Consistency and Exclusivity
In my first blog I discussed the importance of brand consistency. Specifically this means that a brand’s image, to include its logo, website, business cards and other marketing materials as well as the product or service provided to clients, should all consistently invoke the same image or thoughts to a potential customer or observer. Taken a step further, your brand should be exclusive and cater to a small niche market. In my opinion, a few companies who do this very well and happen to be among my favorite brands are Apple, Barnes & Noble, and Starbucks.
Each of the above mentioned companies are both consistent and exclusive. The message of Apple is consistent, from the cleanliness and trendsetting nature of their stores, to the elegance in their product design and packaging. Barnes & Noble and Starbucks also provide clean, modern stores which are consistent regardless of location and their websites offer warm, soothing tones which are in line with their overall message.
Each company is also exclusive in that they market to the middle to upper income brackets who are less sensitive to price. Mainly this demographic is not looking for a bargain and is willing to pay more for the experience offered by the business. Sure, I could easily brew my own coffee at a greatly reduced cost, but I would miss the atmosphere which breaks up my day in a comforting, modern environment. Also, I could purchase a less expensive personal computer, but then I would miss out on the elegance of an Apple product and the sense of belonging to a community of Mac users. Finally, Barnes & Noble provides a modern store, with a large selection of books, magazines, and other materials and a comfortable reading environment consistent with its upscale Manhattan headquarters.
Another aspect of the exclusivity theme is that each of the example brands discussed in this blog offers an exclusive membership club type experience which rewards their members for membership. Barnes & Noble and Starbucks offer membership clubs which offer discounts and other member benefits. Apple offers a less direct method through training classes, their in-store experience, and finally the group of Mac users who willingly help one another through online forums.
- Is your business consistent and exclusive?
- Does the compiled set of your logo, website, business cards, product and/or service invoke a consistent image to your client base?
- Is your business exclusive or are you attempting to cater to everyone and anyone?
- Are you offering a truly unique “experience” to your clients?
- What sense of belonging do you offer to your clients?
Offer your clients a truly unique experience conveyed by a consistent and exclusive branding package.