I’ve been keeping an eye on the Superbrands release every year, like a fortune teller staring at tea leaves in the bottom of a mug, waiting for them to spell out a certain easy-to-digest message. All these brands are successful because… Except that isn’t going to happen. Not, according to our own design and branding team, when a subject is this complex. People spend whole careers studying it and top brands spend a fortune trying to attain/maintain it (and still manage to get it wrong). Simply (or not), hyper successful brands are subject to so many variables that it is difficult to impose a set of related qualities on them.

 

Despite that I still think it is possible to tease out something shared between the Superbrands. We see it nationally with the successful brands we deal with and it is apparent in the huge multi-nationals that make up the Superbrands list.

 

What makes a brand super?

 

Organisation

 

Everyone in the organisation pulls in the same direction, making the right decisions for their brand (which of course varies hugely between different brands), applying their specific brand principles to decisions that run through the organisation. If the people at the bottom of the hierarchy adhere to the same philosophy as the people in the middle and the top, the decision making throughout the organisation will more likely be ‘on-brand’, meaning the decisions, products and services will better represent the brand. Internal employee experience will frequently match external client/customer experience. The ‘on-brand’ organisation will see the two merge to become a synergistic, holistic ‘brand’ experience (see Apple store workers matching enthusiastic Apple customers gush for gush as the best example of this).

 

Purpose

 

By which we mean the philosophy referred to above. In the face of the day-to-day guerrilla aspects of running an organisation, where we have to respond to stuff that is happening now, the brand that has a set of easily understood, consciously propagated and organisationally supported core values is the one that will find it easier to better apply these values in decisions that will be made on its behalf. To discover this purpose you need a common…

 

Idea

 

Why does your brand exist and why should a customer give their attention (or money) to it? Most successful brands begin by filling an unfulfilled or unmet need.

 

All of the most successful brands begin here – with an idea.

 

By Oliver Brown (Marketing Executive and fortune teller)