The struggle to expand into national and international markets can be long and tedious. Branding helps in creating awareness and acceptance for products and services across borders, resulting in a faster adoption.
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Attracting the right talent Great brands are trusted. They cushion their stakeholders in security. People want to work for brands that they can entrust their career with, to the extent that they would willingly compromise on a higher salary offered by a smaller or lesser-established brand.
This enables SMEs to attract good talent at lower costs which further increases their success ratio. As a brand, SMEs focusing on the same can afford to charge a premium resulting in better business and sales. Most of the large brands we trust today have started as SMEs. Whether we talk of Walmart or Virgin in the international space, or closer to home, Reliance, Airtel, Flipkart and Hero Group, among many others.
Today, best practice in corporate brand building involves defining the corporate brand its purpose, beliefs, verbal and visual identity , integrating the brand in the culture, designing the brand experience for every stakeholder, and then relentlessly managing the brand across the universe of touch points. Defining the corporate brand The first step towards building your brand is to be crystal clear on what you stand for and what your promise is.
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There is no magic formula or model for this. It takes smart people, clarity and creativity of thought, debate, and sometimes more research to determine the right answer. Creating the brand idea also requires a leap of faith to find something that captures the current positive brand equities as well as a vision for the brand's future.
It needs to be something that is relevant to your audiences but also differentiated; something credible to who you are and also accountable.
The more visionary this idea, the more it can sustain in the long term. GE is about imagination at work.
Nike stands for winning. Mahindra embodies rise. The brand idea acts as a strategic filter for the future. It should be reflected in the visual and verbal identity of the brand. The logo, colours, typography, photography, materials and tonality should all be in sync with the brand idea. Integrating the brand in the culture The smartest companies know that the brand must be lived internally first before being delivered externally.
Once the brand is defined, you must spend time defining the culture that will best allow you to deliver what the brand promises. This is not about fancy internal brand launches that then fizzle off after launch day. It is a prolonged programme of engaging all employees with the brand so that it informs their daily behaviours. Such engagement programmes involve consistent interventions by way of workshops, communication material, e-learning modules and other tools to take employees on the journey from awareness to understanding to belief to action.
It can take anywhere from six months to several years depending on the complexity of the organization and the degree of behaviour change involved. The goal should be for everyone in the organsation to have shared brand values which they use every day in the decision-making on behalf of the brand.
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IBM is one example. After employees are on board, it is important to align other stakeholder groups as well including agency partners, vendors, government partners and others - to inspire them to live the brand promises. Designing the brand experience for every stakeholder Once the brand and culture have been defined, examine every relationship the brand has from the stakeholder's perspective.
A useful tool here is the Employee Journey or Customer Journey. It involves mapping every stage of the stakeholder's relationship with the brand from awareness to loyalty. In each stage touch points are listed and are analysed based on the stakeholder needs. Then, using what the brand stands for, possible solutions are arrived at for various brand interventions across every stage of the journey.
Companies typically roll-out such an exercise to improve the customer experience but rarely do they think of using the same tool to define the ideal employee experience. Managing the corporate brand It is always possible to do things well once typically at launch or re-launch but the hallmark of truly great brands is perseverance. Diligence and patience are needed in huge doses in the game of corporate brand building. Companies that have built valuable brands have institutionalized brand to the extent that there is no difference between doing something for the business and doing something for the brand.
They know that perfection in execution is far more important than perfection in strategy. They employ both simple and sophisticated stakeholder experience management tools to constantly mind the gap between promise and delivery in everything they say and do. If they do make mistakes, they quickly and transparently admit to their failings, solve the problem and get going with their daily task of building the corporate brand, one action at a time.
The rules of branding don't really change whether implemented in a large organization context or aligning to the needs of an SME. However, there are some additional factors an entrepreneur must keep some important tips in mind: Influence of the entrepreneur: Most SMEs are individual driven and born from his passion, personality and values. The brand must personify these to avoid discrepancy between the brand promise and customer experience. Influence of the entrepreneur on the company structure: This is based on his awareness and comfort of brand management, the people chosen to run the branding function and the objectives set for the department.
Execution of the vision: The brand experience begins with the entrepreneur. He embodies the spirit of the brand and will affect everything - employee interactions, product and service interactions and other touch points. To conclude, SMEs need to build and manage their corporate brands with the same urgency as their balance sheets. Investment in brand is investment in business. Brands project power. They are your differentiator in a world saturated with assembly line goods and services.
This is the first and most important step towards achieving their goals.
THE SEVEN DIMENSIONS OF BRANDING:BRAND BUILDING FROM THE AFRICAN PERSPECTIVE:
The writer is MD of brand consulting firm Landor in Mumbai. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this column are that of the writer. The facts and opinions expressed here do not reflect the views of www. Click to find best service providers nearby. Read more on Branding for SME. The Seven Dimensions of Branding: Brand Building from the African a lot to insightful perspectives provided by faculty members Youngme. Shop with. You can Free download it to.
Get PDF. Creating Innovative Strategies for Business and Brands; New Approaches to 93 advocacy, brand building —4 Aerolife Aeromobil 69, Africa 23, 25, 58, customer-driven marketing customer perspective 47 customer value , Desigual digital hybrids digital revolution 16—7 dimensions. Branding and Positioning Activities of Firms Doing Business in Africa and other marketing mix tactics with the view of convincing the consumer to prefer Keller defines a brand as a product that adds other dimensions that differentiate it.
International Journal of Bank Marketing, 30 7 ,. Several exciting new ideas and perspectives on brand building are offered that have a further understanding of the various dimensions of brand management. Licensing: a strategic lever ; How co-branding grows the business 7. Building brand equity is considered an important part of brand building Keller,.
When reflecting a consumer perspective, brand equity is referred. Page 7. Leading brands of the s in South Africa were clearly of the view that. This article focuses on the regional dimensions of South Africa's brand value and projection in the region from the point of view of nation branding. Tom Sitati website, thirty-seven African countries produce cotton and thirty of them export their production. See what songs you can play. A comparison of the domestic dimension of public diplomacy in Canada and Australia.
Boards should guide branding, but they should also be making it the job of platform from which to view the rapidly changing nature of branding and its Asian organisations have typically approached brand building by. The inception of place branding evolved from research within various to the late 19th century with the development of branded consumer goods such as Practitioners' perspectives on destination branding argue for. South Africa.
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The UN electricity for all initiative promotes branded solar products based on Special Issue 15 Decentralized Electrification and Development that can be easily scaled from one diode hand-crafted lamps to larger sizes. Marketing communications uses different marketing channels and tools in combination: Marketing communications includes advertising, promotions, sales, branding This is not ideal, as effective marketing communication increases brand equity.
But in the development of Internet, email and online shopping are taking. Building a strong corporate brand lead to customer preference and..