Recently we have seen companies with brands that achieve high market shares with higher prices than their competitors. How do they do it?

This time I will list several principles of great brands, taken from the authors Dan Adams and David Aaker and written many years ago, but I consider them supremely valid:

BIG BRANDS ARE FOR THE LONG TERM: For decades we have had big brands sustaining solid value propositions, capable of establishing it in the minds of consumers, and now that we are going through an era of product proliferation, while some have harvested/squeezed their brand equity to pad their financial statements, many miss the differentiation lost at the cost of promotions or price cuts to "stay competitive"; those who believed in the long term face very different challenges..

If you take a long-term approach and build a great brand, it can travel around the world, speak to diverse segments simultaneously., create economies of scale and allow them to operate at the high end of the positioning spectrum, where profit margins are sustainable, because they build loyalty and followers.

A GREAT BRAND KNOWS ITSELF: This means knowing clearly how consumers perceive it and starting from there to keep it alive, knowing what is not going to be done, adding stimuli over time via innovations, new dimensions to the brand, the unexpected for consumers, but sticking to its essential values, which is the core of the brand's richness.

A GREAT BRAND REWARDS AND REGODEES ON EMOTIONS: It reaches its prospects through the powerful connection of experiences and sensations, to the point where the brand transcends the product, recognizing that consumers live in an emotional world that drives their lives and their decisions. The common success factor among companies that have built great brands is not only performance, innovation and concept are critical.

A GREAT BRAND HAS CONSISTENCY OF DESIGN AND EXPRESSIONThey are what is called "ruthless environmentalists" with their brands, they do not allow many people to touch the brand in its design, positioning and communication forms (verbal and non-verbal), they make sure that any means/modality of brand expression has a consistent appearance, in a consistent context in an integrated manner.

It's not only about what they do at the design level, it's also about what they don't do/allow themselves to do; they refuse to follow any trend or modernism/fashion that doesn't fit their vision and concept.

A GREAT BRAND IS RELEVANTMany brands try to position themselves as "cool", failing in most cases, it is dangerous to have as the only goal to be "cool" because it is not enough to sustain a brand, the best idea for a brand is to be relevant.

It delivers what people value and need, it performs according to what people expect from their preferred brand; what they think, feel and live.

Over the last two decades countless propositions and promises were made and broken regarding how brands positioned/performed and what the true values of companies were. Consumers are looking for something that has lasting value and is about quality and not quantity.

You already have a first checklist on how you are managing your brand, which sometimes day-to-day life makes us lose sight of these elements. You can find more information at

RAFAEL LOPEZ LLAMAS /Managing Director/ BrandStrat S.A.

Marketing Research & Consumer Strategy.