Avoid The Celebrity Brand Wagon

March 4th, 2021 by dayat No comments »

Using your own name to brand your business may appear a simple solution, but in the long term, it’s a much more difficult way to create a recognised and respected, stand out brand.

What about Lorna Jane, Donald Trump or Coco Channel?

Of course it has been done and there are well known name based brands, but what may seem an easy way out at first, could create a rod for your own back.

The human brain ‘sees’ brands with emotion and attaches these to a memory in order to recognise and recall a brand when the need arises.

Having your name on your business could disenfranchise the very people you are trying to attract.

Donald Trump creates an emotion of wealth and power… but what has that done for his business brand, especially in the political arena?

Lorna Jane creates an emotion of vibrant fitness, one which alienates women who aren’t a particular shape and size.

Celebrity Chef Pete Evans healthy brand emotion, now seems to be quite frankly, a bit nuts.

As for Coco Channel, the brand emotion is chic and classy… but then, that wasn’t actually her real name.

It’s easy to use your own name because it saves you having to come up with something else, making branding a no-brainer.

But your brand still needs to generate an emotional reaction in order to stand out and become memorable for the right reasons.

Do you know what you want to be memorable for?
Because if you brand using your name, your personal reputation is on the line.

Benjamin Franklin once said:
“It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation and just one bad one to lose it”.

The biggest risk you run when you brand with your name, is that every public and private move affects your brand.

When a company stuffs up, personal brands like Richard Branson or Gary Vaynerchuk are responsible for the reputation of their businesses, but they focus on building the brand culture rather than on promoting their own name over that of their brand.

The question to ask yourself is, do you plan to spend many years and a great deal of money to build yourself into a celebrity brand or would you rather spend your time and money on marketing your services and how you help people?

Brand awareness takes time, you want to make sure you are investing yours in the right way, right from the start.

Your brand is also asset, like McDonalds, Adidas or Coke, these are all brands worth millions more than the actual company. If your brand is your name, it’s going to be difficult to cut yourself off from it when you need to.

Tempting as it may be to brand with your own name when you provide a service, because ‘you are your business’ to start with, it can also make you indispensable. And that’s a problem if you want growth.

Personal trainers, photographers, real estate agents and business coaches who name their business after themselves have clients who expect them to show up at their door and no-one else will fill their shoes.

Like it or not, you generate a trust currency for your brand and when your company is named after you, the only exchange clients want is engagement with you.

So go ahead and brand with your name but be prepared to front up.

You are probably building your business to give you a lifestyle, otherwise you’d just be working for someone else right? If you are considering branding with your name, ask what what sort of life do you want to have while you are building your brand?

If you want to grow a successful business that can run without you, so you can focus 100% on the work you really love, you are best to choose a name that’s not your own.

From experience in helping hundreds of professionals to develop their personal brands, it’s going to take about 3 years for your brand to really ‘get known’ to the point of industry respect, where you get referrals and clients, media interviews and speaking requests, from sources you didn’t even know existed.

Yes, having your name out there as the go-to specialist for what you do really well is vital, but do you really want all that attention on your personal life, or on your business brand?

To really be successful, you need your business to feed you, not to run you. If you want to be able to grow your brand, venture into new markets, add a variety of services or franchise and duplicate, a personally brand named business could hold you back and stifle your options.

Most importantly, your brand is actually not really about you, it’s about engaging and connecting with your ideal prospects and enabling them to know, like and trust you, from a simple interaction with your brand, not necessarily having to actually meet you.

A brand can do that for you, if you are prepared to understand your target audience and build the subconscious triggers into your brand identity that ‘speak’ to their brain.

Neurobrands Fedex, Amazon and Baskin Robbins do this with ease.

If you really still want to use your own name in your branding, one option is to use it as an endorsing brand – ONEactive by Michelle Bridges is a clear example of brand extension which enabled a celebrity brand to branch out into the apparel market.

If you don’t use your name to brand your business, you can choose from one of these three proven formats:

The best brand names are either created, abstract or descriptive:

Created brand names include;

Google – a googol is a very large number – a ’1′ followed by a hundred 000′s – the idea being that Google delivers the most search results
Xerox – which has become an eponym (the echelon o brand names like Hoover, Kleenex and Band-Aid) where a proprietary name is used as a verb, or to describe a general use
Adidas – is Adolf ‘Adi’ Dasslers name joined together, interestingly his brother Rudolf’s brand is Puma, which belongs in the next category of abstract names.

