Design > 5 ways to make your brand memorable. In 1924 two brothers founded a shoe factory in Bavaria and gained international recognition in the developing athletic shoe market when their sponsored athlete, Jesse Owens, won four gold medals at the 1936 Olympic games. Shortly after the Second World War, family disputes led to a break-up of the company. One brother kept the company and renamed it. The other started a new shoe company to compete with his brother. These companies? Adidas and Puma. Puma quickly rose to be world renown for soccer and tennis shoes, reaching a peak of popularity in the 80’s. Then something went wrong...
Armin Dassler, the son of the original founder, was now at the helm of Puma and made a decision that compromised both Pumas brand and its value, sending it in a downward spiral for the next 10-15 years. He wanted to target customers in every social class, ranging from welfare recipients to multi-millionaires – all with the same product. Puma started shipping shoes to cheap department stores and were sold at very low margins. Upper-class individuals were becoming disdained with the brand and no longer willing to wear it. All of this happened at the same period that US based brands such as Nike and Reebok began to enter the European markets. Puma was heading for a disaster.
In 1993, Jochen Zeitz took over the direction of Puma. He realized something needed to be done quickly to turn around the company. The first thing he did was stop selling shoes at “bargain” prices. Not only was it hurting the brand, but also the margins were barely netting any profit. He began to place the shoes in high-end sneaker stores again, and made large investments in athletes in the form of sponsorships and as well as placement in Hollywood blockbusters. By 2002, Puma had been turned around and was posting record sales and returns.
It's scary to think that one small decision could affect the growth of the company so drastically. With that in mind, here are 5 tips from us on how to make your brand memorable.
Match price with your marketing
Pumas largest mistake was reducing the price of their shoes to attract low-income buyers, while still hoping to attract upper-class support. It is not difficult to spot the differences between a marketing-campaign that is offering a high-value product (at least perceived) versus a low-value product. For example, here is a side-by-side comparison of two websites offering similar products. Both companies are very profitable because they properly target the markets they are trying to attract.
Can you tell which one caters to the higher-margin buyers? Apples website utilizes a lot of white space and really sells the prestige of the product, while TigerDirect.ca is simply trying to get you to notice their low prices. Both strategies work, as long as you know whom you are targeting.
Make it simple
Your brand should be clean and easy to understand. You don’t need a logo with fireworks and waving flags. Sometimes it may be tempting to have something obnoxiously bright or flashy to attract the eye, but the effect just comes off as cheap and unprofessional. If you were to name some of first logos that would come to your head, I would bet that they are all pretty simple. McDonalds, Nike, Apple. Even Pumas silhouette of a cat pouncing is an example of a powerful, yet simple logo design.
Revise, don’t redo
As your company and brand get older, it is tempting to change things up to keep with the times. While updating your logo and brand with minor tweaks isn’t a bad idea, avoid starting from scratch. You are going to waste all the time, money, and energy you invested raising the perceived value of your original brand! Adidas is a good example of updating a logo, but not reinventing the wheel.
You can see that the font choice, the colors, and the theme of stripes stayed untouched, but with a little magic, you have a new and updated logo!
Brand is more than a logo and some colors
Your marketing might get someone in the door of your store, but that is only half the battle. Brand does not stop when you meet your customer. User experience is as much a part of your brand as is your logo. You want your customers to enjoy working with you. There is a long list of companies that you can name off the top of your head that you don’t like dealing with because of poor customer service. Those bad experiences are now are a part of their brand. Don’t make the same mistake with your customers!
Get it out there
You spent all the time creating a well thought out and designed brand, but you have no one beating down your door? Get it out there and share it with the world. A well developed brand is a tool you can use to get many things in the business world, but you still have to use it.