Without brand loyalty you can’t drop your prices low enough to compel customers to buy.

Welcome to the new market reality. After being pummelled during the pandemic, businesses now need to contend with inflation. They’re forced to raise prices to cover their own rising costs.

As a result, clients, customers and consumers are prioritizing purchases in the workplace and at home.

Think about it for a moment. How do you prioritize your spending? There are the things you can’t avoid, like a mortgage or rent, utilities, debt servicing, perhaps a car payment. You buy food, but a portion of what goes in the cart are generics or store brands to get that bill at the till a little lower. Except the ketchup. You’ve got to have Heinz.

We all do it. There are some things we don’t care that it costs a bit more, even in a time of sharp inflation. How do we develop that association?

Five Core Strengths of a Successful Business

A brand like Heinz is not unique. While they do date back to the 19th century, it’s not their longevity that keeps them on our minds. It’s the reverse. Their longevity is due to the effectiveness of how they’ve run their business:

  1. They make products people will buy
  2. They produce their products to a consistent standard
  3. They price their products at a point the market will bear
  4. They distribute their products in every major market
  5. They invest in advertising year after year after year to keep them on our minds

A successful brand is built on multiple positive contacts with a product or service. It doesn’t need centuries or decades to be built, but it does take time. It depends on what you offer and how quickly it taps into the collective consciousness. Does that mean days, weeks, months or years? Yes. Does it create a fad that peaks and fades quickly, or will it remain useful to society over the long term? Yes.

The best way to create a brand is to understand what you’re selling, why you’re selling it and who do you want to sell it to. Those points lead to an understanding based on truths, because those who try to pull a fast one on buyers might get away with it in the short term, but they will not move from a product sale to product loyalty like an honest business will. When the brand promise does not match the brand experience, you pull down the bricks of your foundation of trust instead of building it up.

You’re Selling to People – Go Where They Are

Heinz’s cornerstone product is their Tomato Ketchup. Apart from being thick and tasty, they’ve spent decades making sure it was where people went to eat. Diners had the ubiquitous bottle on the table beside the salt & pepper shakers. Fast food places, arenas and stadiums have the just-as-recognizable packets. By associating their ketchup with going out and having great experiences, Heinz became the only ketchup many people prefer. That other brand? It might be okay, but are you going to take the chance?

Creating ownership of that tiny piece of someone’s decision-making ability requires time to build and it can be lost if you make a misstep. Remain true to your brand promises and add to them with great care over time as the market changes for the better or the worse.

And that’s why the best brands exert a certain amount of price control over their products. They don’t need to offer deep discounts to entice people to buy. They only need to keep themselves on people’s minds.

Infinity Reef is a full-service branding and design agency that offers digital and traditional methods to connect you with your customers. We’d be happy to sit down to get to know you and see how we can work together.