You may know the 4 p's of Marketing - Product, Price, Place and Promotion but get to know the 5' Cs of Branding which is equally essential and holds the same importance as 4p's of Marketing.
As ‘ Character’ is to a person, so is a ‘Brand’ to a business enterprise; Difficult to build but easy to end!
Branding is imperative for any business irrespective of its forms and sizes. Big firms need it to retain the richness they have achieved over years and small ones need it to prove their mettle and sustain the competition. Small firms include small business enterprises like start-ups, small retain outlets, e-commerce, solo-entrepreneurs, or freelancers.
Branding gives mileage to all! If planned early and properly, the dividends can be huge. Think of a business entity in your locality with a brand name of its own. We have retail outlets many, in localities far and near but
Do you remember a salon with a difference?
A grocery store that impressed you in your first visit?
A medicine store where you want all your medicines to be bought from?
An online store that replaced your item immediately and refunded your money?
The über ride that showed low estimation, charged more but returned the extra amount when you raised the issue?
A hotelier who sent you a truly free-vacation voucher?
A banker who helped you settle your disputes even after banking hours?
The names that strike your mind while reading these questions are the ones who have taken care of their branding. Just imagine the goodwill they created in your mind and how strongly they influenced you and built on their customer-association policy.
Care for Customers matters in Business! So let’s give some time and understand the 5Cs of brand building and understand the essence of a brand that can make your business strong.
5Cs of Brand Building
Clarity: The clearer the concept of business, the better! The clarity of business idea can give a clear picture on how to design the logo, find a tagline, strategise promotions, woo the customers, and put the business on the right stand. Sometimes designers spend days together on designing a logo leave aside the rest of the pre-requisites for establishing a business.
Businesses can’t just start from the scratch. It has to have a robust masterplan during the stage of its conception. The solid philosophy will help create a clear message that the entity wants its customers relate to. So before jumping into branding strategies ask yourself: what is your business, what is your niche market, who are your prospective customers, what are customer needs, what is your business philosophy, what can be your branding trend-setters, and a lot of other questions that can make your concepts clear.
These all things will go into making a brand distinct, unique, and stand-out.
Competency: This is a dog eat dog world. Every slip-up will have to be paid through the nose. Be cautious! You need to be distinct and at the same time be abreast of the competition. Weaving a story new is not that easy all the time, so work on creating the storytelling experience, the baseline may remain the same.
Remember ‘Gabbar’ in ‘Sholay’? It has stood the test of time over decades and still thrives as a popular brand. The concept of ‘Gabbar’ has given rise to a variety of negative characters in Bollywood but a few have reached that acme. Now take ‘Gabbar is Back’.
The whole exercise is to reframe the storytelling experience. Instead of being put as a negative character, it carries the responsibility of a social reformer. The film production team uses the popular brand, ‘Gabbar’ and creates a whole new experience with the same.
Being someone in business, you need to understand the changing tastes of your customers and must surprise them with your creativity. Competition should dominate every single thought and action of yours.
Consistency: Your persistent endeavour in catering to the customers’ needs will always pay off. You simply can’t take risk of vanishing from your audiences’ minds for some time and then regain the same place. NOKIA is one such bright example.
The brand disappeared from market for quite a long time and see, now it is combating for its re-coronation. Why does MARUTI come up with a fleet of cars, every now and then, despite being positioned badly in market, slightly different from each other, some even with very meagre facelifts and cosmetic changes? Simply, it doesn’t want to vacate its space engraved in its spectrum of customer segment and to thwart the fear of becoming out of its customers’ mind if it is out of its customers’ sight. Brands need to stand like the polar star, fixed and bright all the time.
Be consistent in whatever you do. Present your personality the same on all platforms. The one-and-the-same design, colour pattern, logo, typography, and/or wood-mark tickle the customer’s neurones and find a permanent abode there. Fleeting thoughts fade away quickly.
Credibility: Trust is always built on genuine information, stories, and deeds. Doctored stories fall flat while original ones run marathons. Have the conviction to call a spade a spade. All your achievements and failures carry equal importance in building your business.
So don’t be afraid of speaking about your blues. In fact, failures are the best learning lessons for you and you should credit them in the making of you. Moreover, you should never forget that your race is also for building trust of the customers. Can you dupe all your customers all the time? So why not be upfront with all the chapters of life, be it personal or professional.
Secondly, deliver whatever you promise. And have an affirmative no for whatever you can’t. You should never be dwindling between probables. TATA promised to give the world’s cheapest car and so it did. Customers’ credibility on a company is an unparalleled business booster. Hanker after all the measures to make your entity the most trusted one in the market. The most successful brands in the world are where they are they are today because of their brand credibility.
MARUTI cars are well known for being economic, reliable, and giving good mileage which the company has maintained since time immemorial. Hyundai delivers to its elevated interior, value for money, feature loaded fleets. Whereas Jaguar stands for quality, technology, and innovation; Airtel for its seamless network; and Philips for its sense and sensibility. All have garnered customers’ trust over years and are now ahead in their respective races.
Customer Centrality: Customer is the nucleus of your business. It is the Sun of your solar system. The entire process of conception, concretisation, and culmination of your business depends on the only-and-only customers. If a brand is strategically developed and aptly positioned in the market, can be a cash cow. Tools on data collection and analysis have put the business of customer behaviour tracking and offering products and services based on their online searches and purchases take the companies close to its prospective customer network.
Now focus should be on personalising customer experiences with your company by providing customised offerings and targeting the dart on the point rather beating about the bush.
Always try to resonate with your audiences’ demands and needs. Not merely for the reason that you offer because your customers need it, rather for the purpose that your offerings and customers demand go in tandem with each other.
Your emotions, philosophies, practices, and policies must go hand in hand with the same of the customers. Tap into their personal space by becoming a good samaritan. Trespassers are always prohibited and penalised for norm violation.
And, last but not the least, be adaptable to change. This doesn’t necessarily mean to change your core values. Carry forward your legacy with conviction, courage, and care keeping the customers at centre but not forgetting the crux of your core philosophy.