A look at some of the most iconic brands in history such as Coca-Cola, Harley Davidson, Giorgio Armani, Apple, Swatch, Nike, Guinness and Singapore Airlines reveals some very common characteristics. All these brands fulfilled three important requirements of being an iconic brand:
Create an Identity Myth
For any brand to attain iconic status, it has to create an identity myth. Every society invariably goes through phases of prosperity and crisis. Brands that resonate and shows directions to the masses through the brand stories and brand activities gets etched into the culture. These brands, by creating an identity for themselves, provide identity to the whole society.
Involve Multiple Story Tellers
Dissemination of brand information through the many participants of the society is critical for an iconic brand. The four major authors of these brand stories are: companies, the culture industries, intermediaries and customers. Each of these authors facilitates the brand to blend into the fabric of the society. By associating the brand and its identity with the prevalent events in the society, these authors create an iconic stature for the brands. A good example of a Nigerian brand that is fast etching itself as an iconic brand by involving multiple story tellers is GTBank.
Weave Powerful Brand Stories
Great brands always have resonating stories that touch the lives of consumers. These stories could be of the brand's unique history (Shanghai), myth (Jim Thompson), culture (Harley Davidson), fashion icon (Giorgio Armani), struggle (Li Ning), and underlying philosophy (Singapore Airlines). These brand stories offers consumers a good reason to elevate the brand beyond their mere utilitarian role in the market.
One of the important results of developing an iconic brand is the growth of brand communities. Brand communities are largely imagined communities that represent a form of human association situated within a consumption context. Brand communities are collections of active loyalists, users of a brand who are committed, conscientious and almost passionate.
Brands are an accepted part of our daily lives. But some brands seem to transcend their product or service categories to become part of the popular culture. Such brands gain iconic status with time. The nuggets presented above are some of the qualities that distinguishes these iconic brands from the rest of the pack.
It does not matter how small your business is today, if you determine to make it iconic tomorrow, you sure will achieve it if you do the right things. All the iconic brands mentioned, Coca cola, Starbucks, Guinness and the likes all started little and overtime earned their iconic status.