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Effective branding occurs when a consumer can think of a company and an image immediately comes to mind. These companies can evoke certain feelings and produce certain thoughts in customers’ minds all while telling a story well enough to convince those customers they need that product or service. All of these elements are what make a brand memorable, and to achieve that status for your company, you’ll need to study other successful brands.
To help you, the members of Rolling Stone Culture Council shared a few examples of brands that really nailed their respective stories and how they did it.
FREITAG is a Swiss bag manufacturer that makes the majority of its products from used truck tarps. They’re considered a stylish luxury brand — quite remarkable considering the source of their raw materials! The company is on the cutting edge of innovation, creativity and environmental awareness while staying true to its Swiss roots. Their communication style is relatable, fun and genuine. – Punit Dhillon, Skye Bioscience Inc.
Ralph Lauren is one of the most iconic brands on the globe. The brand kept a classy, consistent and trustworthy image and appealed to almost every demographic possible, yet remains a brand that feels exclusive. Their ability to reach across so many age groups and genders by remaining such a top-of-mind brand through extensive marketing and PR is the most impressive. – Cynthia Salarizadeh, House of Saka, Inc.
Chick-fil-A creates ads that are memorable with a sense of humor. Having cows tell readers and viewers to eat more chicken is pure brilliance. Utilizing the misspelling of the word “chicken” and making it “chikin” gives the ads congruence too. – Matt Campbell, My Wedding Songs
They’re the epitome of simplicity, whether it’s their brand messaging or any and all of the communications I have found online. They are concise and quick to get to the point during Q&As at branding conferences or events. – Adam Rumanek, Aux Mode Inc.
I love Spotify because they took on an industry giant — Apple’s iTunes — and, with a fresh and effective approach to branding and user experience, were able to emerge as the leading music streaming platform. I think their “Wrapped” concept is genius; it allows users to easily share on their social profiles, which in turn creates this viral loop of marketing through user-generated content. – Vanessa Gabriel, Drop Delivery
The brand was born out of the youth demographic seeking identity and voice. Its roots in music and experimental formats gave it much more meaning to the generation it was speaking to. MTV has never been precious, even surrendering the logo to fans and agencies to make it their own, thereby creating a deep emotional connection that resonates with each generation that has since touched it. – Michael Klein, Miraculo Inc.
This brand has all the touchstones of winning. Their products have stood the test of time. Their color scheme and logo (green and gold) are simple. The name was used because it was simple to say (it doesn’t mean anything). Everybody knows them, so they are a gold standard in this case. – Michael Polk, Billboardology.com
Their logo is so simple, and any time you hear the phrase “Just do it,” Nike is automatically in your mind. They have created a brand that not only represents their company, but represents an entire demographic of athletes and fans alike. – Codie Sanchez, Contrarian Thinking
Patagonia is a niche outdoor clothing and outdoor gear company that has crossed over to the mainstream consumer. They have been called out or criticized for many elements of their goods, but they address the accusations and double down on leading environmentally friendly and sustainable clothing trends. – Bonnie Comley, BroadwayHD
LoveShackFancy has a gorgeous 360-degree branded presence. Their lifestyle is perfectly represented and communicated on all channels, from their physical storefronts and activations to their email blasts and social media. They have created a full experience that their customers love and strive to emulate (often by buying more products). LoveShackFancy is a brand to watch. – Jacquelynn Powers Maurice, JDP Rocks
As an artist, I have to go with the simplicity of Apple’s design and the symbolism: the “apple” from the tree of knowledge mixed with the “apple” for the teacher and, well, an apple a day keeps your inbox sharp. Editing down to what’s important — the most salient aspects of your message — that’s great branding, design and, most of all, clear communication. They even give you a sticker in the box — what’s not to love? – Ricardo Roig, Roig Collection
For me, Virgin has great branding: an eccentric billionaire who has great design abilities with sci-fi and rock & roll elements. Their fun team promo shoots show unity and appreciation. Most importantly, I feel safe in their planes, and want to try the rocket and cruise ship as well. – Susan Johnston, New Media Film Festival®