Despite the ever-increasing popularity of online, video and mobile games, one game I notice still being played by some kids is a naming game where they pick a subject – like toothpaste – and take turns naming toothpaste brands. Colgate is normally one of the first brands picked for toothpaste, like it is Coke for soft drinks, Milo for chocolate drink and McDonald’s for fast food chains. While just a game, it demonstrates how well some brands do in the area of brand recognition.
Becoming a household name
Whether it’s a product or service you offer, becoming a household name is undeniably one of the end goals of marketing. Between a recognized brand and a product or service that’s a complete unknown, the everyday consumer is more inclined to choose the former. A no-brainer, right, particularly since a lot of us grew up with parents telling us over and over to never talk to strangers?
So, what makes household names?
Depending on whom you’re asking, there are several different ways to become a widely known brand, and below are just two of them:
When you see a clear silhouette-shaped soda bottle, even with the brand name covered, you know it’s Coke. They already dropped the name in the logo, but the two-tailed mermaid siren in a circle remains a Starbucks property. The check on your sneakers – Nike, anyone?
You may be rolling your eyes now because (1) you don’t need to literally see them to know they’re them, and (2) they’re big, well-known brands, and practically everybody knows them. But brand consistency is one of the reasons they’re big, and it’s because of this same principle that you’ve been told to use one headshot throughout your various social media presence. If you must use more than one, take extra care not to use more than three. A consistent brand presence creates authenticity, hence, consumer trust.
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For managers, assuming that a message is already clear after the first email or memo can be catastrophic, as instructions can be taken out of context. “Repetition,” as Zig Ziglar emphasized, “is the mother of learning, the father of action, the architect of accomplishment.” Repetition may also be the aunt and uncle of something, or the grandparents of something else, but if you want your brand remembered, you will need to do a lot of it – yes, not just seven times.
According to Seth Godin, if you build ads with no intent of clicks, you can focus on ones that drill your logo or slogan into your target consumers’ psyche. And even if it’s simply your headshot you’re banking on, who knows, but a hundred impressions may just be what you need to catapult your brand to fame and beyond.
Virality, what you stand for and your ROI
The key to effective packaging is to strike positive chords for a wide cross-section of people, standing out for all the right reasons. – Randy Shaw, What Makes for Successful and Attractive Packaging?
Evian’s video commercial of dancing babies is recently making its rounds on Facebook again – in my news feed, at least. Dancing, cute babies – they’re difficult not to love, and because they’re so lovable, they continue to become a viral hit.
However, according to a 2013 article, the ad campaign unfortunately has not managed to boost its USA rankings because it failed to focus on what Evian stands for and what the competition is doing.
To quote the author: “Even a great creative campaign needs to be rooted in what the brand stands for in a way that is readily appreciated by its audience. Evian’s lackluster performance is also a reminder that success is dependent not just on what you do, but what the competition does, too.”
Some observers say not everyone wishes to be young, as in the case of millennials having babies and who would rather focus on their own babies and not them being young.
Another article, written months before the former, extols the great marketing behind Evian’s ad campaign. Says the writer: “… intelligent brands understand that brand identity and presence can have an equally justifiable ROI and tremendous long-term positive impact even if there’s no sales lift.”
Two conflicting but valid viewpoints.
Marketing isn’t just about buzz. Sure, being viral can get you a lot of eyeballs and boost your brand’s presence to the high heavens. Then again, your brand’s overall packaging, from the visual and verbal campaigns to the box that houses your product, and everything in between, has to stand out for the right reasons. Becoming a household name literally pays dividends, but at the end of the day, your overall packaging and marketing efforts must remain true to your brand’s story and what you stand for.