Great branding drives your business.
A successful, effective brand becomes a recognized and trusted part of a consumer’s every day life. To make sure your business resonates with potential customers, you’ll need to offer a full brand experience- and to do that, there’s a lot more to consider than just your logo! Your brand message speaks volumes about what your company has to offer, and with prospective clients ready to listen, it’s important that you’re presenting loud and clear.
To help inspire you, we’re taking a look at Interbrand Canada’s 2014 list of top 25 brands with an eye for what really makes their brand experiences so effective. Each honoree on the list has a brand message which shares two important factors: authenticity, and ‘value’ proposition.
What are brand authenticity and value propositions?
Being relatable to your customers is an important part of the brand experience. Authenticity in your branding refers to your ability to showcase an understanding of what your clients want, and the goals of your business. It means that the actions of your company are always in line with your brand message. When your brand is being communicated effectively, your customers will recognize and appreciate the fact that your services are tailored to them and that you mean what you say.
A value proposition highlights what your product is good for, and why it’s a great value. Your clients will develop a stronger relationship with your brand if they can connect your products with their own needs. Focusing on these facets of your brand will ramp up your success: being authentic means that people will trust your value propositions, and will take advantage of what you have to offer.
Interbrand Canada’s 2014 list of top 25 brands
No 25 La Senza
Luxury lingerie is often considered only for ‘special occasions,’ and can be a real splurge when it comes to the cost. La Senza is changing minds and making sexy more accessible by encouraging every day enjoyment and low pricing.
No 24 Cineplex
With downloading and streaming entertainment becoming the norm at home, Cineplex’s entry to this list shows that it understands that movie-goers are looking for more in an age of instant gratification. The SCENE program gets customers engaged with social sharing, a valuable loyalty program, and interactive games and competitions in theatre.
No 23 IMAX
An IMAX movie is more than entertainment – it is an experience. With the use of proprietary technology, IMAX offers a taste of once-in-a-lifetime adventures that immerse viewers and make ‘regular’ movies into full-blown spectacles.
No 22 Investors Group
Financial planning is an intimidating part of life. The Investors Group brand message helps create transparency for their clients by showcasing stories from ‘people like you,’ and by focusing on the value of the trusting relationships their advisers form with customers over time.
No 21 CPR
Canadian Pacific Railway has kept rail transport relevant by underscoring the speed and reliability of their train transit. They communicate the importance of their business to business services in helping companies get their products to market, and community contributions as part of their corporate sustainability.
No 20 West Jet
WestJet is probably best known for it its employee profit sharing – letting customers know that when the employees are owners (and happy!) they’ll provide better service, and will pay it forward to their clients. With a focus on providing delightful experiences to fliers, many of WestJet’s brand initiatives become feel good viral fodder, like their airport Secret Santa last Christmas.
No 19 Winners
By providing brand names at low prices, Winners capitalizes both on our needs for a bargain and for staying stylish. By promising ‘a new store every time,’ Winners does a great job of making sure its customers keep coming back for more.
No 18 Molson
The 350 year heritage of the company says a lot about the business, but Molson is making sure that customers also understand their commitment to developing a lasting connection with clients. They also capitalize on the increasing significance of hot-button topics like modern business practices and an eye for sustainability and environmental stewardship.
No 17 Shaw
Shaw has done an excellent job of becoming synonymous with a connected community by creating the valuable Go Wi-fi service, which provides 40,000 free hotspots across the country to its customers. To drive the point home, the company has also been pairing with Canadian cities to provide free wi-fi hotspots to everyone.
No 16 National Bank
National Bank has worked to focus its brand on financial literacy initiatives, youth, arts and culture. Becoming a trusted partner to a population divided between approaching retirement and leaving behind student loans, the company has gained success with tools for empowering clients.
No 15 Dollarama
Instead of flashy marketing stunts, Dollarama has become a household brand because of a clear message: the lowest prices on a consistent selection of household goods, and seasonal items. The value-driven company has done an excellent job at becoming known as the perfect solution for finding a range of affordable and practical items in one convenient store.
