Branding That Stands the Test of Time

A brand that stays relevant and appealing throughout its existence is a truly remarkable achievement. When you think of all the trends, technologies, communications platforms, social values, and countless other dynamics that change year after year, decade after decade, simply surviving is a feat in itself. That’s why brands that continue to connect to their audiences and capture attention and loyalty for generations are especially rare.

Accordingly, the reasons these brands achieve timelessness are found in bedrock principles as well. The following are fundamental ideas that are more often than not behind the success of enduring brands and are applicable to any industry and marketplace.

Build A Strong Company Narrative

It’s important to have a well-defined and easily relatable company narrative. Don’t try to overcomplicate it—while it may be tempting to cater to fads that come along, savvy brands resist the urge. The most timeless companies are those that know who they are and what they believe in. Significant changes should occur organically, not as a response to temporary conditions or to outside pressure.

Put Emotions First

While we often won’t admit it or are even fully aware of it, we are beholden to our emotions. Sometimes even the most compelling data and empirical evidence aren’t enough to overcome immediate emotional responses and gut feelings. That’s why successful brands attach themselves to the most basic and natural human emotions. At some level, we all crave connection, understanding, and support—and brands that continuously tap into those needs are brands that enjoy longevity and loyalty.

Make Your Brand the Face of Your Values

More than ever, consumers demand authenticity. If a marketer is communicating that it supports a particular cause or is founded on a compelling idea, it needs to make sure it’s walking the walk. It’s too easy nowadays for individuals to sniff out and spread online any hypocrisy or deviation from the values a company or organization says that it’s upholding. Be clear about what your brand stands for and communicate it in terms that are understood by internal and external audiences.

Keep It Simple

Getting people to remember you doesn’t mean that you have to be outrageous or controversial. Simplicity is a far better path to being memorable. You can still incorporate creativity into your brand while keeping it simple. Maintaining consistency over time will further increase the chances of your brand staying in customers’ minds for a long time.

Be Consistent Without Fearing Change

While being consistent in your messaging enhances your brand’s stickiness, it shouldn’t be an immovable obstacle to necessary shifts. You can maintain a foundational set of values while taking advantage of market opportunities and product innovations. Great brands like Apple, Nike, and FedEx have evolved over the years but are still driven by the same core values they’ve always had.

Know What Customers Love Most About Your Brand

If your brand no longer existed, what gap would open up in the marketplace? What would customers miss most as a result of your absence? Knowing the answers to these questions is important to thoroughly understanding your true value and purpose and how you are unique. It will help guide you to further explore ways to strengthen your customer connection on these qualities for the long haul.

Deliver Meaningful Value

This is an extension of the last point. Creating real, ongoing value to people’s lives will never go out of style. If the value you’re providing is based on recent trends or a hot new craze, be prepared to deliver something more substantial when those things inevitably fade away. When you’re meeting basic human emotional and aspirational needs on a regular basis, your brand will be able to withstand unpredictable market forces and be in a position to succeed for years to come.