Creating a strong, compelling brand identity is one of the single most important steps that your small business can take toward eventually achieving phenomenal growth and success. Think of companies that started small but have attained and maintained worldwide success as multi-billion dollar enterprises. All of them have a strong, instantly recognizable brands.
It’s a smart idea to know about some branding success stories to help inspire and guide you in creating your own distinctive brand. As you peruse these stories, keep in mind the essential elements of branding — caring about the products or services your company provides, finding a unique appeal to customers, and telling a story that engages your audience of potential buyers.
McCain Foods is a family business that extends to more than 150 countries across the globe. McCain’s is the ultimate wholesome story of success, and appropriately enough, the McCain brand identity is pure, homespun wholesomeness. The story of McCain Foods is the story of a small town, family-run business started by two brothers, both farmers, Harrison and Wallace McCain. The company’s website clearly states the brand image that McCain Food’s has successfully fostered throughout its history, “one goal in mind – bring wholesome food to our family’s tables.”
Everything about the McCain Foods brand identity works. It aims to provide its customers with something of real value, pure “wholesome food.” The company history speaks to simplicity, purity, and nostalgia for the days of family farms. The company has successfully extended its image through efforts such as fostering sustainable agriculture methods.
In the highly competitive airline industry, where it’s often difficult for one air carrier to successfully stand out from the crowd, Virgin America has managed to craft a unique brand identity that truly separates it from other airline competitors. Recognizing that flying — once almost universally considered a luxury form of travel — has eroded into being little more than taking a bus through the sky, Virgin America set its sights on making flying good again. The airline unveiled shiny, state-of-the-art aircraft offering not just low fares, but the high quality that most of its competitors had abandoned. Virgin America flights offer amenities such as mood-lit cabins, and comfy, custom-designed leather seats.
Virgin America’s brand image works because the company successfully zeroed in on something travellers really wanted — luxury-comfort air travel. It has an exceptionally strong brand identity because its brand image so clearly distinguishes it from its competitors.
The success of Airbnb illustrates how a company can craft a solid brand image by finding a desirable service niche that isn’t being filled by anyone else. Airbnb’s brand image is all about providing an alternative to traditional travel accommodations. By offering consumers the opportunity to book accommodations that feel a lot more like home than a hotel, Airbnb has effectively branded itself as a company that offers a virtually unique service. The company’s brand image works so well because Airbnb accurately identified a desire of travellers that it could effectively meet, abiding by one of the oldest marketing slogans, “give the people what they want.”