May 1, 2012 § Leave a comment
Brands are a huge part of our culture. Unless you’re a hermit who makes his own things, just about everything is branded. They’re on our cars, on what we eat, what we read, what we watch. Brands surround us and change how we think; therefore, they carry a great responsibility towards us as consumers.
First of all, brands must be honest. Trust is important between the consumer and a brand, and consumers don’t like being lied to. Transparency in brands is essential if they want to become a global force, such as Nike or Walmart. These two brands are perfect examples of transparency because whatever they do is made public, although neither of them like to toot their own horn. Most of the best things that they do are not widely publicized.
Another thing brands must do is enhance their consumers’ lives. Brands aren’t selling products, they’re selling experiences. Many of the greatest commercials today aren’t focused on a particular product, but rather the experience you have with the product. A great example is the Levi’s Go Forth campaign (from Wieden+Kennedy):
Sure the people in the commercials are wearing Levi’s jeans, but the message the commercial is trying to convey isn’t “Buy our jeans,” rather it’s a message of inspiration, or pioneering (in this case). It’s a message that is meant to connect Levi’s with that positive message of “Go Forth,” do something. It’s a positive message and viewers connect that positivity with Levi’s, and that’s how you sell jeans. Not item by item, but by selling Levi’s. “This is who we are, what we stand for. If you agree with our message, join us.”
Lastly, at least for this post, brands must create identities, not just for themselves, but for their consumers. Consumers express their love for a brand because they feel that that brand is a part of who they are. They wear brands, eat certain brands, and talk brands. Everyone has a preference for a certain brand over another. Why? Because they identify with certain brands. Some brands speak louder to an individual than others do. These are the brands people choose to wear, or buy at the grocery store.
So long as brands stick to their responsibilities, they will be a part of consumers’ lives.