Heritage is important. It shows us where we’ve been, leads up to where we are now and can influence the future.
Families have always been interested in their heritage or ancestry. Companies are now touting the same. They are leveraging how their origin stories can play into emotional connections with customers and lead to sustainable growth.
A brand’s heritage can be a supreme advantage. The history of a brand can evoke trust and emotional bonds with customers that other companies cannot duplicate. The facets of heritage include how long a company has been in existence, and the vision, mission and guiding principles established by the founders and passed down through generations. The brand’s reputation, journey so far and identifiable logos are part of the brand heritage and combine to create an image of the company in the minds of consumers.
The marketplace is so cluttered with brands, both in physical stores and online locations – that brand history can be a differentiating factor. A new beverage company may try to compete with Coca-Cola, which relies both on heritage and continual innovation, such as creating different accent flavors to add to the original and smaller 7.5-ounce beverage cans for a quick fix. Customers know the brand by the logo, taste and emotional attachment already. The same is true with Anheuser-Busch products. Even those who don’t take a sip of beer know the famous Budweiser Clydesdales and accompanying Dalmatian dogs and look for them in memorable Super Bowl commercials.
Brand management and marketing firms feature brand storytelling to get the point across to consumers regarding the heritage and history of a brand. They promote reputation and tradition through advertising campaigns, social media stories and product placements. For a newer brand, there may not be as much history as there is the reason the brand was started. Any time a brand is started because of a perceived need for a better way, better customer care, better ingredients or better raw materials, people will listen if the story is presented in a compelling way. When customers identify with the brand, they will even help you tell the brand story with their own tales of interaction with it. Their loyalty to the brand will influence others to do the same.
Consider what it is you’re really selling. The arrival of a Gucci store in a shopping center creates a buzz, and not just because of the 2021 movie with Lady Gaga. Like many European imports now sold in the United States, those who flock to heritage brands want quality products to wear and share and be affiliated with upscale luxury as a status symbol and sense of history. The brands are counting on their allure to customers, which has even led to the creation of thriving replicas and fake knockoffs in some products, such as handbags. Heritage brands are so desirable to some people that they are willing to flaunt fakes and copycat products just to be perceived as affiliated with the brand.
Newer brands can promote whether they use a special process, ingredients or locally sourced materials that could be differentiating factors that convey a sense of pride and extra care in the products.
What does your company really believe in? Sharing brand values and philosophies, including how company associates are empowered to take care of customers, and the environment or give back to the communities they serve are ongoing parts of brand heritage and can be leveraged.
Involve both the brand story and brand storytelling. Brand stories are typically told by brand representatives about the origin of the company and why your products fill a need or niche and improve the lives of your target audience and customers. Brand storytelling may focus more on the customer’s interaction with the brand, or how the brand was involved in a customer journey or situation. For example, when the ASCPA arrives at a disaster site to rescue animals in need and volunteers and citizens share the stories of the organization’s actions, that brand storytelling can help build brand loyalty and commitment lasting a lifetime.
After you’ve compiled components of your brand’s heritage, the messaging can be carefully integrated into visual imagery on websites and other communications, social media posts, community events and more to continue to craft and refine your brand’s value in the eyes of the customer.
Brand management and marketing firms like Baker Creative assist companies and organizations every day in telling their stories to help propel sustainable and future growth.