If you`ve being reading our tutorials before now, you must have heard me saying “human beings buy with emotion”.
Yes, most of the buying decisions are made by emotion, not reasoning.
That`s why as an entrepreneur, selling a good product/service alone will not make you rich
Marketing is one of the major areas you`ll have to invest much of your time, money and brain on.
Now, let`s talk about branding… a major part of your marketing
What is branding?
Branding is the process of creating a unique identity in the minds of a target market audience. This unique identity can be created through name, sign, logo, stamp or design.
The above definition is mine.
Let`s see what others have to say.
America Marketing Association defines branding as “name, term, sign, symbol, design, or a combination of them intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of other sellers”.
In the lay man`s language, branding is what you do to get your business imprinted in the minds of your customers. Seth Godin defines marketing as fighting for attention. I define branding as keeping the attention.
Shortly before I’ll try and explain further, let me note here that there are different types of branding.
- Product branding.
This is the commonest type of branding. Whenever business people package their products in one way or design them in another way, they are aware of this branding effort. But there are more I have to share with you…
- Personal branding.
Think about it. What if you have no product you`re selling? What if your own business is selling service (i.e. a plumber, marriage counselor, musician, footballer etc.)?
Well, you`re your product.
You need a unique style and identity. You have to brand yourself. Your brand has to be created with you as the object.
Aside this, any individual willing to become something meaningful in life has to be unique in certain ways from the general public.
This uniqueness is what personal brand is all about.
- Corporate branding.
A particular company may have more than one product. While each product will have its brand identity, the organization as a whole will have its unique identity.
Let me think about one example…. Nokia.
Nokia has so many phones in the market. Each of these phones has its uniqueness, so do Nokia as a company. These three are the most known types of branding, though there are some other little known as following;
- Geographic branding.
When Nigerians say “China phone”, what does it mean? When other people say “Italian shoes”, what does it mean? When people talk about some products as “London used”, what image comes to your mind?
Those are geographic brands… people have associated certain qualities, characteristics and uniqueness with certain products or services which are from some region or country.
- Cultural branding.
Certain culture have developed some attributes which have now stand as their identity.
For example if you`re in Nigeria and want to employ someone as your sales representative but three people applied, Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba. Assuming three of them qualify, who are you going to choose? Maybe an Igbo man.
Because Igbos for a long time have been credited as business inclined culture in Nigeria.
This tutorial will focus more on Product, personal and corporate branding.
To start with…
Why is branding so important?
What are the importance of branding for business, organization and individual? Why is branding so important?
Branding is very important because the world is crowded… with too many products, too many services, too many competitors, too many people… and too many everything.
Because of this noise and crowd, business people (and individual going somewhere great) will strive hard to gain some attention and, very importantly… to retain such attention… that`s the reason for marketing and branding.
There was an adage I heard (or read in a book) when I was a little boy.
It goes like if you`re selling quality product, you may go and open your shop in the bush, people will come to you to buy.
That adage WAS true.
There was a time in the world when the whole world population was less than one billion. There was a time when the whole world population was just two billion.
Then, even if you have an average product, you`re only having few competitors. Not just that, you`re having customers who have clear minds.
What do I mean here?
There was no television, too many newspapers or internet so the number of adverts people were listening to was so little, unlike today where an average human being is exposed to hundreds of adverts everyday through radio, television, facebook, twitter, google and just look around this website and you`ll see adverts (lol).
Because we`re now living in a noisy world, getting your business stamped in the minds of people have become a very difficult thing.
If there is a lady who has two men asking her to date them, such a lady may be kind to both of them and decide which is good for her, but when 13 men are running after a lady, she may be confused and unkind to all of them… that`s what customers have become in recent time… because there have been too many competition for their attention.
Most people simply neglect anything advertising.
What is the solution?
Strong branding strategy.
5 Great branding strategies
After all your business (or personal) name is the first thing to see whenever I come close to you. How does your name sound like? What does it mean to your customers? How easy it is to remember?
Why do you think most of the biggest companies in the world chose short, sweet and easyto remember names or acronyms?
Think about google, facebook, amazon, dangote, MTN, IBM and our name ABC. Did you notice something?
Your branding effort starts from your name. Don`t let me waste your time here. We have written a tutorial you need to read about choosing a great business name click here to read it.
- Create a brand that people love to associate with.
If you`re a musician, you need people to love you. If you`re a movie artist, if people hate you they won`t buy your movies.
If you`re a footballer, if people hate you your coach will soon hate you, then stop using you as before. What if you`re a business owner?
We all love to patronize businesses (small or big) we love the owners or the organization. What are the attributes we love in people and businesses we patronize often? Caring, friendliness, quality.
Incorporate these attributes to your marketing strategies and you`ll soon be known with them.
- Create a cause or movement.
Let me tell you one human desire… we love to belong to group, clan or society.
Why do you think people love football? Not only because football is the best game, but because football gives people a chance to belong to clan, group and society… through football clubs.
Why do people fight because of certain musicians? Because they have (unconsciously) seen themselves as belonging to the clan of such music start.
How can you take advantage of this human desire to belong?
Structure your organization/business in such a way to make people feel among.
Difficult to do?
Not at all. I heard a radio presenter doing this yesterday. He wants to celebrate his 25 years on radio as a presenter. How can he show people that they belong to his “club”?
He asked for their opinion on which month they want him to celebrate his 25 anniversary and people started calling and suggesting. As small as this is, it gives people a sense of belonging.
When people feel that they belong to your organization or business, they`ll do all they can to defend you, advocate your product and advertise your services.
In this way, you`re creating a strong brand… as a “friendly” company.
The other way to do this is, sponsor a group or movement. Do you see how glo is sponsoring Nigerian football player, super eagle? Do you see how Emirate is sponsoring Arsenal football club? Do you see how Segun Arinze (a Nigerian movie star) is sponsoring an orphan foundation?
Why are they doing this and what do they stand to gain? “That company/business is caring, so I love it”.
- Be generous.
Human beings love to receive gift (of any kind). Do you know? It is better you give a gift worth #50 to a man that has #50,000 in his bank account than to give him #500?
Gift is powerful.
It buys people into loving you. Every small business can do this. A sachet water (#5) you buy for that your thirsty customer may make her to see you as a “caring” woman or man, so building a brand.
- Hey, be different!
The entire thing about branding is uniqueness.
You want your market (customers) to know you with certain unique attributes which are generally consider great, cool or smart.
Take time to study your market and see what and what your competitors are doing. How can you differentiate yourself with your name, design, logo, colour packaging and style?
Final word… no branding effort becomes successful except you`re branding a worthwhile product or service. Let whatever you`re planning to take to the market (be it product, service or your talent) be of good quality.
I love you.