Over the years, having worked with hundreds of brands representing various categories, we have come to the conclusion that the number of potential brand strategies is limited. The majority of the biggest global brands have managed to build their position not by being unique, but by being consistent and effective at executing their simple (and therefore easily understandable) strategies. We have even written a few articles summarizing the most popular brand values, brand strategies and the most commonly used brand archetypes.
However, today, we wish to take a look at a few unique and powerful brand values in order to showcase brands that have chosen a less frequented approach.
Chivas Regal is the only large, global brand we know of that has built its brand strategy around chivalry, an old-fashioned but timeless philosophy. The brand positions itself as a whisky for modern gentlemen and represents a mature approach to life, respecting values such as brotherhood, honour and gallantry. Chivas believes in keeping one’s promises and doing the right thing, as it is the behaviour that “sets men apart”. It supports entrepreneurs who wish to create positive change in the world and partners with brands that share the same principles.
Many brands have shaped their brand strategies around different types of knowledge, e.g., Twitter – knowledge of what’s happening in the world right now; LinkedIn – professional knowledge; Discovery – knowledge about the world around us; IBM – the technological knowledge possessed by the company itself. However, some brands put a stronger emphasis on the process of learning rather than the end result of it. One such example is Lego. The brand helps children develop their manual skills, spatial intelligence, innovativeness and even their verbal and social skills (when playing with others). It challenges them and makes sure that they learn while having fun. The focus is placed on the process of learning, not on achieving a certain level of mastery. Another company that communicates learning as its key value is Pearson, one of the biggest educational corporations in the world. It even calls itself “The world’s learning company” and employs one of the best taglines ever: “Always learning”.
Although we are living in times where stress and anxiety are finally being treated as serious problems, counter-intuitively, ever more brands seem to be keen to encourage people to do and achieve more (as if they were not experiencing enough social pressure already). Surprisingly, a small number of brands suggest the opposite, that is, to do less and simply relax. One such brand is Corona. Over the years, the Mexican beer has managed to build associations with summer, picturesque sunsets, white sand and tropical beaches. No other brand better represents the idea of relaxing in an exotic paradise and a philosophy of living a carefree life (“the beach state of mind”). Another case of a “relaxation” brand is KitKat, which for many years has been encouraging us to “take a break”.
Chivalry, learning and relaxing are the three themes that appear to be used by a remarkably limited number of big, global brands, despite their potential appeal. If there are any other unique brand strategies you would like to read about on this blog, let us know at email@example.com.
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Magda Adamska is the founder of BrandStruck.
BrandStruck is the only online database of brand strategy case studies.
This is a tool that is dedicated to brand and marketing professionals, allowing them to better understand the positioning of the world’s most admired brands, the similarities and differences between them and to learn more about certain categories.