16 lessons from the 16 consumer superbrands

16. Nike - Make people love what you offer

Nike make people love to run. People love Nike because it doesn’t always focus on boosting it’s own brand. Sometimes, it just wants to make people want to run. Check out it’s latest Superbowl advert here.

If everything you do is a hard sell of your own products, you’re likely to lose a lot of fans along the way. But, if you work in a industry people love, sometimes it’s enough to celebrate what's cool, exciting and inspiring about what your products let people do.

15. Boots - It’s never too late

Even old brands can find new love. Despite being more than 150 years old, Boots has entered the list of most loved businesses for the very first time. With it’s new focus on developing people’s health, we are falling in love with Boots in its Autumn years.

Being an established business is no barrier to nurturing some love from your audience. Don’t be afraid to rebrand, expand or simply shout louder than you ever have before to show off what’s charming about what you do. 

14. Apple - A good track record isn’t enough

Things aren’t looking good for Apple. The one time king of branding and customer satisfaction is losing its grip on the top. Last year, Apple was the second most popular choice, now it’s down in a lowly 14th after failing to set hearts alight like it once did.

The past won’t keep winning you fans. Getting your branding spot on a decade ago isn’t enough to keep you popular now. Once you’ve built up a raving fan base, its you need to work out how you’re going to keep them inspired with new products and new marketing.

13. Amazon.co.uk - Be personal

People love Amazon because we feel it loves us back. It knows us. It knows what we want to buy and when we want to buy it. It sends us nice emails to remind us when we need to buy presents to be the kind, generous people we want to be.

If you’re not using data to enhance your customer experience, take a lesson from the shopping behemoth. Tailor your website and your emails to specific customers and make the most of software like Clicktail to see where people buy from and exit your website.

12. Andrex - People love gifts

Fluffy dogs sell. Andrex is proof that people will buy anything if it gets them something cuddly, funny and free. It is a premium product and, whether it’s worth the price tag or not, people have fallen in love with the brand because it’s associated with fluffy dogs.

Think about your brand. Is there something loveable you can pin it all around? Make it something memorable that people will think of the next time they need your service. If you can give it away for free to new customers, all the better.

11. Cadbury - Make the most of the big moments

Cadbury has seen a huge boost in love. It’s put its brand alongside the biggest moments of recent British history and seen it’s fan base take off. During the Olympics alone, Cadbury added 2.5m followers to its social media profiles due to its targeted marketing.

If you’re not keeping an eye on the upcoming events in your industry, you’re going to miss out on capturing legions of new fans. Your finger needs to be on the pulse when it comes to what people will cheer about, and you need campaigns that will put you at the heart of those moments.

10. BMW - Be proud to be premium

BMW is synonymous with class, performance and style. It might also be synonymous with drivers who think they own the road, but it doesn’t mind that. BMW is happy to be posh, premium and targeted at a very specific market, and it’s feeling the love as a result.

You don’t have to be everything to everyone. It’s perfectly OK to appeal to the minority if you can make them love you. In fact, you’ll find your branding, marketing and advertising far easier if it’s aimed at a few people, rather than the world.

9. Kellogg’s - Be un-imitate-able 

Kellogg’s is loved despite every supermarket out there copying it’s products. Own brand copies are stealing cash from most big names, but Kellogg’s is holding it’s own because people believe it’s products are simply better than anything else to come after them. 

If you’re entering a crowded market, it’s both your branding and your product that people will fall in love with. Both have to be right, or you’ll be forgotten next to bigger names. Work out a business strategy for how you will stand out from the crowd.

8. Gillette - Move with the times

Public opinion has turned against shaving, but not against Gillette. With celebrities donning more facial hair than ever, the shaving market is a different place to five years ago. How did Gillette respond? With products that maintain hair, instead of shaving.

If the winds change and people’s interests move into a new space, make sure you move with them. Standing your ground with your products might be admirable, but adapting and delivering what people want will let your business grow through changing times.

7. Google - Become a verb

Will people ever fall out of love with Google? Not if the search engine has anything to say about it. Google has made itself an undeniable part of modern culture. Businesses must play by its rules to get noticed and thousands of people say Google as a verb every single day.

It may be a bit lofty to aim for that kind of recognition, but there’s nothing wrong with aiming big. If you’re offering something new, make sure you’re creating a brand strong enough to corner the market and stay in people’s minds when the competitors turn up.

6. Microsoft - Be varied

Some businesses want everything they do to carry the exact same branding. They want their name and colours to be spread equally over everything. That’s not Microsoft. It’s products are marketed at different audiences, so it sells them in different ways.

If you're releasing a second product, don’t worry about how it will stick to your brand guidelines. Keep your new releases in line with the values your brand stands for, but don’t feel trapped buy your previous marketing. Feel free to grow and adapt.

5 - Heinz - Be dominant 

Tomato ketchup and baked beans are two hard industries to crack. They’re hard because people are already in love with one brand for both products. Heinz is the first name on people’s lips when it comes to ketchup and beans, and it’s branding will keep it there.

There’s no quick win to make yourself a market leader, unless you’re inventing the market, but there’s a lot you can do. Check out this guide on branding to find out how to maximise your chances of crushing the competition.

4. BBC - Trust is earned

Once it’s on the BBC, you know it’s correct. For more than 90 years, the BBC has built up a reputation of trust and reliability. It’s the cornerstone of British reporting. From sport to politics, you can only be sure it’s actually happened when the BBC is talking about it.

That’s what you want to be. You want to be trusted as the pinnacle of your industry. You want your product to be known to be worth every penny. And you need a great customer service team on hand to save your face if you ever deliver below the mark.

3. Coca-Cola - Answer your critics

Coca-Cola isn’t without it’s critics. But, for everything someone doesn’t like about Coca-Cola, the brand has an answer. With so many products on offer, it’s created something for everyone, all under one brand.

If you can think of an obvious reason someone won’t like what you’re producing, find the obvious answer for what they will like. People who don’t like the amount of sugar in Coca-Cola can drink the diet option. Find the diet option of what you offer.

2. Rolex - Have a story

Rolex is loved. Its been in the top two spots of the superbrand charts for the last four years. People love it for what it is now and what it once was. Rolex has a great story that breeds trust in the brand, and it uses that in every marketing decision it makes.

If you’re a start-up, you have a story to tell. There’s a reason you’re starting a business, and it’s something more than the money. Work out how to tell that story and start using it top its full effect to draw people in and make them love your brand.

1. British Airways - Reignite your brand

British Airways is the king of customer satisfaction. It gets more love than any other brand. But that hasn’t always been true. This is British Airways’ first time in the top spot, and its all because of one phrase: To fly, to serve. The British Airways brand has been refueled on that phrase, and customers are loving it.

What this list has shown time and time again is there’s plenty of life in old brands if you’re willing to give them a chance. Don’t be locked down by what people think of you now. Work out what people want out of your business and give it to them in product, service and branding.


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