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Branding: Naam Me Kya Rakha Hai?

by Arpit Toshniwal
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April 27, 2017Branding

Living out my “American dream”, why nobody has ever said living out my Indian dream?

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To answer it directly, because America has turned itself from a country to a brand or to be more precise an emotion.

Why can’t we reciprocate that?

One answer to this can be, that we don’t know how to brand ourselves.

In this quick guide, I’ll to make you realize what exactly a brand is and why it swallows other SMEs without even much of a burp?

Brand v/s Competition

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You buy,

A Rajnigandha or a Zafri?

John Green or Chetan Bhagat?

An iPhone or any uncool phone?

Michael Jackson or Bombay Rockers?

Exactly you guessed it right!

The point here is that most of us would root out for the first leaving a negligible amount of people for the latter.

To understand how these became brands, we need to know their progression into becoming one.

Colonel Sanders founder of “Kentucky Fried Chicken” used to sell his secret recipe door to door before becoming the KFC.

Ferrucio Lamborghini founder of the infamous Lamborghini that bears his name for the high-performance sports cars used to ride tractors.

Our very own Shah Rukh Khan (SRK) used to sleep on Marine drive barely clothed and fed thinking inside his mind that one day he’ll rule this city!

Ratan Tata, the founder of Tata Motors, was once insulted by Bill Ford when they offered him to buy Tata Motors’ passenger car division but he was quoted saying that, ”why did you enter passenger car division when you were not knowing of it. It will be a favor if we buy this business from you”.

Humiliated, Tata later took revenge on them by purchasing Jaguar-Land Rover franchise from them when it seemed to be incurring many losses to them.

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Then, Bill Ford said to Tata,” you are doing a big favor for us by buying Jaguar-Land Rover.

It is the level of patience it takes to become a brand, a legacy or emotion.

Now, what is a brand?

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Business Dictionary gave it a perfect definition when they said:

The process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product in the consumers’ mind, mainly through advertising campaigns with a consistent theme. Branding aims to establish a significant and differentiated presence in the market that attracts and retains loyal customers”.

I’m starting a business in Mobile phone manufacturing, how am I going to face the wrath of the likes of Samsung, Apple, and Micromax, etc.?

Amidst all the chaos going around in the world of giants, what will keep me going?

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One thing simply: your purpose.

Their shortcomings can prove to be a standalone opportunity for you;

e.g. your brand can have lots of in-house and local effects which surely will give you an edge over the people who likes to buy local, hire local but sell globally.

Let’s just pretend not to understand who I am referring to here;

There are Chinese out there who are desperately trying to make other companies run for their shelter and then there are Arabs who don’t buy say, NVidia, they buy NVidia, Saudi Arabia.

Easy to understand?

Well, I’m sorry to break it to you this way but being local has proved to be not necessarily enough.

As it was evident in the example that people scattered around the globe have their personas and perception when it comes down to buying a brand; they like to think before betting on any business either local or belonging to an outsider.

Unfortunately, bigger brands have already understood this, and they have their resources deployed in areas that are local and close to the hearts of the people.

Their resources gather all the information about the atmosphere around and suggest them what to do that would trigger an avalanche of emotions.

Just like any local guy would do.

Now you have the local guy, and they do as well, the only difference between you and him is he has better resources than you;

The temporary advantage you had, has wiped out without a trace, poof!

Why else do you think they make specific ads depending on the contingent?

They exploit our emotional fondness for the country and use it for their personal gain.

e.g. why has there been an awful lot of patriotic movies these days?

Did Bollywood just gotten back its sense of responsibility to the social causes or is it just an articulated study of minds of the people?

Who knows really?

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I don’t, maybe you do!

Somebody’s got to lead a revolution to end this dictatorship of brands on the market if you are taking on a pledge to do so, the least we can do is to comprehend.

Every revolution leads to another dictatorship, maybe in the form of another person taking over the throne or coining of a hilarious term i.e. Republic. I feel it is a dictatorship for another 4-5 years till we get back to our senses and realize that we have to make sure other dictators are not missing out on all the fun.

So anyway we can at least try to refrain foreigners from calling all the shots in the game.

Here is an effective guide to building your brand today, read on to make yourself known in the chapel of tycoons.

Business to Brand: An Easy Going?

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1.) Your Brand is Your Identity

The idea behind the success of many of the brands is that they took customer relationship to a whole new level emphasizing on creating a brand which is innovative and reliable as well.

Some people have a good idea; some have creative minds while the others have experience in the field, what do you have?

It is the most important question you need to ask yourself before jumping into the business, why do you deserve success and what is so unique about your product?

Once you get through with this phase, all remaining things start sorting themselves.

From building a logo to designing a site, all are secondary; first, you need to keep your brand’s identity intact and unabridged.

