BRANDING! What is it?
Branding is the marketing practice of creating a name, symbol or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products . An effective brand strategy gives you a major edge in increasingly competitive markets.
Origin of Branding:
The term branding comes from the Old Norse “Brand” which means to burn. Cattle, slaves, timber and crockery were burnt or branded with the markings or symbols of the owner using a hot iron rod. The concept of branding was essentially to depict ownership, in particular things which had value, this practice dating back to 2000BC. The transition from “This belongs to me, so leave it…” to “This was made by me, so buy it” started to evolve in the 1800’s.
The Universal Law of Branding
States that, no two things are exactly the same no matter how similar they may appear.
For example no two cows have the same set of hooves, no two humans have the same eye pupils or finger prints no matter how identical they may be and no two naira notes are exactly the same because they are distinguished by their numbers. Therefore if any two naira notes are the same it is either one if the notes is fake or both notes are the fake of another original.
Why you must be Branded?
You were born a brand remain branded. It is written that man was created in the image and likeness of God (see the Genesis). However, God in whose image man was made boldly declares this; “Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,”.-Isaiah 46:9. In other words, God is saying I am God and in all the universe you can never find a brand like me. This also means that ” you” are man and there is none like you in all the earth. You were fearfully and wonderfully made.
Brand from conception, possessing unique traits that will forever distinguish you from any other human being that ever lived before you or will ever live after you.
You are a brand; sell it, sell you!
It is the only sure way to enter into what is really yours.Your originality is in your uniqueness and uniqueness gives you recognition and recognition brings you money.
The power in recognizing your personal uniqueness is such that; If you do not know that you have something that the industry giants have you would have failed before you ever started.
Since Branding is an extensive topic and practice in itself I will like to reduce the two core Branding needs when starting out in building your personal brand to Definition and Consistency.
Definition: You have to be clearly defined in purpose for existence either as a person or business, core values, and what you want the public to identify with.
Consistency: The power of a brand is in its consistency. Your personality and strength of character are vital when building a brand. For example “Jesus the same, yesterday, today and forever”, is the key to sustaining your brand. When people know that they can trust you to deliver on any promise they will run to you in time of any need and refer others to you too knowing that you are ever consistent in nature and service delivery.
Setting up: your Branding tool kit. You will need your branded Logo, Colours, Sound and, Slogan.
Your logo is your symbol and trade mark which will be on every product or service or estate of yours.
Your colours are equally important as they should each specify and relate with your overall brand purpose.
Your sounds as used by certain businesses like Nokia and Etisalat, even the uefa champions league theme song.
Your slogan, this one is very important as it summarizes and communicates the overall message of what your brand stands for at each phase of growth. E.g mtn; everywhere you go. Coca-Cola; open happiness. Fidelity Bank; we keep our word.
Engraving your brand:
“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.”- God.
You engrave or burn your brand into people’s subconsciousness through the eye and ear gates. Repeated media Adverts, sounds and poster displays. Once you’ve been able to do this successfully, like God, you can also say I am their business and they are my customers.
Finally, the social media is the new face of Branding because it is no longer enough to just do the norm, consumers want to engage their brands via the social networks and interact with them. Social networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube
Akin is the author of the book "THE INTERNET: a town square for the global village.