What is your Brand Essence?

Brands come and go. Some stay.

What is behind their staying power?

An ounce of trust, lots of goodwill and an unshakeable faith in the brand.
How do you develop so many positives in your brand that your consumers can move from tentative goodwill to unshakable faith and trust?

  • One - Transparency and honesty in your communication.
  • Two - Constant Communication.

Never stop communicating once a sale has been made. That is rude. One of the basics of brand communication is that you keep up the relationship by constant communication.

How would you do that?
The most important thing, the meat on the bone, in all your communication - is the content. What are you going to say so that the customers feel good about their decision and come back to you for much more?
Design plays a critical aspect in conveying your words.
What you say and visually depict is way more important than how you are going to reach out
The tools abound, it could be a thoughtfully done email or a personal letter or a blog from your CEO or even a whitepaper sent gratis. Make them feel they have made the right choice by sharing other customers’ case studies.



Continuous Engagement

Marketing at its core is all about building a community through sustained engagement.
The big question that all of us need to ask ourselves is, “Are we doing enough to engage with our Target Audience?”
Do a snap profiling of your Target Audience and ask;
“Do enough of these people know me?”
“What can I do to keep myself in their mental space?”
“How often should I get in front of them?”
“If I do nothing, will they still recognize my company name or me?”
“How can I get their mindshare without spamming them or being intrusive?”
“Am I engaging with them enough?”
“Do I come across as a knowledgeable entity to them?”
“How can I not hard-sell?”
“Can I add value to their lives, processes, and their world in any manner?”

Adding Value to your Consumers

Marketing should not be about ‘Buy my product, I make the best one.'
It should be about ‘How can I help you take the best decision and add value.'
Whatever business you may be in, you can increase the value to your clientele. Do think from the customer's perspective.
The different marketing tools and formats are just the carriers of your message.
If your marketing tools are 360 degrees complete with all the Ads, Videos, PR, blogs, mailers, newsletters and case studies in place; and yet you are unable to engage your TG, then you are eating an ice cream cone without the ice cream in it!
The structure is there; the substance is not. There is no flavor!
It is infinitely more important to understand and formulate what message you need to showcase before your audience. Distribution is secondary.
To create and sustain high engagement, you need to connect emotionally with your TG and convey a message that touches a chord or answers an unmet need imaginatively. Look at the big picture your industry brings onboard.
Disengage from the non-value add approach. Engage with adding value. Today.



Great Brands are never complacent

Evaluate your brand's relationship with stakeholders - your consumers, vendors, channels, influencers, investors, and shareholders continually.
To sustain your business relationship with your stakeholders, you need to ‘act’ on it. You cannot take it for granted that they will always hold you in high regard, and not leave your side for some extra margin or tangible benefits.
When you defend your turf on tangibles, it can deteriorate pretty fast into a slugfest of commoditization.
However, if you have the intangibles on your side, even if your stakeholders are getting lesser margins or dividends, if they feel enough about your relationship with them, they will stay put and give you second chances.
Why? Because they have invested in your ‘brand goodwill,' which is the feeling ‘branding’ builds - your brand essence.

Volatile Business Environment

The global business environment today, and always has been, volatile.
Here are a few things that hopefully will not but can happen….
  • Your USP can be copied once you are successful
  • You shift your USP and soon find yourself right in the middle of a cluttered segment
  • The differentiated customer experience that you offer is expensive and is overtaken by your peers
  • A new, better, faster variant of your product or service comes up
  • You have only one big egg (client) in your basket
  • Backward / Forward Integration by your ecosystem
  • Change in technology platforms that may seriously threaten your position
  • Regulatory/ Financial/ Environmental volatility
  • Your core raw ingredient gets scarce / too expensive/ unviable
  • Your delivery methods/ packaging are no longer relevant
  • You are no longer ‘cool’ to your TG!
Complacency can be disastrous. So keep your branding efforts always ongoing, in step with times, and keep communicating consistently.
This is how you build relationships.
This is how you build brands.

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