Having watched the film “The September Issue” last week I got to thinking about how really powerful brands can influence consumers, trends, and thinking.
I started reflecting on the concept of building brands of influence and considering whether they share characteristics from which we can learn as we build our own brands.
In the film, the power of Vogue Magazine to sway a nation’s fashion footsteps and to build or break designers and retailers seems immense. The impact it has is palpable. How others are affected and how they follow a leader of this type is also noteworthy.
As my daughter and I were debating the fact that very few people can actually afford to buy Gaultier or Versace, she shrewdly pointed out “that that doesn’t matter”,that these trends are picked up and copied appropriately across mags as low-brow as Dolly and Girlfriend, even for teen fashion.
So how do we learn from this? It appears that there are several characteristics to aspire to, and some which can be mimicked:
1. Be bold and confident : lead your consumers on a journey that creates a desire from them to be with you.
Futurists predict that successful brands will evolve to have cultural and social impacts that determine their stronghold in an over crowded consumer world. People are said to be suffering “infobesity” from the bombardment of messages . New, pertinent on-trend responses are required.
2. Provide inspiration and aspiration : strive to become sought after by providing your customers each and every time with something that exceeds their expectations.
3. Cherish your brand : don’t sway to the temptation of changing and morphing, even if a competitor makes you nervous. Find ways to define your own brand’s landscape and remain true to that.
4. Know where you are going and what you stand for (as a brand). Create that dream for your business, through your brand, and then plan to hit it.
5. Surround yourself with Implementation Expertise-messages, resources, appropriate networks-and utilize their expertise. Vogue’ vision, or dream, has never wavered and those at the helm have communicate it for the organization to congregate behind, and believe in.
6. The Brand is the Business: To be influential, think bigger than the product or service you’re offering. Your brand is not just your product. Vogue is more than a magazine. It’s an icon of Fashion and Trend-setting.