Brand. The word is almost a common word not only to English but many vernacular languages. Actually it is difficult to replace the word brand with exactly the same meaning in many vernacular languages. The translations would seem ridiculous. I remember a prominent footwear brand that once had this idea of publishing a Bengali ad that would shout about using branded shoes instead of unbranded footwear. The result was disastrous according to me and other professional friends who understood Bengali.
Now what is a brand? Is the brand of your business and your business meaning the same? Is your logo your brand?
To get an answer these questions, you need to understand the word brand first. It dates back to 2000 BCE, when cattle owners put some kind of symbol on their cattle to establish ownership. So, branding is having ownership to a particular product or service that your business may offer. You would always love to own a good business that everyone will know as yours. Now people in similar lines of activity may copy your product or offer similar services. So you need to distinguish your business from a host of others. Of course, that has to be in a good way. So that when people do business with you, they are assured that they will get a particular quality standard. Now it is up to you to work upon to create this standard. And it has to across the line, from your product attributes to how your employees behave with your customers and your brand communication. It also means giving a common identical platform and a particular look and feel to your store, website and other means of communication. When you have achieved this, you have taken the first step of making a brand out of your product.
Often people use the words brand and logo interchangeably. By putting a logo somewhere, they think their products have achieved successful branding. But that is not the case. When you put a logo on your product you simply give a symbol to your business. Similar to owning cows as they did during the ancient times. But a brand once created remains for eternity. The logo is just a toddler step in that direction.
Businesses across the globe are trying to create a name for them. And in today’s world it has become crucial in facing the cut-throat competition.
So, simply giving your business a name and plastering it on your products is not enough. Even creating a beautiful and meaningful logo is not enough. It is a lot more than just that.
Steps towards developing a successful brand are a vast subject. But the most important among them is developing a brand personality.
Simply put, imagining how your brand would behave if it was a human being.
All humans have unique personality and they talk and react to situations differently. Your brand too, when reaching out to consumers, must talk in a particular way. Careful usage of right communication that goes out with your brand slowly develops the brand personality. How you want your brand personality to grow certainly depends on the target group you are addressing. Now choosing the right target group a.k.a. TG is another vast topic of discussion. We skip that for now. Now, to simplify the idea of brand personality it is easier if we go by example. Let us talk about iconic human personalities like say Rahul Dravid – the star Indian cricketer. What comes to your mind when Mr. Dravid is mentioned? All cricket lovers will know that he is ‘Mr. Dependable’. He did not throw away his wicket by reckless cricket and on numerous occasions, he has paved the way to his team’s good performance. Mr. Dravid has a certain manner of communication. It is intelligent, gentlemanly yet firm. His knowledge of the game of cricket comes out in the manner he comments on the game.
Let us take another instance from sports. Let us talk about Diego Maradona.
He was loved by millions for his superb skills. But no one will put him in the bracket of a family man. Instead, some people might think him as flamboyant and Casanova.
Coming back to brand personality, you must determine beforehand how will you shape your brand. Do you want to shape it as a classic brand like the Mercedes Benz? Then, if your brand was human, it would have been Mr. Amitabh Bachchan. His class is just out of bounds for contemporary others when it comes to Indian popular film industry. Or you would like your brand to be value for money? Like a Maruti. Costs less but does not let you down in most occasions. Maybe, someone like Nawazuddin Siddiqui in his present avatar will fit in as a brand personality. He seldom acts in bad movies. So when you go to watch a Nawaz movie, you are sure about good content and flawless acting.
So, for you to develop a personality for your brand, you need to identify the TG first. You cannot certainly sell cigars in the local paan shop. So to understand TG is vital for creating a brand personality that will sting the consumers’ mind. Salman Khan has crazy popularity with the masses while Aamir Khan seems like a thinking man’s hero. Although they have acted in all kinds of films and this classification is not reflected in all their works. But in peoples minds they have created a perceptionThe expectation from a Salman movie is definitely ‘dhamaka’, while a Aamir movie is expected to be subtle and with a message.
Similarly, when someone will buy your product or service, they will expect certain characteristics like durable, value for money, flaunt worthy and many more. You have to decide what you want your brand to be remembered as. And your brand must behave in that direction. The tone of voice of the messages your brand sends out, the colours your brand reflect and design of your brand communication will slowly create a perception for your brand in the minds of the consumers. The only thing you need to remember is that your brand advertisements in mainline, BTL or digital media must be ‘advertisting’! – interesting enough to sting in the consumers’ mind. This is not a task that can be completed in month. It needs careful handling of all brand related activities. And it definitely needs expert handling.
You can visit www.stingcommunications.co.in to understand how we are dealing with brands and their personalities. If you want to develop your own brand story, we are ever ready.