Hello, I am Braimoh Bello and I’ll be speaking on the concept of ‘branding’. This discourse is divided into four sections, namely: introduction to branding; definition of branding; types of brand and the various brand strategies.
Introduction to Branding
In branding, perception is everything. Perception leads to action. What people see will determine what they do. Check the picture above and pause. What do you see? Are you sure? Take a look again? Show the picture to others around you. You will be surprised that they may not see the same image that you’ve seen. From just one still picture, different images are being perceived. That is exactly what branding is all about.
Definition of Branding
A brand is what people see in their mind when they look at you. What people see when look at you is what your brand is. It would appear that it doesn’t matter what your inner intentions are, what people see is what matters. A brand is all the perception people have about you or your product or the services you render. A brand is what people see, feel or experience about you when they encounter you. That feeling or experience they get is all your brand is about. A brand is ultimately people’s perception of all you do and say. Seth Godin posited:
“A brand is basically the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together,
account for a customer’s decision to choose one product or service over another“
There is a popular misconception that a logo is a brand. The logo is not the brand; it is a signpost to the brand experience. A logo serves the purpose of identification and authentication. Although, a logo – with its design, colour, aesthetics, etc is important in branding, it is not the brand. A bad brand with a beautiful logo is still a bad brand.
You are a brand! You are a brand!! You are a brand!! This cannot be emphasized enough. Unfortunately, many people fail to recognize this. Whether you’re a business person or just a student or whoever you are, you are a brand. You can do an analysis of yourself today. Ask friends to give an appraisal of your brand or your identity. It would be interesting to discover their answers. Ultimately, their responses would establish that it’s not about your intention, but their perception and experience of you.
It is interesting to note that people believe in you before believing in your product or service. Ultimately, you build your brand and your brand builds you.
Types of Brands
There are two ways of categorizing brands. They are:
- Brand strength
- Brand quality
- Brand Strength: This describes how well-known the brand is among potential customers. In terms of strength, brands are either strong or weak.
- Brand Quality: This describes how satisfied customers are with the brand. In terms of quality, brands are either good or bad.
The above categorization gives us four quadrants as seen in the image below.
- Strong and good brand: This quadrant entails organization or persons that are well known, have good quality and have desirable products.
- Strong and Bad brand: This quadrant entails brands that are well-known but produce poor quality services or products. The brand is famous because of significant advertisement.
- Weak and Good brand: Brands in this quadrant are not famous and they produce qualitative services or products. The brand is not famous probably because it is new, doing poorly in marketing or it is not interested in expanding
- Weak and Bad brand: This is the lowest stage. Brands in this quadrant are not famous and they produce low quality goods or services
It is essential for anyone building their brands to build up their quality first before building brand strength. There is no doubt whatsoever that branding strategy is very much required for this.
What exactly is brand strategy?
Brand strategy is a long term plan for the development of a successful brand to achieve specific goals. How do you develop a brand strategy?
- Develop a vision: Ask yourself this: where are my going and how do I plan to get there?
- Be creative and be excellent: Do not be easily satisfied. Always look for ways to improve your work. Be the best at what you do. Have you seen a man who is diligent in his work, his brand will go far, and he will be successful. Develop a spirit of excellence.
- Associations: Nothing will enhance or destroy your brands faster than associations. These include friends, businesses, partners, employees, etc. Get out of your routine and look for the best people in the city. This applies to students too.
- Speak up: Learn to speak up and let people know what you can do. Do not be a talkative though. Your good work will speak up for you in some quarters but other instances, you’ll need to speak up.
- Communicate effectively: This is a key area to develop for a string brand. Speak clearly, write excellently. Excellent communication entails good logic and concise details. There is divinity in detail.
- Seek and use feedback: Seek feedback from your boss and colleagues. Never be wary of doing a quick customer satisfaction survey.
- Watch what you post on social media: Every potential employer will likely visit your social media page, unless it is a #30,000 job. Embassies will do the same. Those of you that are masters of fake news, be careful, na express you dey go. Serious minded people will not take you serious. If you have a private Facebook account and you write something quite inspiring or enlightening now and then, make it open to the public. Remember, you are the brand.