Brands Are Built on Product
Brands are built on product, not marketing. Think for a minute about the automobile that best goes with the word “safety.” Which manufacturer would you think best goes with that word?
If you thought Volvo, then you’ve just dated yourself, but you’d also be right. In the 60s and 70s Volvo was highly regarded as the safest car on the road. And it earned that brand. When it was crash-tested and rated by the federal government and consumer organizations, it got top honors. Volvo jumped on that as a point of differentiation and it set the car maker apart from everyone else.
Volvo was able to “deliver on the promise.”
Brands are ALWAYS built on product. Product sells itself. Think the shops in Carmel, California. The wind surfing in Hood River, Oregon. The golf at Hilton Head, South Carolina. Theater in New York City. Music in Branson, Missouri. Disneyland in Anaheim, California. Wine in Napa Valley. Water parks in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. Warm beaches in Hawaii. Great skiing at Lake Tahoe.
Everyone of these is built on product and well known for the product – not the marketing.
A brand is a promise, and that promise is built on product – what it is you are selling or promoting. You must have the activities, amenities and ambiance that fulfill your brand promise. Would Napa Valley be the winery capital of the U.S. if they didn’t have a large number of excellent wineries and other activities and amenities to back up their claim?
The bottom line: You have to BE what you say you are. You MUST deliver on the promise. And, by the way, you can never rest on your laurels. Product development never ends. If you own a brand, you can bet that someone, somewhere is gunning for you.