Brand Building Step-by-Step - Part 2: Persistence for Long-Term Brand Building

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Posted Jan 12, 2012
Susan Gunelius

In Part 1 of the Brand Building Step-by-Step series, you learned about the first step to building a brand -- consistency. Now, it's time to cover the second step of brand building -- persistence. Powerful brands are not built overnight. Brand building is a long-term marketing strategy that can deliver significant results for your business for years to come, but you need to be prepared to be patient and not give up.


Think about some of the most powerful brands in the world like Coca-Cola, Apple, and Google. None of these brands were instant successes. Instead, each grew over time. None of these brands expected overnight success, and their efforts in growing focused on long-term, sustainable growth that can weather any macro- or micro-environmental storm that comes along.

Think of it this way -- when Coca-Cola launched New Coke, it was a disaster. Had the brand not been well-established with a history of success in meeting consumer expectations, New Coke would have been far more painful to the company's overall success. Similarly, Google is known for launching new products and acquiring companies in an attempt to extend the brand only to shut them down in the future. However, since the Google brand has grown over time, these product launches and company acquisitions have been little more than bumps in the road for Google.

Persistence in brand building comes from continually putting out brand messages and experiences that consistently communicate the brand promise and meet consumer perceptions and expectations for the brand. This type of persistence enables you to develop brand awareness, recall, trial, loyalty, and advocacy that leads to brand growth.

With the growth of social media and content marketing, it's easier and more affordable than ever for brands to persistently communicate with consumers and monitor their reputations. When social media activities are integrated with offline marketing efforts, consumers find themselves surrounded by branded experiences, so they can self-select how they want to engage with the brand. Again, persistence and consistency pay off when it comes to long-term brand building. The trick for brand managers is to effectively marry long-term brand building with short-term tactics that consistently and persistently connect consumers to the brand.

Starbucks offers a great brand building strategy to benchmark. First, all Starbucks messages and experiences consistently reflect the brand promise. There is no doubt what Starbucks promises to consumers, and consumers can trust that the brand will deliver on their expectations and perceptions in every customer interaction. From store designs to products and everything in between, consumers trust the Starbucks brand.

At the same time, Starbucks persistently pursues short-term brand building tactics through promotions that keep the brand top-of-mind. However, those short-term tactics are always consistent with the brand image and promise. There is no chance for confusion when it comes to the Starbucks brand.

Consumers are fickle, and they'll forget about your brand very quickly if you're not persistent in your brand building efforts. They also won't hesitate to turn their backs on your brand and find a replacement if your brand fails to consistently deliver on its promise. Through consistency and persistence, you can carve out a place in consumers' minds that's built on trust. That's the secret to long-term brand building success.

Don't miss Part 3 of the Brand Building Step-by-Step series, which will teach you about the third step of brand building -- restraint. In the meantime, if you missed Part 1, follow the preceding link to read it now.

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