We all have a dream as business owners to build a successful brand for our business that stands the test of time. Big companies do it every day, but what’s their secret?

One of the first big brands I got my hands on was over 20 years ago when the agency I worked for landed the HSBC account and wanted help with launching their new telephone banking brand; First Direct – a first in the market at the time.

HSBC were reinventing banking. Up until this point, banking products and procedures had been designed to suit the bank itself; it wasn’t customer focused. They wanted to flip the script and make banking a customer-centric experience.

Which is exactly what we did; we created a brand that that encompassed the values, with a new name: First Direct. The brand needed to be simple and reflect the new way of communicating. We chose black and white; a stark contrast… and, obviously, very direct 😉.

First Direct challenged convention, it became revered worldwide and the yardstick against which all telephone banking was measured. The results were insane with 82% of customers happy to recommend them to friends and a third of new customers joining because of recommendations.

Even today, First Direct has a loyal customer base of 1.2 MILLION customers! 20 years on, their core values of ease of access, customer service and satisfaction are still at the heart of their brand. Although the technologies have evolved with the times (their brand essence and logo, have stood the test of time.

So, what made this iconic brand last the span of two decades? Staying true to their core values, simple as that. Yes, an awful lot of work went into the building of the brand, but it was only so successful because of its clearly defined values.

Doing the work up front to create your brand strategy is a MUST not a need if you want your brand to succeed.

It’s important to really dig deep and create a strong blueprint for your business BEFORE you start working on your logo.

This is what sets apart the brands that stand the test of time. This is the number one secret to building a lasting brand. There’s no magic solution, it’s the extra time, hard work and getting to know yourself, your business, your marketplace and what’s going on I the mind of your consumers. That’s how you succeed.

What sets you apart? What are your core values, your brand essence and does your logo reflect it? Would your brand still work for you in 20 years?

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