Whether you own a start-up or a growing business, a distinctive brand is the most effective way of differentiating your product or service from your competitors. Extremely recognizable brands, like Nike and Coca-Cola, did not become the powerhouses of today without first etching out their brand.
The key to a great brand is a concept called Customer-Based Brand Equity (CBBE). Customer-Based Brand Equity is how the brand is perceived by customer, both current and future customers. The best way of achieving good CBBE is by paying attention to what the customer needs and wants.
While it may seem extremely obvious, CBBE is the differentiating factor between brands like Under Armour and Nike. While both brands produce very similar products, Nike makes a conscious effort to always meet their customers needs and wants. Under Armour has not. This is why Nike is more easily retrieved in a consumer's mind than Under Armour is.
So how do I achieve great Customer-Based Brand Equity?
Well great CBBE is not achieved overnight. CBBE is an accumulation of experiences that the consumers has. Each interaction with the consumer shapes your brand's CBBE. Think about it. If you have one bad experience at a restaurant, are you likely to come back? Are you likely to send your friends and family to that place? No. You are not.
So each interaction with your brand, whether it be in a digital or physical landscape shapes your brand's CBBE. Every thought, feeling, or opinion that your consumers have while interacting with your business, good or bad, becomes linked to your brand in the consumer's mind.
To ensure that you develop a great brand, it is imperative that each consumer interaction with your brand is distinctive, memorable, and (for the most part) favorable. That is the key to enduring businesses and brands.