Almost everyone knows that in order to build a successful company, one needs a product that solves a problem for a specified target market. On the other hand, many are unaware that the success of a company significantly depends on the quality of its brand as well. Why?Well, brands make up both tangible and intangible aspects. When you think about a big brand, what most likely comes to mind are not only its functions, but the emotions it provokes in you as well. This emotional reaction is considered an intangible aspect of a brand, and accounts for much of a company’s’ success.
For example, almost everyone knows the brand Toms. If you are unfamiliar with Toms, the brand is most widely known for it’s line of trendy shoes, which come in several different styles. Yet, what differentiates Toms from it’s competitors is their promise that, for every pair of shoes bought, they will donate a second pair of shoes to people in Africa suffering from several different life-threatening diseases due to a lack in owning shoes. Toms has differentiated their brand through building customer relationships based on helping and doing good for others. These relationships ultimately result in consumers feeling good about themselves. Therefore, the majority Toms success lies in intangibles. Without this, Toms would have been merely another company selling shoes.
Intangibles put value in a brand, both literally and metaphorically. If you think about the success of Coca-Cola, consumers have recognized, valued, and stayed loyal to the brand over a number of years not because the soda drink might taste good, but because the brand relates to the notion of having fun with the people you love. Therefore, Coke might have produced a tasty product, but what has allowed them to sustain their success since 1886 is the intangible aspects surrounding their brand.
If your company has been around for a while but hasn’t quite succeeded, it’s never too late to start thinking about intangibles. Yet, more importantly, if you’re someone who has recently founded a startup company, or someone who is thinking about it, it’s best to start thinking about the intangible aspects that you want for your brand right away. This will set up for a strong company culture that can support and promote both the tangible and intangible values of your brand right from the start.