Sometimes cynical marketing also does the job, so you need to remind yourself that there is nothing like right or illegal commercialization in the field of consumer related products, all comes under the tag of marketing.

e.g. after the ferocious comment made by Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel about India, there is an awful lot of outrage happening on social media.

People have narrowed down the ratings of his app to 1/5 stars already on the app store still, for the first time Snapchat has got this much word of mouth and people even in rural areas started knowing their name.

At the end of the day, he will just retrace his steps and might apologize to the country and people would be busy finding other things to get offended but till then Snapchat would have reached larger masses of the population already.

Why do you think there are always sudden scandals, MMS leaks and controversial slurs has been thrown around lately by the stars whose names have started to fade away into the dust?

Exactly, publicity!

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But these cheap publicity stunts may work poorly upon an SME like yours so till then brand identity should be of paramount importance to you.

For more details, you can read the book by John Kenneth Galbraith which goes by Economics and the art of controversy.

Later on, you can get your hands filthy but not until you can afford a topnotch PR/marketing agency.

From company’s vision to its goal, everything should reflect clearly on your public domain.

2.) Know Your Audience

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According to a survey conducted by Cintell, a leading marketing enthusiast presented a report on understanding B2B buyers:

The 70% of companies who miss revenue and lead goals do not account for the full buying committee with their personas”.

Or to put it this way.

The 71% of companies who exceed revenue and lead goals have documented personas vs. 37% who simply meet goals and 26% who miss them”.

That means there is an awful lot of successful companies who prefer to make a database of their potential customers.

e.g. they create a model character which encompasses all the qualities of their target audience, that way it is all accounted.

All it takes is to understand the customer’s needs and what is he looking for, on the internet.

This type of policy is famous among all the key social media giants.

e.g. Facebook would show a cricket lover ads of his very own niche, same goes with the women clothing as well.

Any innovative ideas shall only channel on the brand image according tothe plausible study of customers’ requirements.

Even one novice idea can turn out badly for your image though it can appear to be a good idea in the nearest future.

So you need to know your buyers’ personas and their reactions as well.

3.) Know Your Investments Better

Be it the constant presence on social media or overplayed ads; you need to know whether your investments are generating enough leads or more accurately ROI or not.

e.g. one brand gets regularly indulged on social media, and they post anything they can conjure up in their brains, or they put lots of unnecessary things in their ads, this can worsen their brand image on social media platforms!

Or there might be a case where you are garnering enough response on social media, and your content is good as well, but that doesn’t ring any bells with the buyers i.e. enough leads are not becoming potential clients.

It gets considered as a bad investment and when you have so little to swamp around why not put it after some research mate?

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4.) Freebies and Referrals

Who doesn’t like free stuff?

Jio, Uber, Ola, Paytm; need more encouragement?

They provide free stuff because their “real” money laundering machine has always been you only!

This trend was surfaced from last year only and has been adopted by many organizations to create a buzz among the people.

They earn by selling/acquiring your database to send unsolicited emails, ads playing on their website, trading shares by showing a promising number of the user base, etc., etc.

Till then you realize that the supposedly free stuff has been paid already in one form or the other, the damage gets done.

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The betrayal hurts but it is just marketing for them, nothing else.

The last nail in the coffin comes from you only when you make hazardous decisions for yourself in a hurry without even reading the company policy.

People are not going to realize this any sooner, so it is ok to use this form of marketing during the infant days of the business.

5.) Blogging

It makes possible for people to understand what you exactly do by writing a quality content about it.

That way your SEO (search engine optimization) purposes has been achieved as well by targeting specific keywords.

There is a new trend of reading blogs on the internet on an individual website to kill time which can turn out to be a fair chance for you to score.

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The blog is an efficient and inexpensive way to market your content; you can hire freelancers willing to work for you at a nominal cost of 5$ per 400-500 words quality content.

It’s better to find some refreshing and new content flowing. Instead of waiting for the rains to pour under the shelter of bushes.

6.) Customer Satisfaction

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The Customer is God.

Believe it or not, this old saying isn’t a bad idea to keep in mind.

Just like we worship God in our very own unique ways such as serving wine to an idol of lifeless clay, washing up a Spatika Linga with milk or repent our sins (haram) by whipping ourselves on the holy occasion of Muharram.

Well, these are just the offerings, and if “gods” were to accept any of it, we would need a whole new set of emotional connection making with them.

That’s quite literally what happens with our real gods as well.

We offer them referrals, rewards, premium membership, and what not; so that they take one second of their daytime to acknowledge our prayers.

Much loathe full. Eh?

Wait till you check the bank statement afterward, I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.

The Conclusion

We can narrow it down to the following points:

  • Use a relevant logo.
  • Know what is the type of information you are bringing as your brand?
  • Carry an essence of your brand with everything you do, from picking up a business call to fly down to a meeting. Everywhere!
  • Develop a catchy punchline for your brand e.g. the tagline of Nike is “Just do it.”
  • Be reliable and innovative altogether.