Brand Building: Key To Growth
Here is a quick look at the core elements of branding, and how businesses need to approach them not as marketing costs, but as advanced growth marketing tools
Ever since the first markets came thousands of years ago, where traders sold oil, spices, wines, rugs, and such, there’s been a need to differentiate between similar-looking products. Shopkeepers put up signs, scribbles, painted colours on the products to denote differences in quality and variety of products. These symbols of differentiation or “brands” have been integral in denoting quality, building trust with customers, and overall business success for ages.
In the era of D2C and ecommerce, options for customers have grown considerably. With higher competition, the need to stand out, and the need for a brand name to denote quality, trust and value, becomes even more important. It might sound quite simple and fundamental, but most new-age brands continue to err on this front. Here is a quick look at the core elements of branding, and how businesses need to approach them not as marketing costs, but as advanced growth marketing tools.
Be Consistent – The underlying rule for all branding activities is that they must be consistent and coherent. For instance, the name and logo must be clearly reflective of what the brand is essentially about. A nature-driven brand might use green colour palette and elements of nature and a fashion brand based on new trends might use more pop colours and dynamic elements that reflect contemporary style sensibilities. Content across platforms including on website, social media, and packaging should reflect this too. TSS for example is a fun stylish lifestyle brand and the colours and photography styles on their website and social media reflect that clearly.
Be Authentic – The presence of information online makes it easy for customers to know when brands don't do what they say. Brand actions should reflect the brand identity stated. Walmart’s brand identity of giving the best value to customers shows in their prices, Amazon pitches “A to Z” variety, and delivers through the number of SKUs on their platform, Skinkrafts pitch is customized skincare and they give truly customized products and are willing to have an opportunity loss in conversions because of a long-form to know the customers skin better. Brand identity needs to flow into product, price, positioning, promotions, and even the culture of the organization. When Perfora sends a genuine email from the heart of a different member of their team to consumers every week, it shows they mean to be authentic and transparent with their customers.
Be outcome-oriented – Not everything can be measured in direct contribution to revenues, but there are often surrogate measures or in-between indicators. Click Through Rate, Open Rates and Time Spent on Page can be good indicators of content quality. Direct traffic to website, Organic searches on Google or e-commerce websites, and organic increase on social media following can be indicators of brand awareness increasing. Finding out a metric, and ensuring that it’s the right metric to track, is extremely important, and dependent on the objective for the campaign.
Think beyond SEO – One of the common mistakes that early-stage companies make is to make all marketing decisions based on the most often-used search terms. While it is crucial to get your website to show up in the search results, haphazardly blasting content out based on the keywords can prove detrimental. Try to use specific keywords, words, and phrases that the brand can claim as its own, and is relevant to your brand's positioning.
Think beyond video campaigns – The basic tenet of brand building at an early stage is to tell consumers why your product is different (hence better) vs. competition, and why they should trust you. This doesn’t start when you do your first awareness video campaign on Facebook or Youtube or TV. It starts when you purposefully think about the benefits that your products deliver to your consumers and stay true to it with your packaging, website, IP designs (your version of Nike swoosh or NESCAFE red mug or The Souled Store logo of a soul), website and app, influencers used, Emails, Linkedin and organic posts, etc.
Brand building is not just about running high-voltage campaigns costing millions of rupees. Stronger and even organic brand building is possible when founders start thinking about what they’re really solving with their brand and products, and why their brand even exists. What could be the pain point that the brand is solving? Why is the brand different from others offering similar solutions? Once the answers to these questions are found and communicated effectively, brand-building for growth marketing will be a natural outcome!
Founders must lead this thought process at the beginning because the brand identity and the founder's vision for the company are usually fairly integrated at the start.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house
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