5 Must-Haves for a Successful Brand

What you need in place to make your brand soar.

Wendy Ruyle 12.4.2018


What does it mean to have a great brand? Do you need a great logo? A catchy tagline? A boatload of Instagram followers? Those things help but you’ve got to start with the basics.

Getting noticed is important and that’s what marketing is all about. But branding is about shining a light on who you already are. Revealing to your customers what makes you tick and why they should care. Here are the five must-haves you need to make that reveal count.

1. A useful product or service

You have to start with something that people want. You can’t put lipstick on the hog for long. Your customers will figure it out and not be back for more. What value do you bring to your customers? And can your competitor give them the same thing? How can you make your product better? How can you add to your service? If your offering isn’t already the best in the market, figure out how to continuously improve it.

2. Exceptional customer service

You need to thrill your customers to keep them. Basic customer service isn’t going to cut it anymore. You have to go above and beyond. If something goes wrong you not only need to solve the problem, but you need to delight the customer in the process. Give them something they weren’t expecting. A simple refund might be expected if a product is flawed. A refund plus a fun “We’re sorry” card and 20% off your next order will gain trust and loyalty. If they were expecting to have to fight for their money back and you offer them a silver platter instead, you’ve won.

3. An intriguing story

You need a way to talk about yourself that engages and it has to be authentic. Consumers are craving more meaning in brands and they want to be inspired. Your mission is just as important as your product. It’s a reason to choose you over the other guy. We already know that emotions drive our decisions, but if you are trying to reach millennials and younger, your business has to make a positive difference in the world.

It’s also essential to communicate your mission to consumers. Newman’s Own gives back 100% of their profits to charity, but the brand is losing favor among young people because they haven’t been told that story. They may not even know who Paul Newman was. You have to continue to tell your story to keep it top of mind.

4. A great culture

Your employees are your first line of brand ambassadors. If they don’t love you, no one outside the company is going to. But if they do love you, you just gained free marketing every time they have a conversation with friends about how work is going. Those friends tell other friends.

Consumers today care how employees are treated. They want to know that they are supporting a culture of good, not evil. And they also want to work with people who are happy and fulfilled and like their jobs. Make sure you have a culture that is empowering, inclusive, supportive, and creative.

5. Consistency

A consistent experience for customers is key. They need to trust that they will get the same quality of product and same level of service every time they enter your door or visit your site. So, you must work towards perfect precision with your operations.

And if your voice and visuals don’t reflect that experience authentically, customers won’t trust you. If that voice changes or the visuals are disconnected from your story the relationship breaks down. Many companies tire of their brand and want a refresh every few years. That’s a mistake. At the moment when your internal team can’t possibly stand the same color palette again is when your customers are just starting to take notice. Stay the course to build trust.

These aren’t all easy to attain but if you have these elements in place, you are set up for success. Yes, there are more details than this, but if you don’t start with these five, you’ll never make your brand soar.

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