What Do Winning Brands Have In Common?

Have you ever walked into a store exploding with products but somehow unable to create an impact? Yes, then this article is for you! We live in a world of the brand explosion, where the aisle of supermarkets is increasingly flooded with more and more products every day, rendering an overwhelming pressure on the customer at times leasing to choice paralysis. But why are some products revered and others do not make it to the cart? The reason is lack of differentiation or USP, the mentality to create carbon copies of a successful product without understanding what made that particular brand so special.

To put it simply, we live in a market filled with two types of brands: ones that are loved and others that are overlooked. While the failed brands become an excellent case study in what not to do, the winners become franchises and amass huge wealth, at times towering up to billions of dollars. Even though there is no recipe for success, the winning brands do have a checklist, a blueprint to achieve their goals and attain extraordinary heights, they so dream to possess.

In this article, we will explore what makes a winning brand different from the rest. What is the ‘magic’ hidden behind the name that strikes the emotional chord with the customers? Let’s get started!

  1. Promises and Making Them Come True
  2. Values and Abiding By Them
  3. Strong Identity and Self-Expression
  4. Understanding That ‘Change’ Is The Only Constant
  5. Decoding The Emotions



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Promises and Making Them Come True


Why do you buy a product? It’s because it gives you a compelling reason to do it. The reason is linked to the benefits a customer is sure to receive, hence making a promise that will always be honoured, elevating the entire transaction, transforming it into a brand promise. For example, Head & Shoulder promises to remove dandruff or Maggi noodles offers a quick and tasty fix in a matter of 2 minutes.

If the benefits and promises are unique and resonate with the customers then a brand witnessed a growth in sales. Now, these promised qualities and benefits can be both subjective and objective.

The objective quality refers to technical superiority, like mileage of a car or quality of ingredients, with statements like ‘imported from Madagascar’.

The subjective quality is rather abstract and refers to the perception of a product in the customer’s mind. For example, Swiss watches are perceived to be of superior quality when in reality Japanese watches could be far superior in terms of technology and functionality. So, whatever, your product might be, we suggest you think over your brand promise and honour it.

Values and Abiding By Them


In our daily life, we perform numerous rituals on auto-pilot such as brushing, bathing, drinking the morning tea, or as mundane as polishing shoes. Consumer behaviour is driven by societal norms and cultural values, however, the influence of these values are rarely felt and often taken for granted.

For instance, in a religious country like India where bathing became associated with purity; so something as common as personal hygiene became a ritual resulting in the growth of bath-related products and accessories. After years of consuming and advertising, marketers have realized that consumers prefer brands that do not violate the social, cultural, ethical, or moral code. They prefer brands that add value to their routine and their life, at large.

For example, a watch is associated with status, it adds an essence of luxury to people’s life. For the same reason, Sonata offers watches in silver and gold tones.

One of the brands that have gained a bad reputation due to its different set of values is Valentine’s Day. A day that is dedicated to celebrating love across the world, has attracted violent protests in some parts of the country as being against the Indian culture.

Strong Identity and Self-Expression


All of us at some point in time have been part of the Android vs Apple debate. Why do we get into such discussions? The reason is simple, aside from benefits and cultural values, people buy brands not only for their functionality but also for their ability to express a part of the consumer’s personality. A brand speaks a lot of speaking on behalf of their customers. This statement is especially true for people that are brand conscious and actively segregate themselves in small communities.

Bikers riding Harley Davidson feel connected to the brand as it represents an adventurous and nomadic lifestyle. Woodland shoes stand for endurance and adventure. Similarly, Armani characterizes its consumer as ‘ sophisticated, classy and suave’.

If you want your brand to shine, highlight the brand’s personality and what it stands for.

Understanding That ‘Change’ Is The Only Constant


Winning brands are those who rely on logic as much as their perception in the market. One of the earliest instances is when Cadbury was first introduced in the Indian market, it was perceived as an indulgent treat for kids but they refused to be limited by their perception. They embraced the change and expanded their sales by positioning themselves as a special treat for adults and later became synonyms with ‘celebration’ and an alternative to the traditional mithai.

One of the core strengths of a successful brand is its availability to reprogram and change with the times. While some moved from print to digital, some narrowed their area of expertise and focused their strategies on a certain region or target audience. Moov is a classic example of repositioning, instead of tackling the entire spectrum of ‘body pain’, it focussed on ‘backache and muscular pain’.

Decoding The Emotions


Everyone in the world thinks their emotions are unique when they can never be further from the truth. Emotions are universal, we love, hate, like, dislike, get angry, cry when we are sad, and laugh when we are happy. In marketing, brands that go beyond the superficial performance and connect with the audience on an emotional level perform better. Competitors of Nescafe can duplicate the product and packaging but they can’t replicate the feeling of motivation that it inspires. This is how Nescafe became more than a product, it became a ritual.

Some of the other brands that have decoded the emotions are Cadbury, Kama Sutra, and American Express. Cadbury’s Valentine’s day campaign ‘Share the love’ envelopes the feeling of love and how you can make them happy. American Express evokes the feeling of luxury and makes their customers feel exclusive and privileged. Kama Sutra on the other hand is built on the emotion of joy and ecstasy that comes with lovemaking.



The brand is everywhere, and over years some have seamlessly become a part of our lives but that doesn’t mean the process of creating a brand is easy. A brand is a vision that takes birth as an idea, germinates, grows slowly, and later manifests into something magical. If you are in search of those visionaries that have the potential to set your brand apart, look no further, Vowels, branding agency is here at your service.