As an aspiring brand strategy or brand manager, I’ve realized that people want to build brands for their companies but they lack the fundamentals basics of building a successful brand. You can spend billions of cash trying to establish your brand but if you lack the basics your efforts will be futile not only for the organization but also the people who work for that organization. Having read much academic research in the field of branding I’ve noticed that some brand managers are missing the point when it comes building a successful brand. You probably wondering what’s this dude going to say now that is new? Well, let me not mislead you and promise you that I’m going to invent the field of branding. My argument will revolve around these concepts, branding is not marketing, what you say is not your brand but what people say, building a brand requires discipline and patience, and do not confuse your audience. See not so new after all, now you asking yourself why am I reading this then?
Read it because its written in a simple language you can share it with anyone and make a difference, read it because its written by someone who spends most of his time reading about how successful brands established themselves. Read it because its short it’s not time wasting. Read it to revise what you’ve learned as a brand or marketing manager.
Branding is not marketing
The only you can make your brand succeed in the long run is to firstly, separate the marketing and branding department. Yes, I said it organizations need to have two departments when it comes to this. Why? Firstly, to avoid a power struggle, what kind of power struggle? Marketers want to reach their targets, brand managers, on the other hand, want to establish their brands through relationship building and not customer contact. The is a difference between selling your products to customers and establishing your brand to stakeholders. In a nutshell marketing tactics will not work in a brand building they will boost sales for a short term but fail to build a strong brand in the long run.
What you say is not your brand but what the stakeholders say
We can claim we are the first to innovate certain products in a market but until the audience say so we are doomed. This point link up to that of separating a branding and marketing department. It’s the brand managers that will work with the stakeholders in terms of learning what the stakeholder thinks of our brand. Research such as ethnographic research has to be done to understand the insight into the stakeholders. We need to remember as corporate brand managers that out organization exists because of the stakeholders hence their feelings and thoughts need to be constantly researched.
Building a brand requires discipline and patience
You probably cringing when you see the words discipline and patience, but it’s the truth you can not establish something that will last for centuries without a massive investment of discipline and patience. This cover doing enough empirical research into the stakeholder’s insight. It involves working extra hours clearly defining what you are and what you do. It also involves loving the brand you building as your first child and doing all you can to nurture that child so that it becomes a success in the long run. Therefore, to achieve this you need these two words discipline and patience.
Do not confuse your audience
LOL, of course, why would people buy something that they not sure they need, why would they follow something that they don’t know its direction. Be transparent and let them see what you are what you do and why you matter to them. Don’t hit them with what scholars call hypodermic needle theory, be clear and let them decide what they think of you. If you sell food tell them why you different than the competitor. In a nutshell, make your brand exist for a valid reason people want to spend money on something that is valuable to them.
Well having said all the “obvious things” on this short writing of mine, I appeal to you @Khayadlanga, @MarketingProfs, @SbuKumalo having followed you for the past three weeks in all your social media platforms and understood your interests to offer me the chance to enhance my potential in the field of branding. I’m working on establishing my own branding coaching organization in South Africa that will one day be the best schools that every brand manager will aspire to attend. That vision of mine will only be achieved if I firstly work in the field and apply the theory learned at varsity for the past three years. And in doing my research I’ve come to the conclusion that I need you as mentors and people who can expose me to various work opportunities and internships. I believe I can be the first person that makes South Africa the “Harvard of branding in the world”, and that can only be achieved if I firstly work with top professionals like you guys.