Sunday, 19 July 2015

HOW TO BUILD AN ENDURING BRAND


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Increasingly, the business world is competitive. It evolves daily with innovations, challenges and new trends.  An effective brand strategy gives you a major edge in increasingly competitive markets. But what exactly does "branding" mean? Succinctly put, your brand is your promise to your clients.
It clearly shows them what they should expect from your products and services and such differentiates your offering from the crowd or competitors. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be.  Your brand strategy is how, what, where, when and to whom you plan on communicating and delivering on your brand messages. Where you advertise is part of your brand strategy. Your distribution channels are also part of your brand strategy. In fact, everything is about your brand strategy, certainly.
Consistent, strategic branding leads to a strong brand equity, which means the added value brought to your company's products or services that allows you to charge more for your brand than what identical, unbranded products command.
In the 21st century business world, entrepreneurs’ need to build strategic brands that would transcend to the future. There are basic fundamentals SME, corporate and evolving organisations should have in mind in building an enduring brand.
Without these foundations, one cannot successfully build an enduring brand. The truth is when the fundamentals fail, the brand suffers.  A brand is built on foundation of these fundamentals.
1.   DEFINATE VISION:  An enduring brand must have a definite vision. A vision is an expression of corporate ambition.  Vision is an aspiration or description of what an organization would like to achieve or accomplish in the mid-term or long-term future. It is intended to  serve as a clear guide for choosing current and future decisions. Therefore, every brand as a matter of foundation should have its vision well defined from the inception. It will birth corporate values, ethos and beliefs.
2.   COMPETENT HUMAN ENERGIES:  Yet another deciding factor for brands.  Some refer to it as human resource, but it connotes same thing.  Brands must have very motivated and competent human resources that are passionate, prepared and persistent about the brand’s vision.  When your brand’s resources are not ambassadors of the brand, then there is a clog in the wheel of your progress.  Constantly identify how to motivate your “energies” towards your corporate vision. It pays to do so.

3.   SOUND FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT:  Nothing wrecks brands like financial recklessness. To mention brands that have kissed the dust based on this single action is messy. The effect is better imagined that experienced. Therefore, enduring brands must have very sound, technical financial management in place. Things should follow the established rules and regulations.  Most especially in Africa and Nigeria in particular, people want to cut corners on their duties with the hope of deceiving the system. Hence, every brand managers should ensure proper financial technicalities to cage mismanagement. This is vital for brands.

4.   EXECELLENT LEADERSHIP:  This is the ability to guide, direct, control or manages a set of people. This is crucial in brands management. The old adage that says “When the head is bad, the whole body will be affected” is very apt here. If your business must succeed, then up your leadership skills regularly. There are various trainings, free seminars on leadership development to attend.

5.   STRATEGIC PLANNING:  Strategic Planning is putting positive efforts into your future. For your brands to last, you need to constantly ensure plans ahead of your competitors.  Be alert of new trends, inventions and technologies in your service industry.  Learn to embrace these new ideas if you must remain industry relevant.

6.   GOOD CORPORATE VALUES: Do you know that your corporate values determine what you value which in turns determines your corporate value in the industry? Think on that!

Brand value exists in segments. You need to indentify your niche market and play there. A brand succeeds when the fundamentals are taken care of. 

Sunday Osanyintuyi, with over 12 years rich media industry experience, Sunday is passionate about using media for national development. As an expert in media relations and corporate communications, Sunday consults for SME, churches and other corporate organisations to maximize their media exposures. He belongs to some professional bodies like Nigerian Institute of Public Relations, (NIPR), and Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) among others. He has undergone international trainings on media, leadership, and management.
Twitter: @SundayOs


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