There are two types of brands, the brand brand and the person brand. The brand brand is the non-personified legal entity that stands and operates on its own, without a face, for example, MTN. MTN has no face, that is, when people say MTN all we see is a yellow logo that provides services to the people. We don’t associate a human being to MTN. On the other hand, person brand is a coalition of both the person who is the brain behind the brand and the brand itself. A person brand can stand on its own but has integrated a living entity to be its brand, too. This means that where the actions of a person doesn’t reflect on the general brand of a brand brand, it does when it comes to person brand.
This mutual relationship is really a major factor in branding and brand success. You need to know whether to sell yourself with your business or whether to let your products do the job for you.
Using your personality to promote your brand is more advisable if you are the outgoing, pleasant and friendly type. As for the type who is reserved, introverted, shy, snobbish or rude, it is advisable to just stay low under the radar and push your brand forward to be your ambassador.
Let’s look at another typical example, Facebook. Facebook has become so synonymous to Mark Zuckerberg that you cannot say Facebook without the image of Mark surfacing. Many people will tell you that they do not even know who the owner of Instagram is, as far as they are concerned, it’s a camera, the logo. But the owner of Instagram is indeed Mark Zuckerberg too, but because he had decided to leave Instagram as a brand on its own, people associate no face to it.
Why you need to build your brand
In business, your brand speaks for you…simple. Your brand is your ambassador, representative, voice, eyes and more. Once you hit the nail on the head in getting your brand shoot through to customers and you keep maintaining a good relationship with them, you keep up the quality of the goods and you keep serving well, then you will be an ever-rising shooting star. Why do you think Coca-cola remains on the top lists decade’s later? Branding.
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Branding and building it is not a point of discussion, contemplation or compromise, you MUST brand your products and services to sell, and you MUST build that brand.
A business is like a person; it is indeed an entity. But even in reality, look at your business as a human being you must feed. A human being that must grow because if you keep feeding him and he never develops, then there’s a problem. In growth, changes take place, that’s the branding part. When you look at your pictures of 15-20 years ago, you laugh at how you looked because you’ve grown both physically and in packaging. So that applies. Packaging needs to change with situation and generation. It doesn’t have to be physical packaging, the latest technology, being digital, involving people, corporate social responsibility, advertisement and customer relations are examples.
So a brand needs to grow because otherwise, it dies.
How to grow your brand
As an entrepreneur, your focus is always to see yourself on the next level, higher pedestal. How?
Keep building on quality – Honestly, the quality of your products or services is your brand. The more the quality, the more positive the customers’ experience, the better the chances of him/her coming back, the bigger the chances of him/ her referring.
Presentation matters – Presentation is a key, it’s sine qua non. You can’t present your brand haggardly and expect patronage; it works the opposite of that way.
Be unique – The best of brands are the most creative yet simple ones. They produce a product you go all ‘where have you been all my life’ on. They package goods so irresistibly attractive you need to get your hands on it. They are all you see when you say unique.
Growth – Example? If you are a fashion designer, update new designs.
Consistency – Be consistent. Consistency, according to the most successful of brands, is critical. Once people know that your brand is up and doing and you are always available, their confidence in you will grow.
Perseverance – You will start, it will look bright, but at a point, the light will dim, and you will wonder if it is worth it. You will want to give up. Don’t, persevere. Don’t let anything drag you back, make sure you focus on that light at the end of the tunnel. The secret is knowing beforehand that it has never been easy and it will never be easy, but that business depends on your strive and perseverance to survive. Keep it in mind, if you don’t do it, another person just might, and he might excel too.
Customer/Public relations – Did you know that people are the reason why that brand you have so tirelessly built exists? That without people needing your service, demanding and patronising, your brand will be golden nonsense. Therefore it is all shades of wrong when owners decide to neglect whether knowingly or not, there customer care relations. Repeat this after me several times…’CUSTOMER IS KING, CUSTOMER IS KING.’ Let that stick.
As long as you treat your customers like kings, you will be able to build an empire. A customer should be pampered and treated with the utmost care and respect they deserve. A customer is permanent and ever-present and should be kept coming back. Believe me no matter how excellent and qualitative your products are, bad PR will definitely chase customers away, after all, we are all just human.
Confidence – Don’t be laidback. Go all out in your branding and marketing strategies. Wear that MTN yellow or Glo green with utmost pride. Be bold, no fear like a lion because yours is to conquer the market.
How do successful brands do it? – Conduct a research or case study. Track the branding processes of successful business and learn from their tracks. Make successful brands your mentors. Never fail to attend workshops and seminars because that will be the bane of your knowledge.
For sure, building a brand or business is one of the toughest adventures you can do in your life. But its worth it. You must work hard and strategies, most importantly you must have faith in your goal, what you intend to achieve and build for posterity.
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