One of the most protected trade secrets of all time is the Coca-Cola recipe. There have been various theories as to what the ingredients might be, including one theory that says two employees each know just half of the recipe. In 2006, an employee of the company tried to sell this recipe to long term Coca-Cola rivals, Pepsi however this plot was disclosed to Coca-Cola by Pepsi. Coca-Cola executives chose to brand their recipe a trade secret, thereby meaning they would not disclose the ingredients. Due to this move, it remains one of the most popular beverages since the 19th century.
Coca-Cola has survived for centuries, with some brands that came after it sinking into oblivion. This is one example of a brand that has passed the test of time and continues to prove that it will be around for decades more to come. The question one may be found asking is, how has this been possible? How has Coca-Cola managed to do that which other brands like Blackberry failed to do? This article will share a few tips on how to build a brand that will remain relevant despite any turbulences.
Creating relevance for your brand
A lot goes into creating a brand that attracts a considerable number of traction among customers. Customers need to be able to relate to the brand that one is creating. Coca-Cola has managed to stay relevant because it has created a relationship with its customers. It has managed to exceed consumer expectations, also accepting criticism along the way. In the business world, one must always be ready to face criticism as not everyone is going to be satisfied with what you bring to the table, many will still expect more. The solution is to take whatever criticism comes and use it to become an even more powerful brand.
Staying Relevant As a Brand
In a time of constant change and heightened customer expectations, the greatest danger facing most brands today is the loss of brand relevance. Markets are constantly changing and new trends are emerging. Every day, new competitors enter the market, and customers expect more from the brands they buy from. As a result, many businesses struggle to stay relevant – trying to get ahead of the competition, adapt fast enough, and maintain their position in the market.
To survive, brands need to evolve in a way that differentiates them from their competitors, and at the same time meet the needs of the customers who matter to their business. Often, when faced with an issue of relevance, brands struggle between two ends – wanting to gain parity with competitors and adapt to market needs, whilst worrying about losing established brand credibility or diluting their brand image. In this case, the solution is to ensure a competitive edge over competitors by constantly upgrading existing products, but staying original at the same time so that customers do not forget the brand they fell in love with.
Originality is key
In the world of business, a new competitor comes into the picture a lot more than one can imagine. In light of this, a lot of companies end up constantly changing their message to keep up with the trends and maintain relevance. This may be good but often it may also confuse your target audience. Instead, however, brands should stay consistent with their messaging to build a timeless brand.
Customers should be able to tell a story with your brand and this can be done through remaining the brand that your consumers know and love.
Know your customers
The customer ultimately determines your brand by the perception of who they think you are. Understanding who your customer is, continually engaging them, and speaking to their needs is key. Many companies focus on what they have to offer instead of the benefit to the client. Why have Coke, McDonald's, and other famous brands endured? It's not the quality of their food, but the perception of how the product will make their lives easier, better, or more connected that has made them timeless.
Reputation is a great priority. To establish that, start listening more to clients and their feedback. Clients must be treated with respect as they are the ones enabling you to stay in business. As a business, you must ensure the delivery of good quality services and products to your clients always.
There is no brand without the customer, keep your customers happy
Customers that remain loyal to a brand have typically cited product quality and consistency of service when asked about brand loyalty. This implies that consumers and customers that have experienced top quality from a branded product or service tend to patronize a particular commercial operator. A positive experience fuels loyalty to a brand despite compelling marketing pitches and the multiple brands that pervade modern markets. Loyalty is also premised on the consumer expectation that a brand will continue to offer top-notch product quality in the future.
With that being said, a happy customer will continually invest in your brand because you have proven that you will be able to deliver to them. Thus a brand that exceeds customer satisfaction time and time again, will be around to tell the story of how they stood the test of time.
Lindah Mavengere is a Business Consultant at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd, a business management and human resources consulting firm.
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