Rado ki ghadi hathon me,
perfume Gucci wala
— Ring a bell ?
But Pappu can’t dance sala, hoye hoye hoye hoye
Oh yeah.. Now you remember.
Why the lyricist has used Rado and Gucci in the first two lines? Because, he is trying to be an impact by using these names, the BRAND names. The moment we hear a BRAND’s name, it drives trust, belief of quality, loyalty and a desire to be their customer in us. This is exactly what you will be able to drive if you build a Brand for yourself and not a business. Through business you merely get the money, but through Brand, you get consumers and that iss why you need to build a brand and not a business.
I have a small business – why do I need a brand?
Perhaps the first thing to do is to tackle the wording. If I were to replace the word “branding” with “reputation” I might get your attention. You care about your reputation, right?
Well branding is all about the impression you make. If you want to succeed, that impression should do two jobs – it should convey what is special about your business and it should show you in a positive light.
Of course, many small businesses make a good impression most of the time without ever giving a thought to their brand. But think how much more successful you would be if you gave a good impression all of the time.
How to build your brand
There are two aspects to your growth: Identity and Brand. What’s the difference?
The brand is the emotional relationship that instils reliability and trust between a business and its customers, whereas the identity reflects the look and feel of a business or organisation.
When we go into McDonald’s. The feel of McDonald’s and its guarantee of being fastest service food chain is its identity, where as the fact that we trust McDonald and that’s why we went their at the first place is its brand.
You have to decide what you stand for – what your USPs are, who you are aiming at and how you want to position yourself. Then you need to make sure that all aspects of your business are in line with this.
Before we discuss how to establish that emotional relationship, let’s look at the first aspect: Identity. To create your identity, you need your uniqueness. You need to create that look and feel so that people can associate with it. It helps, it is psychology.
Step-1 : Get a Logo and a Slogan for your business
Tell us what comes to your mind on seeing the picture below… Try it.. Does it remind you of any thing..?
Okay.. Now let’s look at another picture .. The complete picture…
What does your mind tell you.. Apple. The No 1 Global Brand. With the name apple comes itself comes the trust, admiration, its USP (its slogan, Think Different) and loyalty from its customer.
Okay.. What does the line “Isko laga dala to life zinga lala“. Tata Sky… right.
This is what we are telling. Logo and slogans help you create your identity.
Step 2: Create your brand
(a) Define and differentiate yourself
Pinpoint the space in the market it occupies and research the emotive and rational needs and concerns of your customers. Your brand character should promote your business, connect with your customer base and differentiate you in the market. Make sure to have an online presence through websites or facebook. Let people know about you from their couch and bed.
(b) Bring quality in services and products
We Indians love cheap, but quality is our acquired taste. It catches slowly with us. Hit on this weakness. In the long run, whether you are a window cleaner, a grocery store owner or run a restaurant, quality and quality only will keep you up and running. Business is a marathon not a sprint. Think accordingly.
You will need to have a coherent and healthy environment with your co-workers to achieve it.
(c) Aim for long-term relationships with your customers
Don’t dress up your offering and raise expectations that result in broken promises, create trust with honest branding – be clear who your company is and be true to the values that drive it every day. If ever, you fail to stand upto your promise, don’t be shy to apologise and explain and tell your customers how you are going to fix it at present and prevent it in future.
Blackberry and McDonald’s have asked customer’s forgiveness in past, why can’t you.
(d) Consider your branding when communicating with customers
Don’t lose your pride or dilute your brand positioning with indiscriminate discounting. Try offering more, rather than slashing prices. Promotions are an opportunity to reinforce your brand mission.
(e) Be your own customer to think ahead and stay ahead
Try yourself as your own customer. Find out what is missing and what needs to be changed. Stay in future, foresee what customers are looking for. Bring that to them before your competitor does and get the early bird reward. Don’t copy or mimic other brands. Why would people buy a copied stuff if they can get an original.
The future of branding is fluid and engaging — respect your customers’ intelligence by not giving everything away up front. Generate some intrigue and allow them to unearth more about your brand for themselves.
At HireTale, while we have continuously exceeded expectations of our customers, we are sharing the very formula of our evolution. Because, we are interested in you rather than your money, we are building a Brand rather than a business.