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Building brands by association [you’re judged by the company you keep]

Felix Baumgartner’s supersonic freefall – RedBull YouTube Channel

From skateboarding to stunt flying, Formula One to football – and of course the incredible Stratos project that saw Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner freefall 128 kilometres from the edge of space. The official YouTube video has had more than 45m views. It really doesn’t get much cooler, edgier or innovative when it comes to brand association.

Dove is another example of a brand punching above its weight by association. It’s been around since the 1950s, playing on its moisturising claim. In 2004 it launched a new campaign that’s proved to be a game-changer.

This brand association isn’t with a sport, celebrity or another brand – but with body positivity, diversity, self-worth and ‘real beauty’. Since its first Campaign for Real Beauty’ hit the media, Dove has gone from strength-to-strength by championing women (and men) no matter their age, size, shape or ethnicity.

This brand association with body positivity and authenticity has earned Dove some 28 million Facebook followers who tune in for the brand’s optimistic and encouraging messaging.

Follow the moral compass

So, you’re now considering what association you can forge to build your brand’s equity. I say, choose your brand partners wisely. As a starter for 10 – as consumers seek out wellness, mindfulness and health, aligning your brand with authentic, ethical and sustainable values will reap more rewards than trying to score an easy hit with a B-list celebrity or sponsoring a high-profile event, simply because you can.

Take time to consider the emotional connection you want to forge with your target consumers. When they think of your brand, what mental picture would you like them to conjure?

If you’d like help to hone and build your brand equity via association, drop me a line.

Your success, is of course, ours – by association.

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