There’s a reason consumers fall for brands like Starbucks and Virgin, and it’s not what older companies might think. While brands like these may not always offer the best products available, they have something that many others lack: brand transparency.
Companies like these are able to create authentic brands that bring a human component to the corporate world. The rise of social media has exacerbated the desire from consumers to connect with the brands they love on a more personal level. In the age of texting and Twitter, customers are increasingly looking for companies that have defined the “why."
How can companies with strong products leverage the “why” power and bulk up their brands?
One way is by pairing a recognizable face with the brand. Many online celebrities, such as Vine persona Jerome Jarre, are able to charge a great deal of money simply by endorsing the brands they love. Famed businessman Richard Branson has leveraged his personal brand in order to bolster the success of his companies, such as Virgin Mobile. Companies that have a personable and recognizable face to accompany their product can connect with consumers on a more personal level.
Firms looking to strengthen their brand should also worry less about advertising their features. Often many products in a category offer relatively similar features, and it is a backstory rather than the hypothetical “20 percent more” that consumers crave.
Finally, companies that want to really wow consumers and make their brand stand out need to be willing to take daring risks. A company that takes a daring risk and succeeds can expect instant good publicity. For example, the company Buffer has wowed consumers by making their income reports and salary information public. While not all companies need to follow this “open book” policy, taking greater risks can surprise and thrill customers and often win over loyal fans.