Mel Sokotch

2. Successful Brands--What they are; how to know you've got one

...when most of us are asked to describe something, we typically answer in the form of a declarative sentence. It's no different with brands. Here then are the declarative sentences that loyal customers might use to describe ten highly successful brands (with the word count for each):
  1. Dan Brown: Writes popular novels that probe secret societies. (7)
  2. Mac: The PC that's easier to use and more reliable. (9)
  3. Williamsburg, VA: The place where one can experience colonial America. (8)
  4. Navy SEALs: The elite military unit that under- takes dangerous, clandestine missions. (9)
  5. GARDASIL: The vaccine that prevents cervical cancer in young girls. (9)
  6. Bayer: The aspirin that protects against heart disease. (7)
  7. eBay: The online marketplace where you can buy or sell anything. (10)
  8. Southwest Airlines: The low-fare, no-frills airline. (6)
  9. Bono: The world's most politically active rock star. (7)
  10. FOX: The cable network with a conservative bent. (7)

Reality Check
First, write down the sentence you'd want your customer to play back when asked to describe your brand. Make sure it's no more than ten words. Next, ask your most loyal customers to describe your brand in ten words or less. This can be done at minimal cost via the do-it- yourself online research services. If the research finds that your words match those of your customers', then your campaign is working well. But if they don't match, if they're clearly different, then either your positioning needs adjusting or your communications program needs fixing.

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