When you are very hungry, the first thing that comes to mind is fixing yourself instant noodles. However, even cooking it has process to follow and even takes time to cook; hence, even the easiest ways would take even a little time and effort to prepare. The same goes with successful branding.
It takes time to build a brand as it takes a person to build a reputation. The challenge is not as much to perfect a strategy but to be focused, differentiated and consistent everywhere, every time. Will it take five, ten or over twenty years? You won’t really know as it essentially depends on the memory and openness of the brand’s audience as well as the company’s continuous effort. In fact, even the experts did their fair share of blood and sweat in order to achieve successful branding.
Taking Time to Soar
For instance, it took about 15 years for Nike to build one of the strongest global brands. The name “Nike” was first conjured up in 1971 and debuted in 1972. During that time, one particular pair of shoes made different impression on every runner during its debut. With a new logo, a new name and a new design innovation, the brand was on a roll. However, by the mid of 1980’s, Nike had slipped from its position as the industry leader because the company had badly miscalculated the boom of aerobics, giving competitors a jumpstart in a completely open field to develop the business. However, Nike focused on their brand position and widened their reach in 1990s by doing a 360-delivery. Of course, their debut of a new signature shoe for an NBA rookie by the name of Michael Jordan in 1985 was also a boost for the company; hence from 1985-1997, their revenues soared from about $1 billion to over $9 billion.
Nike’s secret? Aside from the popular faces, Nike truly distinguished itself in its ability and effort to deliver a consistent message across 360 degrees and with that, over a long period of time, Nike consistently delivered its brand message at each contact-point with its customers—from product, advertising, distributing, merchandising and creating a website.
Presently, Nike, Inc. announced an increase to its fiscal 2015 revenue target to a new range of $28-30 billion, up from its previous target of $27 billion according to their website. The company also increased its fiscal 2015 revenue target for the Nike Brand to $24-25 billion from
Conjuring up a Perfect Formula in a Century
A pharmacist named John Pemberton became curious one day and decided to stir up a fragrant and caramel-colored liquid. He combined it with carbonated water and asked willing people to taste test it and sold it for five cents. Pemberton’s bookkeeper, Frank Robinson, named the mixture Coca-Cola and for the first year, Pemberton only sold nine glasses a day.
Centuries after, Asa G. Candler, a natural born salesman, took Coca-Cola from an invention to a business. He knew there were thirsty people out there so he thought of brilliant and innovative ways to introduce them to this refreshment. He gave away coupons for complimentary first tastes of Coca-Cola and outfitted distributing pharmacists with clocks, urns, calendars and scales bearing the Coca-Cola brand; hence, people saw Coca-Cola everywhere and the aggressive promotion worked. By 1895, Candler had built syrup plants in Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles. The Coca-Cola Company grew rapidly as it moved to Canada, Panama, Cuba, Puerto Rico, France and other countries. Furthermore, Coca-Cola was committed to paying attention to what people from different cultures and backgrounds liked to drink, and where and how they want to drink it.
With that, from early beginnings when just nine drinks a day were served to more than 1.7 billion beverage being sold each day at the present time, Coca-Cola has grown to be one of the world’s most ubiquitous brand.
What was the kicker for this formula? Aggressive promotion and visibility. Furthermore, Coca-Cola’s has a solid tagline which connotes the product to “happiness”, hence a good marketing effort peppered with a lot of creativity makes for a lasting brand impression.
From Face Mashing to a Billion Dollars in almost a Decade
Mark Zuckerberg launched a site in 2003 where his Harvard classmates were able to compare two student pictures side by side to let them decide who was hot and who was not which he called Facemash.com. However, days later, outraged students demanded Zuckerberg to shut down the site but one thing was clear for him; people like to go to on the Internet and check out pictures of their friends. With that, Zuckerberg was able to come up with thefacebook.com in 2004 and later on was called Facebook.
Of course, with all the other competition in social media sites, it would be hard to be a start up. With that, Zuckerberg and his team, with the help of investors, looked for ways to be different from other social media sites. In 2010, Facebook introduced Community Pages, Instant Personalization and connection to online games such as Farmville and Mafia Wars; all of which caused the downfall of other social media sites as users found more things to do with their Facebook account aside from just getting in touch with friends. Furthermore, in 2011, Facebook partnered with Skype for video chat and in 2013 Facebook introduced graph search to help users find out more about what they’re looking for based on their friends and connections. In March 2013, Facebook had 1.11 billion active users.
What lead to this success? Innovation. Facebook continues to look for ways to be different from other competitors such as new games and new designs which is why people still stick around.
Ultimately, branding takes time and a lot of effort just like what the “big guys” had to go through before they were completely successful with their campaigns. Like any other work to be done, it would have to go through a process and you really have to wait patiently before any solid results happen.