#17 Key Question: What concept underlies the world’s strongest brands?

Charismatic brands like Apple, Coca Cola, Mercedes, or Nike enable long-term competitive differentiation and pricing power, outstanding purchase preferences and customer loyalty, providing a high potential for word-of-mouth marketing for the brand, its product range, and the company. As a result strong brands lead to above-average growth and value creation. The reputation of brands is formed through an emergent process in the minds of people as a summary of individual personal perception, appreciation and experience with the brand, taking into account the general public opinion and image. Due to the individual personal emergence the development process of brand reputation and strength in the market cannot be centrally determined by the company, but it can be systematically planned and influenced by it. The tool for this is the concept of brand identity and the model behind The Brand Identity Pyramid.

The Brand Identity Pyramid model comprises five layers that define the character of the brand, which is reflected in the market through its sixth element, the brand appearance:

  1. Brand Attributes: What can I do? (Factual product performance features)
  2. Brand Positioning: Why am I different? (Target group-oriented positioning features or advantages)
  3. Brand Benefits: What do I offer? (Functional and emotional customer value)
  4. Brand Personality: How am I? (Personified character traits)
  5. Brand Essence: Who am I? (Brand core)
  6. 6.Brand Appearance: How do I present myself? (Visual appearance)

The more intensively and convincingly the brand’s superior functional and emotional values is internalized by the potential consumers, the greater the brand’s power to influence the purchasing behavior of buyers. The brand identity is aligned with the needs, expectations and values of the targeted interest groups and accordingly should be continuously adapted to their ever changing dynamics.

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