Some companies merely market their products or services. The truly great companies, however, know how to market their entire brand in a way that’s remarkable.
In his book Purple Cow, author Seth Godin defines “remarkability” as something worth talking about. Worth noticing. Exceptional. Interesting.
Your brand is defined by visual elements like your website and brochures, by the tone of your marketing copy, by the way a client is treated when they call you on the phone, and by the style of the sign above your front door.
In short, your brand is the entire experience someone has with your organization.
So ask yourself:
To give you an idea of what’s possible when it comes to carving out a remarkable brand, let’s look at some well-known companies...
Airlines have been flying from city to city for over a century. And whether commuting or vacationing, customers are used the long-haul slog.
However, when JetBlue came along, the airline experience became something different. And the JetBlue brand meant something new... something different… something remarkable. It wasn’t just a means of transportation. It was an experience.
JetBlue made sure that every aspect of its brand was remarkable from their flight attendants’ friendly attitude to their funky safety cartoons. They made sure their brand captured their passengers’ attention from the “blue chips” served onboard to the free Wi-Fi.
This airline was way more than just a way of getting around.
The company’s unique branding choices weren’t accidental. JetBlue Marketing VP Elizabeth Windram spent years honing the company’s messaging.
“In a sea of same,” Windram says, “JetBlue is differentiated and it has the opportunity to continue to stand apart.”
Here’s an airline - a company that sells a basic commodity - that has intentionally carved out a remarkable brand by creating a passenger experience that’s head and shoulders above the rest.
For instance, on Mother’s Day 2016, Windram created “FlyBabies.” On a flight from New York to Long Beach, this event offered passengers a 25 percent discount on future air travel each time a baby on the flight cried. During the journey, four babies ultimately crowed, meaning every passenger got a free round trip ticket.
Other airlines transport people from one place to another. These flights are commonplace.
JetBlue, on the other hand, makes sure its brand is unforgettable by creating experiences for its passengers that are exciting and unexpectedly delightful.
Now, there’s an airline that’s selling more than just transportation.
Everyone needs ‘em. You can’t go without ‘em. They are the ultimate commodity. And yet, Zappos has a way of making buying shoes into a remarkable brand.
The company has a positive energy that’s contagious. Employees love working at Zappos, and that feeling is tangible when you call with a question, return the wrong size boots, or simply shop for the right pair of sandals.
“The company’s approach to building its culture and promoting its brand through customer service has gained adherents from organizations large and small,” writes Brian Morrisey of AdWeek.
How do they do it?
First, they dedicate themselves to hiring the right people. In fact, they’re famous for their practice of offering every employee $1,000 after their first month of training - but, only if they quit. This is Zappos’ way of retaining only those who truly love working for the company.
Next, they focus on creating an incredible company culture. A culture that values learning, community, fun, and honesty.
Build the right culture and the rest will take care of itself.
—Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh
"Build the right culture and the rest will take care of itself," says CEO Tony Hsieh, "One of our core values is being open and honest. It ends up creating more trust with our customers, employees, and partners."
Zappos’ dedication to its people and culture makes it more than just an online shoe store. It’s a remarkable brand.
And that dedication has paid off; the company grew from zero to $1 billion in gross sales in just 9.5 years, and the number one driver was repeat customers and word of mouth.
Zappos skillfully infuses a must-have commodity - shoes - with a remarkable, people-first mentality that keeps everyone coming back for more.
AlterEco makes delicious chocolate - but their brand is about more than just creating something yummy.
The company partners with small-scale farmers around the globe, helping them implement Fair Trade and Organic practices while providing a consistent source of revenue. Their chocolate is packed with non-traditional, healthful, nutrient-rich ingredients and they are a GHG Protocol 3 Carbon Zero business. This means they offset more carbon then they emit.
AlterEco makes chocolate, which could easily be a commodity. Instead, the company has created a remarkable brand.
The company infuses its chocolate with the profound mission of bringing global farmers together, providing healthful treats, and committing to earth-first practices.
This combination attracts a client base of environmental, humanitarian, and health-conscious buyers.
When you bite into a bar of AlterEco, you’re doing something good for other people, good for the planet, and yes, good for you. Here’s a remarkable brand that brings something meaningful to a product as commonplace as a chocolate bar.
Ask yourself, what is your brand really about? Does your company bring meaning to something ordinary? If so, what kind of meaning?
Are you unique? Are you memorable? Are you known for your customer brand experience? In other words, are you remarkable? Think about what areas of your brand are special.
For example, do you provide extraordinary customer service? Do you have an outstanding company culture? Do your products or services have a positive impact on the community or planet?
Take some time to assess your brand, and identify what you want people to remember from their experiences with your company, your products/services, and your employees.
Next ask yourself, “does our marketing reflect those outstanding brand elements?”
Have you successfully set yourself apart from the crowd, so that your customers remark on your incredible company time and again?
Need a hand carving out your differentiating factors? Give us a call at 847-352-4345. Our friendly experts are eager to help you create a remarkable brand.
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Sarah is Director of Marketing at Harvest Media. She loves working with business owners and key decision makers who have a vision for the future and want to take their marketing strategy and business growth to the next level.
The quality of your business branding can be the deciding factor that makes or breaks your success. When done right, branding captures attention, builds recognition, and makes your business unforgettable. … read more