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
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.