Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Brand Life Cycles


Brands personify organizations, products, services and other entities. In this way, they take on human qualities, human qualities that often lead to shared values and emotional connection. But what types of qualities should a brand take on during different stages of its life cycle?

As you think about this, think about romantic relationships that lead to life-long partnerships. What must a new brand (or acquaintance) do to gain mindshare? It must be exciting, fun, new, different and bigger than life. It is all about the "new" and the publicity and buzz. Think about all of the excitement that occurred when Amazon.com or Tesla were first introduced.

But, after a while, the newness and novelty wear off. For a brand (or a romantic partner) to have longevity, it (or he or she) must prove to be trustworthy, reliable, consistent, responsive and service oriented. This requires outstanding listening and empathy skills. Consider the brands (and people) that you have relied on throughout your life.

While these qualities will extend the life of a brand (or a relationship) well beyond the brief courting stage, they may not be enough to create a lasting emotional bond. For that, being likable counts for a lot. This includes being friendly, affable and maybe even charming and witty. That is, the brand (or the individual) is fun to be around. GEICO's gecko and its general sense of humor in its advertising is a good example of this.

Finally, no matter how strong the emotional bond is, sometimes relationships get old and stale. This is why lifelong learning, staying interesting, occasionally doing the unexpected, reinventing the self and remaining innovative are very important to extending the brand's (or relationship's) life indefinitely. So far, Apple has done this.

I share this to have you think about where your brand is in its life cycle and what it must weave into its attitudes, personality and behaviors to extend its relationship with its customers and its life.

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