Why brands matter to consumers
Brands play a pivotal role when it comes to customer choice. The stronger the brand perception, the more your product can stand out in an increasingly competitive marketplace. Consumers pay a premium for labels because they have developed a sense of reputation, consistency, and loyalty. Leading brands are more than just products or services — they evoke memories and emotions associated with quality. Brands deliver meaningful value and empower expressions of individual identities.
The following are a few reasons why people are still staying committed to brands:
They give peace of mind: At the end of the day, consumers want warmth, enjoyment, and fulfilment in their lives, and they get some of that from the goods they purchase. Brands can do this by consistently delivering a positive experience, which in turn makes them trustworthy.
They save time: Picking a brand helps reduce the clutter, making it easier to find what you are looking for. If you are in a rush and need a good pair of walking shoes, there are so many different options. So, instead of going to the mall and trying on hundreds of pairs of shoes, customers will likely just go to the store they have established a trust with over time. They know that no matter which pair they choose, it will be just what they look for in a shoe.
They stand out: Branding helps define — in an instant and with a minimum of thought— what makes your product different and more desirable than comparable products. Today, the McDonald’s Golden Arches are one of the most recognised brand logos in the world. Even when they are oversized, cropped, angled, bold or even implied on ads, social media or even on billboards, we are able to make the connection with McDonalds and its much-loved fast-food offering.
They add value: Why do people spend more on premium brands than on unbranded or generic products? Is it the higher standard, the look and sound, or the brand’s social standing? It’s more likely a mix of the two. The value proposition that brands offer trumps everything else. If we take the case of watches, the swiss-made watches are found to be more expensive than most other brands. Brands such as Rolex, IWC, and Patek Philippe, are globally renowned for boasting high-quality designs and functionality. But most importantly, it is their intricately designed components, the time it takes to produce one and the materials used that add value to these watches and in turn make them one of the most expensive timepieces around. For example, a Patek Philippe Grand Complications watch may take more than six years to produce, while the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak watches in gold and diamonds are one of the most coveted Swiss watches in the world.
They express who we are: The brands we use can reflect their users’ personalities and self-perceptions. For example, the brand Nike is positioned towards target consumers’ ideal self-motivations, as a product that promises the user an expression of their aspirational selves that is both “sporty” and “exciting” in nature. Similarly, the L’Oreal tagline “Because We’re Worth It”, coined in 1971 by Ilon Specht, a young 23-year-old female copywriter at Manhattan ad agency McCann, still resonates with the consumers to this day, as it has since become symbolic with empowering women of all ages and backgrounds to believe in their beauty and sense of worth.
They offer exclusivity
In our increasingly social world, we have more opportunities than ever to spread the benefit of our experiences. Strong brands offer consumers a reason to talk about their experiences. OnePlus, the smartphone company, came out at a time when leading brands like iPhone and Samsung were ruling the roost. It’s first model, the OnePlus One phone launched in 2014, was said to be a “flagship killer” because it offered comparable specs at much lower prices. But what led to its success was the word-of-mouth its users gave it.
While OnePlus has transitioned away from the invites-only system of smartphone sales that made them (in)famous, the exclusivity of the phone made everybody want it a little more and talk about it a lot more. Today, the sharing strategy has helped the brand capture a 22% global market share along with its sister concerns OPPO, Vivo and Realme in just under 7 years, according to Counterpoint, a global industry analysis firm.
Striking the perfect balance
In a highly competitive marketplace, brand identity is essential. It reflects the personality, ethos and spirit of the organisation while visually appealing to a broad audience. A brand’s influence stems from its quality and what it represents to the customer. When a brand gets the perfect balance, it makes us — the consumers who buy it — feel like it adds more to our sense of self.