You can certainly create a brand using your name like Adolf Dassler did, or play around with ancient languages or Greek mythology like Nike – the goddess of victory, to find a name that tells your brand story and create emotion.

Abstract:

Apple – a fruit or tech company
Twitter – a social media platform or a noise a bird makes
Dominos – a pizza chain or a child’s game

These incredibly well known brands are easy to identify because they are simple, short, catchy and easy to pronounce so the brain loves them even though they theoretically used out of context.

Descriptive:

The Cheesecake Shop
carsales.com
Jims Mowing (and many other variants including Jims Cleaning and Pet Washing Services).

Most service providers prefer the idea of a descriptive brand name over the other options. They feel they need a name that explains what they do, yet the most iconic created and abstract brand names do nothing to explain brand benefits and have massive recognition.

It’s also untrue that your brand name needs to be descriptive in order to be SEO friendly. All the web developers and SEO experts I’ve talked to agree it’s more important to be consistent with keywords and focused content, than to have a brand name that includes a specific word.

Oh and by the way, you should avoid using an acronym for your brand name too…

What’s wrong with using letters given IBM, ANZ, UPS and a host of others brands do exactly that?

Remember what I said about the importance of generating an emotion with your brand?

How can three letters of a brand name generate any sort of emotion? IBM and ANZ at least use blue in their branding to create a feeling of safety and reassurance. UPS is brown and gold, indicating down-to-earth but quality service.

But the brain doesn’t think in words, it thinks in pictures and it’s just too difficult to instantly convey a brand essence with an acronym, especially when you are starting out in business, so avoid it if you can.

How To Create A Brand – Build Your Brand Development Strategy

February 4th, 2021 by dayat No comments »

How To Create A Brand?

There are four effective steps in brand development strategy to create a brand:

Choose the brand name and logo
Establish the brand in the minds of customers
Brand Sponsorship
Develop the brand
What Is Brand Equity?
How to create a Brand is no way different from founding your business. It takes time. Gradually you can create Brand Equity. Brand equity is the differential effect when consumers react more favorably to a brand than to a generic or unbranded version of the same product. Whenever we think of buying a smartphone the very first name strikes us is – the iPhone. Ask why? It’s because of comfort and authenticity delivered by iPhone to its users.

Apple throughout their years of research and experience has created a state in our mind of ultimate luxury and comfortability in using their products. There may be a few more similar products of others in line with Apple iPhone and may be superior to that, but the identity of iPhone gives it the edge over others- no matter what the price tag is. This edge is the Brand Equity.

4 Steps of Brand Development Strategy

1. Choose the Brand Name and select the Logo:

While building a brand development strategy name plays a vital role. A good name and style can add positives to a product’s success. It is the most difficult task to start with. Simplicity is the first step. The name should be easy to pronounce, recognize and remember. Moreover, it should suggest something about the product’s benefits and qualities.

Names like Google, Nike, Facebook, Apple, KFC etc. are among the most established brands all over the world. Interesting fact about those names is that they are easily translatable in different languages around the world. Hence the meaning of a particular word should not be something which indicates bad, wrong or negative.

Again the name should be extendable to cover up multiple product lines. For example, Amazon.com started its business with bookselling and now has been extended to multiple product categories.

Once chosen, the brand name should also be protected. Means in many instances brand names were eventually mixed up with the product category and people cannot differentiate the brand identity from the product category.

For example, Xerox is a company builds copier machines, but doing a photocopy is often termed as doing xerox.’Xerox’ is to be pronounced as a noun and not as a verb. Many people find it hard to distinguish between the product and the service which ultimately hampers the brand name of the Company.

2. Establishing the brand in the minds of customers:

An interesting saying by a marketer- Products are created in the factory, but brands are created in the mind. This can be done in multiple ways- At the basic level, it starts with introducing the target customers the product and its distinguishing characteristics.

Let’s took the example of Amazon’s Kindle- e-book reader. Amazon targets its customers, saying that it’s an e-book reader having a distinguished feature of reading books in a virtual format. In this stage, they are simply introduced with the product and has a very low level of impact.

