3 Brands Delivering Awesome Consumer Experiences
This article comes to us from the Speaking Human University Program, which gives voice to the opinions and perspectives of the next generation of consumers and marketers…
What exactly is a brand? According to the American Marketing Association, a brand is defined as a “name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers.”
To give a real-life example, what makes Lego different from any other manufacturer of plastic building blocks? The answer has less to do with the physical blocks and everything to do with things like Lego’s variety of building kits and collaboration with cultural icons like Star Wars and Batman. That’s the power of branding—Lego doesn’t just make plastic blocks, they make an experience.
So what brands are currently delivering consumers the best experience? In my opinion, these are the top three brands in existence at this specific moment…
Apple has historically been upheld as a textbook example of branding done right, and for good reason. When Steve Jobs returned to the company in 1997, he took Apple’s core values of simplicity and excellence and infused them into the iMac, which at that time was much easier to use than computers running Windows 95.
Everything that Apple launched since then—iOS, OS X, iPhone, iPod, iTunes, MacBook—has been both reliable and delightfully easy to use, as opposed to the historically complicated Windows and Android operating systems. Even better, all of Apple’s products work together, complement each other, and aren’t a headache to use. As the old slogan went, “it just works.”
However, Apple’s traditional brand has been under fire since Steve Jobs passed away because their ecosystem has gradually grown more complex and competitor’s products have become far more user-friendly. It remains to be seen if Apple can maintain their brand image in a market that is determined to beat them at all costs.
Tesla was co-founded in 2003 by Elon Musk, arguably one of the greatest visionaries alive in the world today. Instead of trying to make the largest amount of profit, Tesla’s goal is to make all-electric cars that will cut the amount of carbon emissions in the world and thus improve the future of humanity. In fact, Tesla’s website states that their vehicle owners have collectively saved the world from over 2,500,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions.
Tesla’s innovations don’t stop at the scientific level. Their vehicles have a large touchscreen that controls nearly all of the car’s features—including Google Maps integration, a backup camera, energy consumption statistics, driver controls, and calendar synchronization. The technology and science of Tesla’s products combined with Elon Musk’s vision creates a powerful brand that many people pay a premium to be a part of. Buying a Tesla isn’t just buying a car, it’s buying top technology and an opportunity to help keep the world green.
Even though Tesla is arguably the most innovative company in the world, its brand is not quite as powerful as it could be. Elon Musk has explicitly stated that Tesla does not have a marketing department because he would rather take that money and use it to create better and safer cars. While his decision is perfectly justifiable, a small amount spent on advertising and additional marketing would likely make Tesla the greatest brand in the world and increase sales as well.
1. Beats by Dre
Beats by Dre was co-founded in 2006 by Dr. Dre, arguably one of the greatest rap artists in history. The entire goal of the brand is to make audio products that “bring the energy, emotion, and excitement of playback in the recording studio back to the listening experience for music lovers worldwide.”
One of the ways Beats accomplishes this is by making their products fun. Their headphones and speakers come in a variety of colors and limited editions. Also, since Beats was acquired by Apple in 2014, their products seamlessly integrate with the iPhone through the W1 chip. Simply place the headphones on your head to turn them on and start playing music, then take them off to turn the headphones off.
However, the true power of the Beats comes from their collaboration with some of the most talented artists and athletes in the world—including LeBron James, Kendrick Lamar, and Nicki Minaj. These collaborations position Beats as having an incredibly high quality product. At the same time, Beats avoids the image of an elitist company by focusing much of its marketing on the message: no matter who you are or where you are from, you can achieve your dreams through hard work and dedication.
This is a brand that no other audio company comes close to competing with at the current moment.
There are a ton of great brands out there, but these three are at the top of my list. What do you think? Share your thoughts or top three brands in the comments section below!