Tell me: what do you think are examples of ‘iconic brands’?
When we think of iconic brands, we think the likes of McDonalds, Apple, Coca-Cola, Nike, and Google. We identify these brands when they are mentioned; we experience them on a regular basis; and, we usually have opinions of them, love or hate.
What exactly is an iconic brand? It is a brand embedded in our consciousness, to which we carry an emotional attachment. Most recognise the Volkswagen or Mercedes brands when we see them. Even if we do not buy the products, there exists a bond between them and us. That is, a bond exists between the brand and audience. This does not happen overnight; most of the classic iconic brands have existed for decades, allowing them to seep into national and international culture, and in some cases even history.
For example, Coke-Cola as a brand is ingrained in our cultural consciousness due to decades of consistent brand positioning. Its emotional bond with audiences stemmed from World War II, where “Coke came to represent American myths exemplified in the war effort.” Today, consumers commonly associate the brand “Coke” with most cola flavoured beverages.
Time and international reach, however, do not mean everything. Your customers can relate to your brand as emotionally and powerfully as they do to the aforementioned brands. Provide customers the best service, value for money and a positive commercial or retail experience, and they will remember and relate to you for all the right reasons; this resulting connection promotes repeat business, and most importantly, referrals.
An emotional connection is how Apple, Google, Coca-Cola, and the rest have developed into iconic brands. With or without these companies’ global existence and history, your brand can be iconic too. Embed it in your customer’s minds and your market area by fostering the emotional connection between brand and audience.
 Holt, Douglas B. “Chapter 2 How Is Cultural Branding Different?” How Brands Become Icons: The Principles of Cultural Branding. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School, 2004. 13-38. Web. 28 Oct. 2014.