With the London Marathon taking place this Sunday, it got me thinking back to the days when Marathon Bars were Marathons, not Snickers.

Personally, a Snickers has never had the same appeal since going through the rebrand (yes it could be an age thing) but what is the real reason it lost its appeal?

For me it’s because many years ago, on the day of the London Marathon, I was given a toy bunny and I named it Marathon.

As such I had an emotional connection with the name ‘Marathon’ and consequently I could never buy into the Snickers brand – it didn’t mean anything to me.

And that’s what a brand does. A strong brand portrays an ethos, a set of values that consumers can relate to and engage with. A strong brand means something to its fans. Therefore those people buy those products and services.

So a brand needs to build an intangible set of benefits.

Take BMW versus Dacia as an example.

Both companies build cars, and those cars all come with a chassis, 4 wheels, an engine, a steering wheel, brakes – you see the picture. A car is a car. It gets you from A to B. These are the tangible benefits of having a car. These are the items you can see, touch and feel.

So if someone offered you a free car and you could choose between a BMW and a Dacia, which one would you choose?

If I assume correctly, you’ve just chosen the BMW, so why is that? It’s down to the intangible benefits. All of the things that you can’t see or feel. It’s things like quality, high-tech engineering, reliability, status.

Of course Dacia have a brand too, and they are very clear on their target market and Unique Selling Proposition, and those of you that have seen their adverts will know that they are focusing on price as their key message. There is nothing wrong with that. All companies know that there are consumers for whom price is their main purchasing criteria.

But if that’s not what you want, if you don’t want to build a company that attracts price sensitive shoppers then your brand is something you need to consider carefully.

You must really understand your key message, and how that message can portray your ethos and values. You must understand your target market and know what they aspire to. You must know how to get across those intangibles so that you build a brand that is consistent and an accurate portrayal of your business, your team, your products and services.

And if you are considering a rebrand, all of these are just as important – if not more so, as you never know how many people will switch off to you if you don’t get it right.

If you’re not sure where to start, then talk to JCK Marketing and we’ll work through this process with you.

And of course – best of luck to all of those running the London Marathon this Sunday!