How Branding Affects A Company’s Long-Term Success
Many companies underestimate the power of branding. They treat it as an afterthought in their business plan and focus instead on product development, finances, operations, sales and more.
While all of these elements are of significant importance for any organization’s growth, they cannot account for long-term success as much as a well-designed branding strategy.
The Cola Wars
Take, for example, Coca-Cola and Pepsi. With minor exception, Coca-Cola has stayed consistent with its branding elements and today is ranked as the second most powerful brand in the world, having held the number one position for the previous 13 years. Pepsi, on the other hand, has constantly updated its logo, colour scheme and typeface to drastic degree, essentially destroying and rebuilding its branding efforts every time – and the result? Their ranking on the same list of top brands is at 22 and they hold the number three spot in the soft drink category ( number one and two are, of course, Coca-Cola’s Coke and Diet Coke ). Being considered the 22nd most powerful global brand is nothing to be ashamed of by any means, but it pales in comparison when your direct competitor is in the top two rankings.
So how exactly did branding affect Coca-Cola and Pepsi’s market value? Amazon founder Jeff Bezos said it best: “A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person.” By keeping their brand personality consistent, Coca-Cola earned authenticity while gradually associating their product with happiness and images of polar bears, Santa Clause and America. In the process of rebranding, Pepsi instead became like an acquaintance that you see from time to time who is always different. They may have a new job, hobby, significant other, personality, etc. When you meet people like this, you can’t help but think, “This person still hasn’t found their self,” whereas Coca-Cola has come to be like a familiar friend that you can rely on, even if you have not seen that person in years.
In the next part of this branding series, we will explore exactly how fonts, colours, logos, slogans and other design considerations work together to contribute to a brand’s image and personality for long-term success