Branding is an integral part of taking your business from the local level to the global market
By Vinay Babani
No matter if you are leading a products company or a services firm, brand development is an important part of your business, just as important as day-to-day employee productivity. In today’s environment of strong competition on every front for everyone, creating a strong brand persona is the only way for standing out.
In order to form a clear-cut identity in the market, companies; especially startups and local brands should start investing in branding from the get-go. This might sound complicated, expensive, and unnecessary to most since you would want to invest a maximum of your time and energy in building your product or providing the right services to your customer. However, branding is an absolutely important and integral part of taking your business from the local level to the global market.
With PM Modi encouraging us to promote our local brands and being vocal about them, it is important for us to understand every minute step required to push our local brands to the global level. Contrary to popular belief, branding is not as difficult as it looks, here are few steps to help chalk out a sound branding plan:
Create your brand identity
To create a unique brand identity you will first need to make a brand guideline/ manual. This will ensure that no matter who creates your marketing collaterals in the future, they will abide by the same set of rules. Let’s go step-by-step towards making your first and basic brand guideline:
A. Start by making a unique logo for yourself and don’t forget to trademark it. There are various websites available on the internet which will help you design the logo yourself.
B. Decide the fonts you will be using for your textual communication. Ideally, you should have two fonts, one primary and another secondary.
C. Explore the colours and finalize the colour palette which you will be using across all your branding collaterals.
D. Typography: While you will be creating powerful content for your brand, typography will take care of fitting the text that matters into the design. It plays a vital role in making your collateral stand out.
The nationwide lockdown during COVID-19 crisis has made us realise the real power of digital platforms. While almost every medium to communicate with your customers was off track, digital was the only way out.
A. Start by creating your website. Use the brand manual for deciding on to designing elements and put every piece of important content about your product/service on the website. Make sure you are using an easy language which is understood by a layman on a local as well as global level.
B. Get active on social media: Choose social media platforms wisely. In other words, choose your platforms according to the industry you serve. Make sure your customers are connected to you via social media and you keep them engaged by posting at least twice a week.
C. Create digital assets: In addition to the website, assets like videos, brochures, VR and AR will also help you engage with your customers especially if you serve in real estate, hospitality, education and retail industries.
D. Use CRM: Collect and preserve your customers’ database securely so that you can communicate with them through emails, SMSes and Whatsapp messages whenever required to promote offers or convey important information. However, make sure you don’t irritate them by bombarding SMS campaigns.
Every product has a story, tell yours
Now that you are ready with your online presence, start communicating by telling them the story of your brand. Storytelling always works because salesy content might push back your potential customers but an engaging story will keep them hooked to your social media.
Reach out and let them know you exist
Identify the audience that you want to tap on the basis of demographics and interest areas. Start promoting your brand using paid promotions on all the important platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Youtube and Google Search and Display. Consider this an investment towards getting more customers and establishing your brand. Don’t forget to track the ROI of this investment, which can be tracked in terms of leads, acquired customers or brand awareness.
Seek help from experts
While resources are available on the internet for everything, right from creating a logo to website to running ad campaigns, a team of experts might be able to help you better. Why? Because they understand branding better since they have been doing it for years.
Look out for a marketing partner who can help you with all your needs, right from tech, design to ad campaigns, because coordinating between different marketing and technical teams might frustrate you at some point.
With all these aforementioned steps, you should be able to organise, line up and execute your strategy for being vocal about your local brand and taking it to the global level.
The author is VP Marketing, SRV Media
Read Also: CSR in times of COVID-19