Brand is the message you sent out in a structured manner, that tell people about your product offering and service delivery. Companies and business does not have brand, are simply telling the public and prospective customers that they don’t want to remain in business or they don’t want to grow. During the Bird Flu Sub Saharan Africa, companies that did not have brand around their poultry product went bankrupt whereas the few ones that build brand around their bird product triple their sales. Brand give you identity, it makes you stand out in the market place, it create public confidence in your product offerings and increase customers acceptance in your product and service delivery. So continuously managing your brand is very important to leverage your brands identity and create positive benefits over time, which leads to increased market shares, sales and productivity.
When you are committed towards doing the following strategies to build a successful brands. Your company will then see great benefit in terms of premium prices, easier distribution, high and stable sales and increased profits through brand loyalty.
- Engage in internal marketing – this involves constantly educating and informing your employees about the brand, its important and how they can support the brand passionately.
- Always gain from first mover advantage – this is all about striving to be the first in the market by being innovative; you’ll gain a reputation for innovation and newness. Always look for a new way to serve your customer and trend with it, rethink your product packaging, be the first to start packaging a product that is not so now in the general market and give it brand name. In my country people were selling groundnut oil without brand image or identity, a certain Indian Company called Dufil, began to package the groundnut oil in economy packs and branded containers. After some time people were not buying from the other vendors that have no brand image. “POWER OIL” as they call it flooded the market and was selling like wild fire, the product sells both at the super markets and open market.
- Develop well convincing promotional campaigns, you may need to outsource to an ad agency to assist develop splendid hyping campaigns within your budget. I had a friend in school that started a computer Firm, when he started they was huge competitors, that were far more stronger than him, but this guy did something, he created a brand name of his business and was doing posters every month and pasting around town, I used to help him with design and the strategy…sooner, the brand became a house hold name in town and the business went from one computer in a small room to over 200 computers in a mega complex within two years with over 1500 training graduating in two years. Develop a brand image and research on target segment that your customers are largely found.
- Always aim to offer consistent quality in both service delivery and product offering no matter what. This is a way of protecting your brand and business image.
- Review and update your brand when necessary, leverage on promotional campaign that brings exceptional high sales. This is also called rebranding. Companies like Coca Cola and Nokia have had series of Brand evolution with modernity. You should be sensitive and understand when your brand image is old and need to be renewed. Remember when you renew your brand image, you don’t temper with the critical part of your brand image that identify you. Example when First Bank Nigeria want renew their “Elephant” logo. They knew the Elephant Image defined them, so they did not change the elephant image but what they simple do was to change the colour of the elephant from dull grey to bright blue
- Adopt a long term perspective by embracing relationship building with key stake holders like your suppliers, middlemen/agents, media, and financial institutions.
When brand recognition advances up to the point where a brand enjoys a critical mass of positive sentiment in the market place, this is referred to as Brand Franchise. You can achieve this by:
- Project the right image in all your communications with stakeholders.
- Perform a brand and image audit periodically to assess the market’s perception towards your brand.
- Maintain brand consistency by offering uniformity and brand extension.
- Refresh your brand as the business grows, that is rebranding.
- Create frequent brand awareness and reputation enhancement.