The traditional concept of marketing, focused on a single product, has been replaced by the phenomenon of brand building decades ago. Big brands from the world of retail try to get into our heads, using both obvious channels (TV and online ads, promotional campaigns) and less obvious means (games for children with product placement, hidden advertisements in movies and TV series, “charitable” activities of retail giants, and so on). If you apply for any job in marketing, management, or PR, hiring managers may ask you about your favorite brand. What do they want to hear from you?
In some cases, they want to hear that their brand is your favorite brand. In other cases, they simply want to see that you understand the importance of brand building, and how companies do it. What’s more, they want to hear that you understand the ins and outs of successful brand building campaign from the position of a marketer. And in some other cases, they want to understand your values (because each brand represents something), and whether they resonate with the values they try to promote in the corporation.
Let’s have a look at 7 sample answers to the question. I tried to include both conventional and unconventional answers on my list, fitting different interview scenarios. Pick one you find most fitting for your situation, and for the message you try to convey to the hiring managers.
7 sample answers to “What is your favorite brand and why?” interview question
- I really like Apple as a brand. Because I like innovation and beauty, and I like to dream big and inspire others. In my view, the brand of Apple personifies these values, and it is one of the main reasons why I am a big fan of their products. Having said that, I am not a computer engineer or a geek, and cannot realistically work for Apple, unless I wanted to swipe the floor in their offices… But in my eyes your corporation promotes similar values in the workplace, especially innovation and being ambitious, and therefor I find it a good match for my personality and preferences.
- My favorite brand is your brand–Amazon. In my opinion, people do not trust any other brand in the world as much as they trust Amazon. Because the shopping experience is flawless, and the guaranties and buyer protection is bullet proof. It would be a dream come true to work for you, and participate on building and solidifying the brand of Amazon.
- Definitely Mercedes-Benz. I just love the German precision and luxury, and the way in which the company advertises their cars. Owning a Mercedes means something in every country of the world, and the company is doing a great job of keeping their brand up there at the very top, though some cars cost much more than Mercedes does. For me as a marketer it is a great example of efficient and successful brand building, and something I can learn a lot from. Without a doubt, not everyone has the budget of Mercedes, but you can apply the principles on a smaller scale, with any brand building campaign for a producer of quality goods…
- My number one is probably Rolex. Their ads with Roger Federer are just out of this world. The way they connect their super-expensive (and, speaking honestly, also heavily overpriced) watch with a global icon is just breathtaking. And it seems to work amazingly well, because when you ask hundred people which brand they associate with luxury watch, at least half of them will opt for Rolex. Maybe I will buy one luxury piece as well, as a reward, once I manage to achieve something great in my professional career, perhaps working for your company.
- I would go for Jim Beam, but not because I am am drunkard or anything similar. What impresses me the most is the longevity of the brand. It survived over two centuries, and it still belongs to the most popular brands of whiskey all around the world. And I find it as a great demonstration of the power of brand building. Because speaking honestly, you will find many better whiskeys for the same price, or even for much lower price. So there’s a lesson to learn here for every marketer and manager.
- My favorite brand is Red Cross. Obviously you can find some controversy online about the non-profit and their activities. But, without a doubt and regardless of the salaries their leading figures earn, Red Cross makes a positive difference in lives of millions of people around the world. But they won’t be able to do that without huge donations they receive, from individuals, corporations, and even countries, and this is exactly why I like them so much. They know how to shoot clips that will attract the attention of the donors, they know their game perfectly, but they use it mostly to benefit the most vulnerable and impoverished groups of people in the world, and that is the reason why they are the no. 1 on my list.
- Your brand, Ortovox , is my favorite brand, and the reason why I apply for a job with you. I just love everything about sustainable merino wool. It is durable, more ecological than other clothing materials, and so pleasant to wear. The clothes do not smell when you sweat, because the microbes do not stay in the wool. I just love wearing your clothes, and would love to contribute to bring awareness of your brand, and to sustainable wool in general, to more people around the globe.
Avoid referring to negative brands, unless you apply for a job with one
You should never say that McDonald’s, Coca Cola, Oreo, or Marlboro is your favorite brand. Fizzy drinks, junk food, biscuits full of sugar and saturated fats, and cigarettes are extremely unhealthy for people of all age groups, and a reason no. 1 why we have an epidemic of obesity in the so called “1st world countries”. You should not look up to them as an example, though they have, without a doubt, excellent PR and marketing teams in place, and their brand building efforts belong to the most aggressive and successful.
Needless to say, if you apply for a job with one of these giants who make our population permanently sick, and addicted to substances that make us ever sicker, you can pick their brand as a favorite. But I suggest you to consider twice whether you want to participate on their operation in any way, regardless of the salary they offer to you.
* Special Tip: This isn’t the only tricky question you will face while interviewing for any decent job. You will face questions about prioritization, dealing with pressure, dealing with ambiguity, and other scenarios from a typical corporate workplace. If you want to make sure that you stand out with your answers and outclass your competitors, have a look at our Interview Success Package. Up to 10 premium answers to 31 tricky scenario based questions (+ more) will make your life much easier in the interviews. Thank you for checking it out!
Point out the lessons you learned from your favorite brand
If you apply for a job in PR or marketing, it is always good to specify what you have learned from your favorite brand. Let’s return to my list of sample answers for some examples. From Rolex, one can learn how powerful it is to connect the brand with sporting icons, personalities so popular that even people who do not watch the sport know them, respect them, and admire them.
Amazon, on the other hand, focuses on flawless shopping experience, unbeatable prices, and bullet proof money back guarantee for their customers. It works like a charm, and though smaller companies cannot apply all these principles, they can apply some to solidify the position of their own brand on the market. Think about your favorite brand, and what they do well. As a future marketing manager or PR specialist you should be able to identify it.
Connect your values with the brand of your future employer
As I’ve already mentioned, praising your future employer is always a good idea. Pointing out their brand as your favorite brand is one of the ways to do so. However, you should always elaborate on your answer, so the hiring managers do not consider it just empty words.
Learn more about their brand before the start of your interview. Try to understand what values and principles it personifies (or should personify), and then explain how these values resonate with your personal values, and with the mark you want to leave in this world….
Ready to answer this one? I hope so! Do not forget to check also 7 sample answers to other tricky interview questions:
- What is your superpower?
- Tell us about a time when you missed an obvious solution to the problem.
- How long have you been looking for a job?