No 14 Manulife Financial
Manulife’s message is clear: ‘for your future.’ By focusing on retirement investments and insurance – daunting needs that every Canadian faces – the company has positioned themselves as a reassuring guide, and a responsible protector.
No 13 Canadian Tire
Another iconic entrant to the list, Canadian Tire has done a great job of evolving over its 100 year history. By pushing a brand focus on understanding ‘life in Canada’ and the important growing online market, the company has remained a strong competitor in the face of US retailers and works hard to connect local communities.
No 12 CIBC
CIBC presents its brand as a trusted and venerable institution as a member of the ‘Big 5 banks’, but differentiates itself by focusing on initiatives in the developing mobile banking sector and by working with new Canadians to help them establish credit.
No 11 BMO
BMO’s tagline, ‘making money make sense’ paints them as a one stop shop for all things financial. Their brand message focuses on simplifying everyday banking and offering a range of services to service most possible financial situations.
No 10 Telus
Telus’s clean, modern and recognizable branding features animals – while a hippo might have nothing to do with the service, it’s eye catching, memorable, and puts a smile on customer’s faces. Telus’s value proposition focuses on their customer service, and their fun branding ties into their desire to provide the best possible experience that’s less big business and more customer centric.
No 9 Lululemon
Focusing on providing clothing you can ‘sweat once a day’ in, the lululemon brand is closely tied with yoga, dancing and running, and community ties. By offering complimentary yoga, self defense classes, and goal-setting workshops, the brand works to stay true to its roots: clothing designed for specific feel-good activities…and sharing that activity with others.
No 8 Rogers
Differing from Telus in its customer-centric approach, the Rogers brand message works to show customers a dynamic communications company that is most focused on expanding networks, increasing speed, and new technologies.
No 7 Shoppers Drug Mart
Shoppers Drug Mart has done an excellent job of repositioning its brand as a youthful, go to solution for beauty products and pharmacy items, without the large department store or high brand prices. Central to their message is the Shoppers Optimum loyalty program, which underlines the benefits of customer’s desires for inner health, outer beauty, and saving money.
No 6 Bell
Bell’s branding strategy has a large focus on the ‘Let’s Talk’ campaign, which opens a dialogue around mental health issues – a topic which many companies shy away from. The campaign is doubly effective: building a strong, people-centric community, and showcases its telecommunication services as vehicles for change.
No 5 Tim Hortons
The coffee shop brand is one of Canada’s most beloved, managing to convey a quiet national pride, an exceptional product at low prices, and an atmosphere that all Canadians can feel comfortable in. Tim’s branding is one of the best examples of authenticity and value proposition on the Interbrand list.
No 4 Scotiabank
Scotiabank’s brand messaging centers around the idea of richness; ‘you’re richer than you think’ is a powerful tagline that shows the company as one which values personal enrichment in all forms. While tying into their bank service offerings well, the Richness Is brand initiative focuses on emotional, community and life experiences.
No 3 Thomson Reuters
Perhaps best known for their news agency, Thomson Reuters has crisp, bright, and professional branding that conveys how indispensable their knowledge network is for companies. Their brand message reassures customers that they will be empowered to act confidently in the business world when backed by TR offerings.
No 2 RBC
A combination of sustainability initiatives and a promise to keep work local (no offshore outsourcing) helps reinforce RBC’s brand message of helping Canadians in the workplace, with their personal finances, and in their environment.
No 1 TD
The idea that ‘banking can be this comfortable’ has catapulted TD into the number one spot on the list. By better explaining fees and services, extending branch hours, focusing on customer service, and working to make confusing banking processes easier, TD has proven that they understand the ‘average’ Canadian’s wants when it comes to financial services.
If you’re feeling inspired and ready to bring authenticity and value to your branding, talk to the Original Ginger team! Helping businesses build a consistent brand message with great visual design is what we do. Call 778.298.1966 or Toll Free at 1.855.298.8650 to learn how we can help you create the brand experience you have been dreaming about, hassle and worry free.
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The 5 Planks to Brand Strategy: How to Attract the Right Customers and Generate Leads
This guide is full of information on how to create an overall brand strategy that works toward your business goals. It helps you craft an authentic brand story, then helps you uncover when, where and how to communicate it to your target audiences.