(October 2007) Coca-Cola. Nike. McDonald’s. Even Joe Camel. All are recognizable, identifiable, and very powerful brands. Whether it’s a red can with a white swirl, a swoosh, a set of Golden Arches or a smoking, cartoon camel, each brand is the symbolic embodiment of a product or company. These brands elicit an emotional and sometimes loyal response from clients and consumers. This response, over the decades, has prompted many businesses to re-examine the role branding and brand awareness play in building a business.
In this article: Ingredients for advisor branding, client wants and needs and branding tips for your practice.
Unfortunately, most financial advisors do not have a brand. There are more than 85,000 licensed financial advisors in Canada; that means your clients have choice. Lots of choice.
Take, for example, Air Canada. In October 2004, the world-renowned entertainer Celine Dion was hired to sing “Fly” for their new ad campaign.
I am a frequent flyer. Despite Air Canada’s flashy campaign to convince and move me, I did not believe her when she said we are “meant to fly.” My experience with unnecessary lineups, exhaustive wait times in their reservation queue and a general lack of courtesy makes me feel otherwise.
• Superior process delivery
• Distinctive experience
With these four concepts in mind, let’s examine a few of the leading brands today.
Consistency is key
Tim Hortons sells coffee and other edible (and durable) products in more than 2,700 outlets across North America. Although it’s not the best coffee in the marketplace, there are several factors contributing to the company’s success.
Regardless of the location, the stores maintain the same look, menu, product campaigns, signage and quality across the continent — customers can buy the same order of Timbits or a double-double in Prince George, B.C. or Wolfville, N.S.
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Tim Hortons is also distinct with their branding and promotions. From their “roll up the rim” campaign to an order of Timbits, the company has established front of mind recognition through repetition, so well, they are a recognized part of Canadiana.
Another key to Tim Hortons’ success is convenience and the coffee chain’s ability to deliver consistent products to customers across the continent.
Has Tim Hortons evolved? Yes — they have maintained their core offering and have successfully introduced a more diverse menu, including sandwiches, soup, iced cappuccino, yogurt and breakfast sandwiches. They have increased their deliverability, without jeopardizing their consistency. This combination helps to build a promise to consumers that the brand can be trusted.
Branding and experience management, though, is an ongoing effort.