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    2nd June 2012

What makes a good brand great

Strong brands now dominate Google once again, and brand emphasis has become important now as ever before in history. To that note here are some tips to make a great brand better. These 3 strategies I have implemented into every business that I have been involved with for the last 30 years.

They were taught to me by the late great Ira Hayes who sadly passed away in 1995. Ira was a no nonsense educator and used these strategies to build a global brand for himself way before Google even though of putting an emphasis on it. A brilliant and motivating speaker who captured my attention at the tender age of 18 and motivated me to get into business.

Here are the 3 principles of brand success I learned from Ira 30 years ago.


“You don’t know what your clients think of you, you don’t really know what your spouse thinks of you”

Identity is how people perceive your brand, your business, and you. Ira’s point here is we really don’t know our own Identity, we don’t know what people think of us or what thoughts come into their heads/brains when they think of our company or brand. Is it as cheap, expensive, great service, bad service, caring, non caring, hard working, doing well, struggling and so on. The identity comes from the experiences and interactions that clients have when dealing with your staff and your business plus the messages your marketing material and logos etc put out to the market.

Business owners typically have great thoughts of what we would like our clients and potential clients to think of our brand, our business and our people. Most business owners have a fair idea of what how they would like a client to perceive them however due to poor brand management or no research this so often does not come to fruition. Ira was adamant that a brands identity should be reviewed regularly (with client surveys) and with no mercy shown by its owners. Discover what clients really think… It could be worth more than GOLD!


“Do something really great……………then let me see you do it again”

Another name for this valued strategy could be consistency and repetition. People need to see your brand regularly and they need to get the same feeling at every interaction. Alot of resource goes into developing the identity for a brand and repeated consistency is important to ensure credibility and a consistent feeling for the clients.

If something works well for you rinse and repeat it. If you are not seen regularly as a strong brand you won’t get the business


“People will do almost anything other people do”

It is well known that we are influenced in our buying decisions by what others do. The stock market is a great example. As David Lange once said the stock market works the same way as reef fish. One shock or sudden move and they all bolt in the same direction. Conformity marketing is widely used either in a very obvious way or in a subliminal way that most often we don’t even know.

The opposite of conformity is not non conformity, it is however a brands own uniqueness. Being unique can be a very powerful marketing strategy for any brand. Isn’t it amazing when you are looking for a supplier and you find that certain industries have all copied each others look. Traditional, old fashioned, modern, bright, dull, loyal, solid, Kiwi, flash, upmarket, price focused, and so on.

Being unique can come at a price. Design fees are large and who is to say if the identity of the business is popular. Lots to think about for all business owners and getting expert help is always important.

The conformity principle plays a big part in our daily lives and whether we know about it or not we are all influenced by it. Humans are “Herd Animals” and we like to be seen as fitting in with others, be it a branded polo shirt that is 5 times dearer than a generic one or a set of fashionable shoes that look like Aladdin owned them once.

Article by: Nigel Grimshaw-Jones - Creative Director

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