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Recognize that one thing in your organization or you (if you are a personal brand) that is your real strength. It should be something that you can stand by under most if not all conditions. Something you are very comfortable doing, almost effortlessly. That one thing which if taken away, would take away your edge. It will be that one thing that you can continue repeating over and over again and yet people find it valuable. It should be something you are passionate and emotional about. Call it your product.
Once you have recognized that special thing which you just identified as your product, build a brand around it. Give it a name, an identity. An identity that you know only you can own it. Make it memorable if possible but more importantly make it simple. So simple that people absorb and digest it with sheer ease. No, this is not the best time to be creative, this is the core. The core must be understood and remembered with ease not with punctuations and questions. Just keep it very simple.
Once you have given an identity to your product, now is the time to work on its presentation. Just because you got the first two steps right doesn’t mean you will become a brand. Yes you have certainly made some achievement in getting the definition right which most people don’t, but only you know about it. When others look at it, they don’t have the same emotions as you do about your product. You need to package and present it in a way that your customers are able to visualize the same emotions and passion that you have about your product.
Now, get ready to talk! Presentation is passive. You still need to bring attention to your brand before it starts to run its magic. Now is also the time to wear the creative hat that you had so far kept aside for the logical one. The secret to good communication is not to communicate everything in one go. Create curiosity. Build an interesting story. Don’t let the cat out yet even though it’s quite tempting to do so. Communicate just enough to build interest, excitement and attention to your brand.
It’s now time to sell! The Hurrah moment! It’s time to monetize the equity you have been building till now. The buyer is interested. You can let him know the price. The secret to pricing lies in understanding the concept of customer profit. The buyer must value your branded product above the price you are charging him. Selling is also the time a real exchange happens for the first time. This is also the time misunderstandings can happen. Make sure you fulfill your sale completely and to the satisfaction of the buyer. No part jobs please. But hey, selling or fulfilling the sales transaction is not delivery. Your work has just begun.
Now comes the most incredible part of branding. That one thing you discovered early on. Yes, step number 1. That part of you that you thought is your real thing. It’s finally time to deliver it. It’s time to deliver your brand. It might feel like the most boring part. Deliveries are never fun, especially when selling is complete and money is in the bank. How do you keep yourself excited? Instead of looking at it as the last step, if you consider it as the first step to your next branding-to-sales cycle, it may seem a little more interesting to you. Remember, that this is the only step that actually decides whether/if you become a brand or not. You can do away with all steps but not this one. Take it very seriously.
(The article is written by Saurabh Uboweja, Founder, CEO & Chief Brand Strategist at Brands of Desire)
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