Here’s a fun self-test. Do you know what to expect from these brands:
- Ritz Carlton
- Holiday Inn
- Mayo Clinic
Of course you do, and if you don’t you’re excused from reading this blog. Just kidding…read on!
Now let’s do another test. When was the last time you saw or heard an advertisement for any of those brands?
Probably not very recently. Know why? Because they created formidable brand expectations during the early years in which they launched their brand. Today, they may simply provide a modest awareness marketing effort PLUS (and most importantly) continue to deliver with impeccable precision on the brand expectation all of us have come to enjoy. For example, everyone knows about the iPhone 5S; but after a significant launch do you see any more ads? And, does Apple continue to sell millions of them? And, if cost was little object, where would you choose to stay when traveling. Ritz Carlton? You didn’t need another ad to remind you did you?
Bottom line, it is not the golden arches or swoosh or apple or crown or the attendant brand names that made those brands what they are. Those are just the visual brand marks that conjure up expectations. It is the single focus and steadfast, continuous delivery that made those brands.
In the mortgage industry, many companies spend lavishly on brand name development and graphics for logos and then invest very heavily on marketing those brands. They come up with creative campaigns to draw attention and then, due to competitive pressures or market conditions, create new campaigns over and over again. They are constantly reinventing themselves to chase the latest fad or development. But the one thing they typically never do is step back and take a deep look at:
- Who they are
- How they are different
- Why they exist
- What they are capable of becoming
- How they can internalize their brand among their employees
If they did, they would discover what those brands listed at the top of this article understand only too well and that is why those brands succeed and thrive in all market conditions. You need to build a brand from the inside out and not let the competition or a creative directors’ latest great ad idea drive your marketing. You must do it from within, after understanding who you really are.
If you’re wondering if you have a brand problem there is an easy way to find out. Matter of fact, I’m going to give it to you for free. Simply click on this link and you’ll see a letter you can send to your employees. If they cannot answer the questions in that letter as effectively about your company, the one they work for, as they can about those brands listed on top, you have a brand problem. And if you do, by deciding today to develop your brand, your company will prosper like never before PLUS it will save significantly on its future marketing and advertising costs.