What characteristics do successful brands share?

Firstly let’s look at what exactly a brand is… Many of us think of a brand as a logo, but actually it’s far more than this.  It’s all the things a customer thinks about when he/she hears your brand name.  We like Lisa Buyer’s definition that “Branding is more than a name and symbol. A brand is created and influenced by people, visuals, culture, style, perception, words, messages, PR, opinions, news media and especially social media.”

Here are some of the things that really great brands have in common:

Understand their audience:

Great brands know exactly who they are targeting.  This clarity enables them to focus absolutely on what they do - and to do itbrilliantly

A unique offer:

Something about what any great brand does is unique to them.  And that differentiator will be highly relevant to their target customers.  There are numerous examples - Innocent’s, ‘Tastes Good, Does Good’ philosophy, backed up by giving 10% of their profits to charity.

Desire to be the best:

The passion to continue to drive forwards, even when they’re at or near the front, sets great brands apart.  Every business has its setbacks and challenges.  To continue to be the best requires dedication but without passion it will struggle to bounce back with the same vigor.

Ability to innovate:

Great brands evolve.  Standing still isn’t an option, even for those brands that are at the top of their respective tree.  Look no further than Google’s developments over recent years… Glass, which is making wearable technology the next computing trend; Shopping Express, an experiment in same-day delivery; and Google Now, reminding users when their favorite band or author has a new release.  Great brands continue to push the boundaries – knowing your audience gives you the edge to meet their next need.


Fast food is the obvious example, but any great brand has to deliver consistency of experience, regardless of location and environment.  In this competitive world, lack of consistency can be enough to lose valuable brand advocates (customers) & for them to share their experience very publicly.

Effective leadership:

Which great companies/brands don't demonstrate great leadership?  Much is talked of effective leadership, but without the ability to take people with you on your brand’s journey you’ll be building an unsustainable business.  Think Richard Branson, Steve Jobs – you get the picture.


With the proliferation of communication channels there are more opportunities than ever to grab audience attention, but that attention span can be exceedingly short, so tenacity is essential – and that requires skill, intelligence and creativity.  Be great at developing presence across channels and remember it’s all about engagement.

What brands strike you as being a cut above the rest?  Tweet us and let us know - @revsonline.

Tags: r//evolution

Posted by Gill Burgess
on March 4, 2015