What is a Brand? The brand is what a customer/buyer thinks a product or a service is. For the economical investment, the value derived from quality, quantity, packaging, convenience, usage, everything needs to be satisfactory and to the point, for a brand to hold a higher value for its customers. The assurance on these grounds ensures loyal customer segments. For brands, it is one thing to state their values but a rigorous task on another level to live those values.
The same brand might hold a different value for each individual whether they buy it or not. Meaning, some perceive the value because they buy, use, and find it matching one’s needs or wants and rebuy it again and again where applicable i.e. brand loyalty. An example can be the everyday usage of toothpaste. Generally, people stick to a particular toothpaste brand. Also, because toothpaste is a family product in most households, the preference has a family tag/ orientation. Even a simple act like switching a toothpaste brand happens with the consensus of family members.
It is interesting to observe varied ways brand values are established. One of the observations is the tag of years of operation or brand holding an ancestral name. Many multi-million businesses in the manufacturing industry across the globe carry the names for so many years and it’s a go-to product/ place for consumers. The quality, packaging, and product lines of these brands encourage long-time users to stick to them. The consuming habits in such cases are mostly a part of childhood memories. Brand value and choices in these scenarios are thus a part of a life timeline.
A referral is yet another important reason for how brands receive their value. While marketers may not pay for these word-of-mouth advertisements, social media statistics shows that they rate referrals as the 2nd highest source of quality leads. The value that is created in one’s mind after the usage of the product gives rise to the recommendation if they have a positive experience. The exceptional experience one gains from the usage are thus transferred to other individual/s in the form of referrals. People buy more when it’s recommended by someone they trust. This is a unique pattern observed in human beings and even psychologists/researchers find it amusing.
Brand value is also created by a single heartwarming experience for an individual. It mostly persists in the service industry. One of the finest examples can be taken from Ritz Carlton in the hospitality sector. In one instance, when a five-year-old child left behind her doll at the resort in Florida, creative hotel employees went the extra mile to return back her doll with a booklet depicting the doll’s exploit at the resort. It had 10 photos showing adventurous toys having fun at the hotel. The way the team at Ritz Carlton personified the experience for the little girl and her parents is an exceptional human touch and the values these brands uniquely place above other similar existing brands.
The brand also creates value when it addresses the actual requirement or problems faced by a market segment. Spanx is such a brand that innovates the lingerie industry. In a market that was dominated by male producers and mass production of less comfort-based designs, Spanx came swiftly and authentically. The research that went into addressing the female needs helped originate the brand concept. It revolutionized the industry to such an extent that the value that people received from using the brand remains unmatchable.
Likewise, for luxury brands, more of a lifestyle statement can be seen around how they want to place their value rather than product-based advertisements. The advertisements are usually abstract and this abstractness in the form of lifestyle is what differentiates the group that buys these luxury brands. The market is a niche yet highly valued and desired by many in general. The value created in this regard is a change in the social standing of an individual when such a brand is carried. When thought critically, the value here lies in the third person or the audience more than the user. The confidence one gets when flaunting these esteemed brands is unparalleled to any regular non-exclusive brand.
It is also true that people find value in the simplest of brands provided it serves their true purpose. The coolest example for this is a reformist brand called “The Ordinary” in the cosmetics industry. It has been able to create a unique brand value by introducing its’ aesthetically minimalistic color usage in packaging and its unmemorable titles. While the remaining beauty industry is all about marketing glossier sides, The Ordinary has been a representation of everything that un-branding is. Thus, people with skincare products and chemical awareness are more inclined towards using this brand for it holds significant value to them.
As it can be analyzed, more than the surety of how brands express their core values, the brand value is bound to be at the heart of users and perceivers. Precisely, the brand value creation power is divided among the givers and the receivers of a brand. Therefore, the only way to create a lasting brand is finding the balance in this equation and serving the true purpose of why the brand was first recognized by the customer market segment.