Written by Daniel Poll
Brand association is when company traits are rooted in customers’ minds. A brand association also occurs when a brand is the only brand recalled in a particular market or industry.
So, why is it so powerful for brands?
With the world being so saturated, noisy and crowded with new and existing brands, it pays to be in the minds of your customers.
Most businesses and brands are playing a ‘top of mind’ game, in where you need to stay in the number one spot of your customer’s minds.
Once your customers feel a ‘pain’ and require your product, if you’re top of mind, 99% of the time, they’re going to buy from you.
How do we build a brand association that ensures your brand is top of mind with your customers?
A memorable experience with your brand can come in many forms, from packaging to the product to the customer service level. A positive experience is sticky in customers minds. Think back to the last time you had a great experience at a restaurant; I bet you can remember the servers name, what food you had and the restaurant name. When your customers are provided consistent positive experiences with your brand, it becomes memorable and easier to recall the brand and market it operates in.
It’s also worth mentioning that a positive experience is subject to each person. So, a deep understanding of your customers is essential.
Ensure your brand is aligned in everything you do, including the values, vision, mission and purpose. These intangible aspects are what builds relatability between your brand and customers. That relatability can take years to establish but seconds to ruin. All it takes is the wrong tweet, or a misplaced visual etc. We always recommend having a brand guidelines pack to prevent misalignment.
Your brand should aim to make an impact in some way or another. An excellent example of this is The Body Shop. The Body Shop sell beauty cosmetics as their primary business, but also a considerable part of their brand is preventing animal testing and animal cruelty within the industry. This is a positive impact on their industry and, in turn, their brand, which has changed the world. Many of the brand’s customers relate to this brand value. This is why The Body Shop has a strong brand association within their industry.
When it comes to brand building, consistency is critical. Showing up daily to your customers helps build that connection. Not only being consistent but also being aligned, as we spoke about before. All it takes is an off-brand advertising campaign to your brand association out of the window.
We cannot stress this enough; there is a reason Apple have a high brand association within the technology industry. There is a reason Starbuck has a strong brand association within the coffee industry. It all comes down to the experience the brand delivers to their customers, from the Apple Store buying experience to how their products are packaged. Likewise, the Starbucks experience of asking for your name in the store, writing on the cup creates a personal experience and a bond with their customers.
The brand association helps you dominate in a customer’s mind, resulting in a brand price premium.
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