal. Anyone who has tried to contact customer service to register a complaint knows the sheer trauma one undergoes before being able to actually speak to a human being. Amazon makes this simple. So if there is a choice between buying from X online store and Amazon, people are likely to choose Amazon based only on this one reliability factor. That is brand consistency for you!

Did you know when Amazon bought Whole Foods in 2017, almost 70% of the amount actually paid was for the “goodwill” of Whole Foods? That goodwill is nothing but the high brand value that the company had created and nurtured! They did this by aligning to the values of their customers, by earning and keeping their trust. A brand also has to be able to take its employees along, have a pivot strategy, be able to evolve, and remain consistent. Check out this episode of Inspiration to Millions to get more of the top branding strategies used by the top 1% companies, and help your brand come out of nowhere!