BRANDING, a marketing tool…

...for Occupational Growth and Development

Aim: To know key strategies to stand out, get more customers, add value, making good impacts.

There are over 170million people in Nigeria and an average of 2000 people are doing what we are doing in our immediate vicinity and state. The best way to stand out is to Rebrand. For us to appreciate Rebranding, we must first understand Branding.

What is branding? This can be in two ways:

  • The process of creating and disseminating the brand name.
  • The marketing practice of creating a name, symbol or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products.

In every market segment, there are products or services and there are brands. While some products or services exist merely as part of the market in their categories, others have developed and taken on a “life” of their own and have become “synonymous” with every mention of the product or service.

A typical example is what Coca cola has become in the soft drinks category or FMCG worldwide. Eight or nine times out of ten, the mention of “soft drinks” conjures up (first and foremost) the picture of a bottle or can of Coca cola in the mind of most people.

What of noodles? What comes to your mind? Colour display? What comes to your mind? However, Rebranding is a marketing tool or strategy in which a new name (not necessarily a physical name), term, symbol, design, or combination thereof is created for an established brand with the intention of developing a new, differentiated identity in the minds of consumers, investors, competitors, and other stakeholders.

God’s idea about Branding:

*Rm12:1-2 …be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind…

* Gen 35:10 —a new name

*Mk6:1-3; 1:22-33, Matt 16:13, Loving, Powerful, Committed, Special, Chosen, Selfless giver, Meeting needs, etc.  Jesus had a very hard nut to crack with the Pharisees and Sadducees et al but he outshines them all.

*1 Peter 2:9 —Distinctive, set forth and display…

*Mat5:13-14 – Distinctive, Penetrates, Preserves, Flavours, Provokes a thirst, shines, known and respected…

 

Why rebranding? This is to differentiate our business, products and services in the minds of our target market and people.

Below are some reasons why we should start the process of turning our services into brands:

  • Rebranding sets our business apart from others: There are fashion designers and there are tailors. Rebranding is what takes our business from the crowded bottom of the ladder and puts it in a class of its own. In the midst of a thousand bottles of soft drinks, you all know a brand that will stand out.
  • A rebranded business represents something in the minds of people, a mind shield, this could be a prestige as in the case of Ferrari, Benz, MTN, Shoprite, Zenith bank, Gtb, KFC, Domino Pizza etc. if your business is ever going to have a definite identity in people’s minds, rebranding is the way to go about it. The share of mind is equal to the share of the market!
  • Brands are shortcuts to making purchasing decisions- when you mention soft drinks, people’s minds go straight to what? Your guess is as good as mine. Likewise, the most seasoning cube is the market is also what? It is a beautiful thing when your brand in the event industry, becomes the reference point, it makes purchasing, using your services, engaging your team, easier.
  • Brands are memorable- it is easier to mention some brands than asking for the name of the company that did the decorations, catering, make up etc.? You get it?
  • Brands guarantee loyalty- when your brand lives up to its promises, people over time become loyal to it and even act as evangelists encouraging other people to embrace you and your services.
  • To remain relevant to consumers in need and to differentiate your product and services from competitors.
  • Changing market place.
  • To relaunch a product or service as though it is new.
  • Only brands can charge premium, because of their premium image. I know of a fashion designer who charges #500 to make Ankara skirt and blouse and some others who charge #3000 to do same thing.

The difference? One is a brand, the other is not! If you are a brand, you are a commodity and people who have money prefer to spend it on brands.

  • Brands offer consumer safety, your clients are not likely to go about experimenting.

What brand is not:  Brand is not a name, logo, colour, slogan, company, an advert, etc but…

  1. A promise people hold you to.
  2. A consistent experience people have when they use your product or engage your services.
  3. A feeling people leave with when they left your presence, premises, use your product etc.
  4. How people, friends, relatives, immediate neighbours etc see you. And
  5. Your identity.

 

Building Your Business:

Why are you into this business?  Why do you think people engage your services?  And what knowledge do you have about your product and services?

See, people can only make mistake of patronising you once but will only make a decision of patronising you again and again as you can’t give what you don’t have.

I had found out that three (3) things make our customers come back and also refer us to their friends as we come to the realization of understanding our business. It helps us to become better in our service delivery.

These are:

(1) Knowledge of our products and services. (2) Professionalism and (3) Quality.

The depth of knowledge about our products and services will always give us an edge over competition.  It will make us an authority and boost our level of confidence.

Professionalism in its self, will always separate the quack from the original. Many people found in your line of business are quacks and you need to be professional for people to respect your products and services and we need to be mindful of those 3 things aforementioned in our business.

What separate our products and services from others are our Creativity, Uniqueness and Touch of excellence. Quality of service and delivery matters a lot.  Price sometimes doesn’t depict quality. It is the output or result that gives you an hedge.

Note:  * Make it easy for people to identify your brand. *We must always have or develop our USP and make it top notch. *You are playing in the same field with others but ensure to distinguish yourself or businesses. *When you render service, you go extra mile to make your customer or prospects happy. *Render service don’t Tender service. *Be on top of your game.

 

Rendering service is putting your very best and breaking the status quo. You give more than paid for. You are right on time and give extra.

Tendering service is working to standard or expected limit.  This kill business and destroy relationship.  Every customer expect extra. Stop giving excuse that budget cannot accommodate extra.  Also know that new entrants come into every line of business daily. They come with all the resources and power. They can afford to give free things and even give extra.

*Always go extra. Your extra is your marketing cost and it will pay off.  When a customer is satisfied.  He brings 10 others but when dissatisfied. He destroys and condemns your product and services and also chase away your existing customers.

*Always ask and look for your unsatisfied customers. *Don’t ever leave or abandon any unsatisfied customers.  *Always make way or room to satisfy your dissatisfied customers.

Don’t be too big to know what goes on in your business. *Read more about your business.  *Do research and learn new things. *Go back to class or school to know more about your business and also training your staff. *Take care of your staff. They can make or mar your business.  They are your partner and not enemy.  They are stakeholders and not competitors. *Your business can be a passion but passion cannot take your business to the expected height.  Your passion must become a vision that has a mission for your provision.

If you don’t have a degree in business marketing, I have some other suggestions on how to build your business.

  • Use your Business card professionally: A great way to spread the word about your business is through a well-designed business card. The most obvious people that you will be giving your business card to, are clients you will be working with. This goes a long way in telling them who you are, where you are and how you could be reached.
  • Use professional correspondence: Aside a good business card, another good way is to make sure that the public know about your services via:
  • Professional Letterhead and receipt booklet.
  • Email: Having a website is also important like havilahdecor.com with a professional email services, i.e. manager@havilahdecor.com. Of course, this requires money but setting up an email alias with a good website for your business is very important. (For any advice on this, please visit www.g50concepts.com.
  • Have an Information Brochure in places where you could be so visible to people and grow your customer base.
  • Register with relevant Government parastatals: This shows the public that you are serious and ready to do business with anyone, be it government or individual. Example: Havilah Décor, RC49408. The RC49408 is the registration number given by CAC (Corporate Affairs Commission).
  • Bulk sms: I use purposesms.com to send all my customized messages to my clients and well wishers and add more people to my network. Get a functional, responsive and dynamic website, Facebook account, Twitter and be socially mobile.

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