Upon the invitation of University of Shanghai for Science and Technology and Peking University, Professor Florin Baeriswyl, DeTao Master of Brand Strategy & Design, shared his best practice in branding building with the faculty members and students of these two universities on May 22 and 23.
What is brand? How to establish a successful brand?
‘Brand value is the combination of its real market value and the impression it makes on consumers.’ First and foremost, Professor Baeriswyl defined what brand value was and cited the case of Coca-Cola to shed light on this concept. ‘The brand value of Coca-Cola is $ 175 billion, though its real asset value merely stands at $ 10 billion. The huge gap between these two figures is attributed to how the corporate image of Coca-Cola is perceived by consumers.’
What is brand then? Professor Baeriswyl personified the terms in brand marketing as one’s style of conversation, packaging design as one’s dressing, and corporate behavior as human behavior. ‘A successful brand is aware of its own identify and its targeted image. This enables it to be better received by consumers and to develop trust,’ noted Professor Baeriswyl.
How to establish a successful brand? Professor Baeriswyl proposed nine guidelines. We are well-advised to study and analyze some of them. First and foremost, pursue simplicity, identify how it distinguishes oneself from its peer brands, and make the brand information readily available. Then, stay focused and provide sustainable brand information for consumers. Of course, as the first mover advantage implies, it is easier for earlier entrants in an industry to be accepted. However, brands definitely build upon their reliable quality. Excessive diversity of product mix may compromise the dominance of the primary band and should be therefore avoided. In addition, make friends with time, since it is the touchstone of a successful brand. Last and also the most difficult, turn the brand itself into a benchmark. We always need a brand with which to judge whether the corporate plan corresponds with the strategy of its brand.
Professor Baeriswyl went on to share with the students the design cases of his studio to elaborate on the aforementioned guidelines of brand. He cited the case of Ms. Peng Liyuan, ‘she is an excellent brand ambassador, promoting numerous unknown Chinese brands to the rest of the world.’
As for the question whether failed cases also provided food for thought, Professor Baeriswyl replied, ‘I used to create a brand for an office furniture firm. To our great delight, that brand received a great number of awards. However, the two production lines of the brand were eliminated two years later because the thinking set that the staff members had developed over the previous 15 years in production was too deep-seated to be reconciled with new brands.’ Therefore, the excellence of a brand is one thing. What matters more is to fit the brand into the corporate culture and generate business value.