Master the Branding Game

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Master the Branding Game

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Walking down the street, I came across a wall painted purple. I immediately associated it with Ncell. When we think of an instant noodle, majority of us turn to WAIWAI. Branding is an important asset for any business. Be it a symbol, name, mark, logo, word, sentence or a combination of all these, brands plays an integral part in the success of any business. If done right, they are able to distinguish themselves from the competitors and leave a good and lasting impression in the consumers’ minds. 

Branding is especially important to startups. In the early stages, people are mostly likely to be unaware about these startups and may not have any preconceived idea about them or their products. The brand image of these startups are like clay, how the company chooses to mold that clay will determine the overall success of the business.  However, that takes time and the best time to start is from the very beginning. 

Still not sold? Harry’s is a startup firm that has snagged a $2.4 billion market with branding. Here are few hacks you can use to turn the branding of your company around like Harry’s.

 

Storytelling sells 

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One of the hacks of building a brand is by mastering the art of telling a captivating story. Robert McKee, a creative writing instructor says, “Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today.” The brilliance of storytelling that has propelled a business is evident on the story line played by Lego. The Lego movie is a 90 minute advertisement of a toy that captured not only the hearts of kids but also the hearts of adults alike. The movie is entirely created with Legos which leaves behind the message that there is a ‘builder’ inside each of us regardless of our age; we are never too old to create magic.

"Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today,” says Robert Mckee

Effective storytelling helps us connect with our audience. It draws in the audience and captivates their imagination. Howard Schultz believes, “If people believe they share values with a company, they will stay loyal to the brand.” There are many ways to win with storytelling.  Use of infographics is one of them. It has the ability to improve cognition by the means of graphics that enhances the human visual system to see patterns and trends.

When building a brand, startups should view their brand not as a tool but as a person.

 

WHO is my brand, not what is my brand?

 

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When building a brand, startups should view their brand not as a tool but as a person. Imagine it as a human being. Do you want your company to be playful like a child or classy like Audrey Hepburn? Think about what characteristics the brand will have. Its beliefs, values and purpose. Is it friendly or is it the going to be the epitome of success. Is it going to have a unique personality? As Dr. Seuss says, “Why fit in when you were born to stand out?”  Unique and eccentric branding will result in comedic and memorable impression. One of the examples of eccentric branding is that of Old Spice. The commercials of this brand not only managed to confuse us but it managed to become viral and memorable at the same time. 

 

Creating a community around the brand

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After recognizing the target audience of the business, startups should follow their audience through social media. They would be Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest and other forums. However, it becomes easy to overdo it. Startups should be aware of not overdoing and resulting in looking desperate. Engaging in online forums and group discussions will also help in creating a brand. 

Networking is also a very effective way to create a brand for startups. Having your customer’s advertise the brand without having to tell them is a good way to create brand. Word of mouth communication actually works and is a cost free way of advertising and building a brand.

 

Deliver  

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No matter how much money the startups spend on creating a brand using innovative and fool-proof branding techniques, if the company fails to deliver the product or service as promised, then it all goes down the drain. Larry Page (co-founder of Google) has an advice: “Always deliver more than expected”. But never less.

If the business can deliver its promises then it wins the customers’ loyalty and trust. Create a cult, not one that dabbles in the dark arts but a hardcore fan following of the brand. For instance, people campout for days to be able to get their hands on latest iPhones. Why’s that? Because Apple has been able to build such strong customer loyalty and trust. 

The packaging of the product also plays a huge role in building a brand. Bota, staying true to its name, serves food in leaf plates/ Tapari. Kaligarh, another Nepali brand, showcases and packages jewelry in lokta paper showing that brand's ethos and sustainable vision much more than just the product.

The packaging of the product also plays a huge role in building a brand. Bota, staying true to its name, serves food in leaf plates/ Tapari. Kaligarh, another Nepali brand, showcases and packages jewelry in lokta paper showing that brand's ethos and sustainable vision much more than just the product. Thelma’s, a cookie delivery business, delivers cookies in oven-inspired packaging design. Nike Air, one of the most popular sneaker designs, is another international epitome of mastering the packaging game. Showing off the air cushioning of the brand, the team placed the sneakers in an air-tight plastic bag to give the illusion of the sneakers on air.

 

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Guest Saturday, 29 January 2022