The more effective way a brand can be positioned by associating its name with desirable benefits. Thus, Kindle is beyond an e-book reader- it is lightweight, on the go dictionary, stores thousands of books which are easy to search, no glare and zero distractions.

The strongest brands go beyond establishing features and benefits in customers’ mind and positions itself on strong values and beliefs, rooted to a deep emotional bonding. Like reading books in Kindle is an absolute pleasure and presents itself as booklover’s new best friend. When placing a brand in human mind, the marketer should establish a mission for the brand and a vision of what the brand must be and do.

3. Brand Sponsorship:

Brand sponsorship can be of three types:

Private Brand sponsorship
Licensed Brand sponsorship
Co-branding
Private Brand Sponsorship:
Lots of advertisements and social marketing strategies work behind the big brands to emerge and are termed as National brands. But for smaller Companies, it may not always be possible to endorse brands with a huge out of pocket expenses. In those scenarios, brand sponsorship is very important. As against National or Manufacture’s brands, there are Store brands. In recent decades store brands are gaining more from the market. Here’s why?

Big shopping malls like Big Bazaar, Walmart resale products at significant discount rates especially the generic or no-name brands. They endorse the products citing its advantages or putting side by side comparison with the top brands. The association of the big resellers with less known products works as an aid in uplifting the brand value of the product once termed as ‘no-name’.

Private brand sponsorship is also followed in online shopping too. As we can see small or lesser known mobile manufacturers are recently tying up with Amazon to sell their phones. In fact, this strategy is working great as the ‘no-name’ brands are getting the support of the big brand stores be it online or offline.

Licensed Brand Sponsorship:

In this brand sponsorship, some companies buy the names and symbols of other manufacturers or creators with a fee and endorse its products under such brand name. This is a common thing in the fashion industry like Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Gucci, Armani etc., where the Companies are using the names and initials of well-known fashion innovator. This type of branding turns out as an added fillip but with a pinch in the pocket.

Co-Branding:

Under such a brand sponsorship strategy, to established brand names of different companies are used on the same product. Because each brand dominates in a different category, the combined brands create broader consumer appeal and greater brand equity.

For example, Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance where Bajaj is a dominant player in the automobile sector and Allianz is a German financial service major. Now since Bajaj wants an entry in the insurance sector and Allianz wants an entry in the Indian market, they jointly made a brand ‘Bajaj-Allianz’ to reap the fruits of the Indian insurance market.

Co-branding carries some limitations too. Such relationships usually involve complex legal contracts and licenses. Co-branding partners must carefully coordinate their advertising, sales promotion, and other marketing efforts. The onus lies on both the partners to carry the co-brand with trust and dignity.

4. Developing Brands:

To augment the brand equity it is very important to prepare a brand development strategy incommensurate with changing business scenarios. There is no hard and fast rule to dictate over.

Line extensions:

Brands name of a product can be extended to an existing line of products to accredit new forms, colors, sizes, ingredients or flavors of an existing product. However, line extensions involve some risks. An overextended brand name might cause consumer confusion or loss some of its specific meaning.

Brand extensions:

It happens when a current brand name is extended to a new or modified product in a new category. For example, Nestl√©’s popular brand of noodles Maagi has been extended to its tomato ketchup, pasta, soup etc. A brand extension gives a new product instant recognition and faster acceptance. But one should be careful while extending brand as it may confuse the image of the main brand.

Multi-Brands:

Multibranding offers a way to establish different features that appeal to different customer segments, lock up more reseller shelf space and capture a larger market share.

For example, a reputed company sells multiple varieties of soft drinks under different brand names. These brands are fighting each other to reign the market and as a result, they individually may have a smaller share of a pie, but as a whole, the Company is dominating the soft drink market. The major drawback here is the individual brands obtain only a small market share and may not be very profitable.

Conclusion

Brands are not created in a day or two; you ought to have the patience to grow it. The above – mentioned points suggest some best practices to build a brand, but the real test begins in the field. Brand development strategy differs from place to place, even urban branding and rural branding are way different in their practical applications. Remember that behind a successful brand development strategy, there lie lots of endeavors, a vividly clear vision and above all an uncompromised quality of product or service.