Brand Development … Learning from Remarkable Branding Case Studies

Are you looking to create a memorable brand? We often get new client inquiries for help with branding. Depending on the business, and where it is in the life cycle, branding lessons can be a tall order. But these branding case studies offer great lessons on brand development.

Check out our thoughts on creative marketing.


Invest the time and money into a professional picture, and it will be worth its weight in gold for your personal or business brand. Make sure you smile. Why? Because a smile can build trustworthiness.

branding case studies
Branding case studies.


Making promises and keeping them is a great way to build a brand.

Seth Godin


With the advent of the Internet, the number of marketing options available to both budding and experienced entrepreneurs has become staggering.


For these case studies, there is a brand, and there is branding. One is a noun, and one is a verb.


But the funny thing is that when it comes to what defines a brand and what defines your branding, the noun and the verb are switched. Branding is defined by things like a logo, look and feel, your website copy, and all the visual details that go into managing your brand. It sends out a vibe, but it’s made up of many things.


A brand is defined by your actions. How do you serve your customer? What exceptional service do you offer? How do you approach relationships with business partners and vendors? A brand is defined by your actions, by what you want to stand for.


Before we continue, let me ask you a question. 

What works best for branding design in your business? We would love to hear what it was. Would you do us a favor and post it in the comments section below? Be the one who starts a conversation.


Related: A Remarkable Branding Design: An Example From Spanish Bank


The most important thing to remember, it’s not about you in the sense that you are in control. You are not.


Let’s see what these interesting case studies can teach us.


Brand development … Guinness grabs our attention

Have you noticed that the world of branding is changing?


And rapidly. Traditional media vehicles are losing effectiveness as people communicate in new and different ways. Mass audiences are fragmenting into small segments.


Developing a point of difference is harder than ever. This Guinness marketing story demonstrates that Guinness marketing has certainly noticed.


And Guinness marketing and branding has adapted and come up with some cool new techniques using stories. This new ad from Guinness proves that beer commercials can be so much more than guys and bars.


“Empty Chair,” tells the story of a bartender who leaves a pint of Guinness at an empty table every night amongst birthday celebrations and sports team’s victories. No one sits at the table, and the woman shoots a dirty look to anyone she catches eyeing one of the empty chairs.


Related: Would This Galaxy S5 Marketing Video Persuade You?


Without fail, the frosted glass is there each and every night. It’s a powerful image that serves as a sign of hope for the bartender. But we aren’t exactly sure who the beer is for until the very end. Everything comes together when a soldier finally returns home to claim his Guinness.


The spot finishes with the tagline “The choices we make reveal the true nature of our character.”


This is a simple yet powerful way to add meaning to the story, in it not?



Brand development examples … New Bell of South Africa tells us a story

Have you seen the remarkable branding story from this South African business? It was created to market and build the brand. It is a very simple story. It advocates learning to read no matter your age or status in society.


To us, it creates pure magic with the story, the visuals, the music and the emotion. If you haven’t seen it, watch it now, it is only 2 minutes, and it will inspire you. It is certainly easily in our top 5 of all time.


What makes this story so remarkable? Of course, the whole thing was staged. Who cares? It certainly accomplished its objective to build on the brand. Over 1 million views so far for business from South Africa that most of us have ever heard of. Of course, you can’t design a story for going viral. But you can target for being remarkable and engaging.


Case study brand identity … Gorilla Glue market penetration branding

To establish itself as a new brand in a commodity market, Gorilla Glue differentiated its product with unique features and benefits.


However, competing with a strong market leader like Elmer as an unknown brand probably wasn’t enough. To strengthen their marketing campaign, they came up with a highly engaging online retail experience to engage customers and create memorable experiences with the brand.


Don’t think a branding strategy is necessary? Check out the Gorilla Glue image below and check out their website at


KLM Airlines
KLM Airlines.

Branding case studies   KLM Airline

I prefer brands that are most innovative and keen to try lots new and different ideas. And ones that are not afraid of a failure or two.


KLM Airlines certainly deserves to be this camp. They are real social media marketing innovators. They frequently come up when marketers are discussing the best in social media marketing.


They have been successfully executing their social media marketing plan for over four years, and their strategies have played a key role in their marketing and customer engagement.


Related: How KLM Airline Marketing Uses Social Media for Winning Campaigns


If you’re not familiar with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, known by its initials KLM, it is the flag carrier airline of the Netherlands. With headquarters is in Amsterdam, KLM operates scheduled passenger and cargo services to more than 90 destinations worldwide. It is the oldest airline in the world, still operating under its original name (Founded in 1919).


Their brand identity is built around a culture of innovativeness. Over the past four years, KLM has launched some social campaigns – some big, some small. They had a few failures along with great successes, but they keep exploring and testing what consumers like the best.





Can you see why these brands have hit such huge home runs with their tales? They are quickly becoming the mecca of “story telling did right” for brands big and small going forward.




So what’s the conclusion? The conclusion is there is no conclusion. There is only the next step. And that next step is entirely up to you. But believe in the effectiveness of word of mouth marketing. And put it to good use.


It’s up to you to keep improving your creative marketing efforts. Lessons are all around you. In this case, your competitor may be providing the ideas and or inspiration. But the key is in knowing that it is within you already.


All you get is what you bring to the fight. And that struggle gets better every day you learn and apply new lessons.


When things go wrong, what’s most important is your next step.


Need some help in capturing more customers from your branding design strategies? Such as creative branding ideas to help the differentiation with potential clients?


Call today for a FREE consultation or a FREE quote. Learn about some options to scope your job.

Call Mike at 607-725-8240.


All you get is what you bring to the fight. And that struggle gets better every day you learn and apply new ideas.


When things are not what you want them to be, what’s most important is your next step. Call today.


Test. Learn. Improve. Repeat.


Are you devoting enough energy to improving your continuous learning for yourself and your team?


Do you have a lesson about making your brand marketing better you can share with this community? Have any questions or comments to add in the section below?


Mike Schoultz is the founder of Digital Spark Marketing, a digital marketing and customer service agency. With 40 years of business experience, he writes about topics that relate to improving the performance of business. Go to Amazon to obtain a copy of his latest book, Exploring New Age Marketing. It focuses on using the best examples to teach marketing … lots to learn.


Digital Spark Marketing will stretch your thinking and your ability to adapt to change.  We also provide some fun and inspiration along the way. Call us for a free quote today. You will be amazed how reasonable we will be.


More reading on brands and branding from Digital Spark Marketing’s Library:

What the Lego Brand Teaches About Branding a Business

What 10 Killer Brands Stand for; It’s Personal

Building Key Requirements for a Strong Brand Identity

Branding Your Business … Examples from the Zappos Culture


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Brand Development … Learning from Remarkable Branding Case Studies