Marlboro. Apple. Google. Facebook. Louis Vuitton. Apart from instantly recognisable names, what do these five brands have in common? The answer you’re looking for is: they all ranked in the elite top 25 spots of BrandZ’s ‘Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands 2012‘Apple, of course, ranked first place, with brand value of approximately $183 million. Only three brands broke the $100 million mark this year, those being Apple, IBM and Google.What does this say about creating brand value? Well, the obvious answer is to be a technology company. But, if that’s not a possibility, then you should probably try iconic, unforgettable marketing – because that’s the other thing these companies have in common.
Apple has its slick ads highlighting the user experience; Marlboro had the “Marlboro Cowboy”; and Louis Vuitton – apart from its name – has its “Core Values” marketing campaign featuring big names like Angelina Jolie, Muhammad Ali, Keith Richards, Michael Phelps and Mikhail Gorbachev.
Now, not everyone has access to Ogilvy and Mather’s advertising brilliance (O&M are the advertising agency behind Louis Vuitton’s inspired “Core Values” marketing campaign) or the millions required to buy celebrity endorsements. But the point here is that strong marketing campaigns speak to something bigger than the product or the brand itself. They have to inspire.
Just look at the Louis Vuitton “Core Values” campaign. The campaign focuses on travel and the life experiences it can bring. Take, for example, the advertisement below featuring The Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards.
Looking at it, you hardly notice the monogrammed guitar case next to him – it is a very incidental part of the photo. What you notice is the stylized drama of the moment, underpinned by the tagline which reads ‘Some journeys cannot be put into words. New York, 3a.m. Blues in C. Keith Richards and Louis Vuitton are proud to support The Climate Project.’
The lesson learned here is, if you want to create brand value, one of the best things you can do is create an emotional connection with your customers. Because that is something they’re unlikely to forget.