Like building muscle mass, building a brand should be a carefully thought out process focused on creating and maintaining brand equity for the long term.
Most people who have seriously tried to increase their muscle mass know that there are two kinds of muscle growth. Fast growth can be achieved by working out like berserk, putting on excessive amounts of weight, and filling one’s body with all kinds of supplements, be they harmless protein or illegal anabolic steroids.
Slower, but more sustainable growth is achieved by analyzing one’s body’s capabilities and carefully crafting a plan of how to increase them. Weight is increased incrementally, and rather than relying on supplements, diet is changed to a varied, protein-rich one.
What does this have to do with brand building, you ask? Like building muscle mass, building a brand should be a carefully thought out process focused on creating and maintaining brand equity for the long term. Whereas tactical measures like action-oriented advertising, promotions, and discounts can provide quick wins such as raising awareness or grabbing market share, they don’t really contribute anything toward shaping a vivid and lasting image of your brand in consumers’ minds.
Strong brands take a long time to build, so the organizations behind them need to take a long-term perspective with vision, belief, and commitment. Take Grupo Modelo’s Corona beer brand, for instance. Contrary to the belief held by some that every beer coming out of Mexico would necessarily be inferior, Grupo Modelo firmly and confidently positioned Corona as a premium beer in the United States, where it is currently the No.1 selling imported beer. Corona has cultivated an image of true Mexicanness and “vacations in a bottle” that is worth paying a premium price for.
Mind you, it could have taken a different road and sold the brand at heavy discounts, which indisputably would have gotten Corona a certain share of the market. Sustainably growing a brand, however, cannot be achieved on promotions and discounts alone. Rather, the brand needs to build relationships with its consumers, foment loyalty among them, and make them willingly pay premium prices for its products.
It is tempting to aim for quick wins and artificially inflate your brand muscle, but if you’re aiming to build a strong brand that’s here to stick around for the long-term, you better lay off those steroids and go hit the gym.