E231 - Use positive traction to grow your brand and expand your reach | with Soon Yu - Jeff Mendelson | Automation Superhero

E231 – Use positive traction to grow your brand and expand your reach | with Soon Yu

Reinventing the wheel is unnecessary when expanding your brand’s reach. Rather, innovating the old, using a timeless distinction, will keep your brand at the forefront of your consumers’ minds. Soon Yu, an international speaker and best-selling author on innovation and design, believes in challenging businesses from Fortune 500’s to startups to focus their attention on building iconic brands and how iconicity will keep their brands timeless and relevant.

Failure is the stepping stone of success. Soon had his fair share of failures as a branding expert before he took a step back and realized that the successful brands, the ones that have longevity and created a personal connection with their customer, used a brand-building strategy of intention. That is what prompted him to write his book, the Iconic Advantage. Before writing his book, Soon researched 50 companies that were killing it with their branding and creating relationships through distinctive relevance. That was the foundation for the Iconic Advantage. 

Soon breaks branding down into four categories: visual, functional, emotional, and iconic branding. For your brand to be a powerhouse in its market, it needs to reach the iconic level. Each category is a stepping stone onto the next, pushing the brand further along. Every aspect of a product’s brand is essential as it helps it reach iconic status. For example, Clorox bleach was brought to market in 1913. It was the first of its kind, and the logo hasn’t changed in over 100 years. The words Clorox are synonymous with all different brands of bleach. That is how iconic the Clorox brand has become. It stays timeless and relevant in consumers’ minds as the product that gets things clean. If you want to purchase the best cleaning products, you will buy ones with the Clorox logo because they tap into their consumers’ emotional connection using various branding strategies. 

The way to create an iconic brand, one that connects with consumers on an emotional level, is to speak to them. If you talk to your audience and attach your brand to an easily identified signature element, you create a brand with longevity and relevance. Soon uses a self-created litmus test to determine if your signature is good enough to ensure your brand is memorable. You need to ask the question – if three people were asked about your product, would they say the same thing? Would they all agree that is the intended purpose of your product or brand? The same rings true, according to Soon about individuals that we meet. In a world that is so fast-paced, everyone wants to stand out from the crowd and be remembered, so you need to create something that you are best known for that makes you unique, and if it’s the feature you want to be known for, you created a successful brand signature. 

Listen along and learn the best way to build a timeless and iconic brand with Soon Yu as he shares his One Big Tip on today’s episode. 

In this episode:

  • [2:15] Soon talks about how brand development is akin to relationships.
    • A successful brand is one that people have an emotional connection with.
    • The concept of distinctive relevance and making a brand timeless.
  • [7:12]  When you can’t make a brand sexy, how do you keep an audience interested and invested in it.
    • Experienced marketers create emotional connections with their target audience. 
    • What is the best way to portray your brand to capture people’s attention?
  • [11:04] Functional branding is not enough to capture market share and build a timeless brand. 
    • Understanding the elements that create a timeless brand is priceless.
    • The brands that make the biggest impact are the ones that take over their market. Think how Kleenex and Clorox are used interchangeably for tissues and bleach.
  • [19:47] How ordinary people can apply Soon’s branding philosophy to ensure they stand out from the crowd and are remembered. 
    • The importance of creating an emotional connection between the brand and its audience. 
    • You need to understand which emotion you want to tap into when creating a campaign.

Watch the Interview:

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