“Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room”
— Jeff Bezos, Founder Of Amazon
Ethiopian businesses’ issues with brand piracy last week inspired us to share some important notes on building a brand for a successful venture.
A brand is a way people perceive a product, company or individual. Simply put, if you had a brand it would be about your reputation. Building a brand goes further than a cool logo or an excellent product it also encapsulates what we believe are the 5 P’s OF branding: promise, position, personality, parable, and presentation.
1. Brand Promise: What does your organisation aim to deliver at every single touchpoint with a customer? By taking into consideration what customers, employees, partners and key stakeholders would expect from every interaction with your brand, you can ensure that your business decisions are in line with your promise or at least not contradictory.
2. Brand Position: Study the competition and identify ways to differentiate yourself from your them. Identify who your ideal target audience is, what unique value(s) you bring them, what your market position is and how best to convey that to your target audience across all platforms.
3. Brand Personality: What are the specific characteristics do you want to be displayed not only to your client but within your organization? These are how your employees, customers, partners and potential prospects should describe you.
4. Brand Parable: Otherwise known as your brand story is the succinct narrative that encompasses the facts and sentiments that created your brand. It is not only a marketing ploy but, it also serves as a brand guideline. Since it is a way to inspire an emotional reaction and connection with the customer it needs to be authentic and unique to your organisation.
5. Brand Presentation: These are the set of physical attributes that are instantly recognisable by your customer or come into a consumer’s mind whenever the brand is talked about. They include your logo, tagline, colours, fonts etc. The aim is to create a sensory impression that consumers relate to and understand.
What are your favourite lunch spots? Do they remind you of each other? Or of other places, you have been abroad? Was it the décor that drew you in? Their carefully curated menu? The mouth-watering images on Instagram? Or their eco-friendly initiative? If yes, then you are most likely buying into a brand.
Creating your brands 5 P’s can be difficult and you could look to other brands for inspiration and sometimes a little bit of imitation. According to a survey by Nielson, 59% of consumers prefer to buy new products from brands that are familiar to them. As a small business, it might be tempting to copy another brand instead of considering a distinctive way to stand out. This is because by some copying elements of the successful brand which has a similar target audience as yours you can short circuit your target customers mind into associating your brand with theirs. This can be a tricky thing to do, you do not want to end getting sued or being known as in imitation. The idea here is the find inspiration in the areas where you might be struggling but, still come up with a brand that your own.
Here are some quick steps you can follow to improve your brand after you have a better idea of your 5 Ps.
1. Invest in thought leadership through digital content creation. This can be done through LinkedIn publishing, hosting radio shows, informative YouTube videos, Podcasts etc.
2. Spice up your brand’s personality by adding a dose of entertainment and exciting storytelling. Don’t just focus on your products features find ways to form human connections with your customer.
3. Focus on what you do best and make sure your messaging and products are specific to your ideal audience. Do not try to be something you are not or put out too conflicting many messages.
4. Consider influencer marketing. By linking with existing influencers in your industry whose business you could potentially complement you can develop valuable partnerships with local businesses and expand your network.
Remember that consistency and innovation key as your business develops, your customer base grows. It is imperative that your brand strategy remains dynamic to ensure that at all touchpoints your brand communication and experience builds a positive reputation.
At Spurt! we offer brand development services in addition to research to develop market intelligence and insights. We are passionate about supporting local endeavours for global success. Our valuable understanding of the Nigerian market enables us to offer data driven and creative branding strategies.