At the ongoing Startup South Conference in Uyo, my firm, we hosted a session to discuss brand visibility as a means to access the market with Startups and emerging businesses.
The panelists submitted as follows:
1. Before you strive for visibility, make sure your product is good enough for the market. It may not be perfect, but let it be good enough to worth your effort.
2. Don’t be satisfied with friends and families patronizing you. Your business hasn’t really been tested until you start selling to people who don’t know you.
3. Leverage friends and families to gain referrals. Seek their feedback and urge them to mention to their friends, colleagues, neighbours, and so on. Offer an incentive if you can.
4. Say it. Nobody knows what you have to offer unless you tell them. So every opportunity you get should be used to say what you are doing. Of all your personal contacts and social media friends, how many know what you do? Talk and post more about what you do.
5. Create a brand for yourself, particularly an identity that makes it easy for people to spot you. It could be your name/moniker, hashtag, tagline, and so on.
6. Choose the right social media platforms. Go to where your targets are and publish the right content consistently.
7. Leave no stone unturned as you go along. WhatsApp status, Linkedin, physical meet-ups, target events, and so on.
8. Ask. If you need exposure on any platform, try to network your way to a contact person and be willing to exchange value.
As you seek visibility, keep working on developing soft skills like negotiation, meeting people (networking), emotional intelligence, and others.
Every viable business operation has a threshold before a breakthrough, what happens in three months for business A may take one year to happen for business B, just keep doing your possible best per time.
Would you identify a Mercedes Benz car even without the logo on it?
Would you identify the voices of people you know personally even without seeing their faces?
Would you recognize the taste of your favorite food brand even with your eyes closed?
Where are we going with these questions?
It’s simple. Whether done intentionally or not, every business brand takes on an identity for itself. There’s a way customers perceive and interpret your brand the more they interact with it, you need to define your identity and project it the right way to the market.
What should you do?
a) Build your name. Beyond choosing an appealing and appropriate name for your brand, you need to build a healthy reputation for your brand. This is derived from the last point we looked at, sticking to your brand values.
b) Visual identity. Your brand is an unfolding story and one of the ways it tells the story to the market in a distinctive manner is through your logo, colors, icons, packaging concepts, and so on.
c) Your brand mark. Every solid brand has certain things that are unique to it often referred to as “the XYZ way”. You have to deliberately decide how you do things in business from your designs to marketing communications, website outlook, social media strategy, product development, and more.
The central idea of brand identity is what you want to be known for because, if your business does not have any defined perception that it is projecting, it will eventually become a case of anything goes regardless of the size. Solid brands don’t take their identity for granted.
We would love to work with you on your logo identity, marketing communications, social media, and full identity system. Reach us via email@example.com
Building profitable and reputable BRANDS is what we love doing.
More lessons coming on what makes a solid brand.
There is so much power that lies in our hands, thanks to the evolution of technology. This power is acquired from the moment we purchase a gadget, connect to the internet and log on to a social media platform. With the emergence of social media, the world has not only become smaller but also several barriers have been broken to gain access to the high and mighty in society. Notwithstanding the wide use or far spread of social media, only the bold and creative minds can leverage its power to get what they want. This should be your aim as an entrepreneur or corporate personality.
A few days ago with just a single tweet, a Twitter user who is a brand identity designer, @osuolale_farouq, shared a proposed logo for the first indigenous automobile manufacturing company in Nigeria, Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing (IVM). This strategic tweet alongside the expertly designed logo started a conversation that got through the digital gates to the table of the target company.
IVM took up the conversation to its platform asking its followers to choose between the company’s current logo and the proposed one by @osuolale_farouq. Eventually, this caught the attention of the CEO of IVM, Innocent Ifediaso Chukwuma, who asked that a meeting be fixed with the creative designer. While the congratulatory messages keep trooping, we all wait with our fingers crossed for the outcome of this meeting, and we greatly commend @osuolale_farouq not just his bravery but also his eye for detail. Let us look at some of the things that make his design unique.
@osuolale_farouq gave more meaning to his design in the breakdown of the different shapes and symbols he used. He explained that the phenomenal Eagle bird inspired the concept of the entire design. Knowing the striking attributes of the eagle, the proposed logo created a fresh identity for the IVM brand. According to him, the two characteristics that connect the IVM brand and the eagle are “…strength and the ability to sail through hard times…”
The logo designer singled out each letter that make up the company’s acronym and backed them up with a deeper meaning. He indicated that the letter ‘I’ represents the beak of an eagle which denotes strength, then the letter ‘V’ symbolizes the wings of the eagle and its ability to fly against storms, and the last letter ‘M’ depicts the eyes of the eagle which can see its target from a distance.
A notable comment concerning the logo meaning was that of HRH Oba Alao Timi Kennedy on Facebook who posted;
“I love how this man coined the PROPOSED new logo for INNOSON VEHICLES from the three letters, IVM and link it to the eagle, with suitable interpretations. This PROPOSED new logo if endorsed or accepted can increase patronage because the brand image is very important in sales and business. The eyes need to love it first before other things. It’s a great logo and I wish and pray INNOSON adopt it.”
This unfolding story could be linked to the popular saying; “when preparation meets opportunity, success is birthed”. From his skillful execution of the logo design, there is no doubt that @osuolale_farouq was prepared for this and with the ‘window’ of the opportunity provided by Twitter, he has successfully sold his idea to the world. Now that is the power of social media!
Once you conceive to take a shot at something, do not contemplate, just clear the hindrances, and take that shot!
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
Do you need a new logo for your brand? We are your guys for something inspiring and meaningful! Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Good Business.
The whole idea of branding is to market your business in such a way that it has a fixed place in the minds of customers and the market at large. What this implies is that branding on its own will not make any difference if your business model and strategy are flawed.
You could have all the fanciful designs, inspiring ambiance, well-painted walls, fabulous signage, pleasant service delivery, visually appealing communications, and all other concepts, they will all amount to nothing if the business is not generating enough revenue to be profitable.
So here are a few things to consider in building a good business.
a) Business Idea. Beyond hobby, passion, or copying what others are doing, your business idea should be aimed at solving a problem. An idea that meets a need will beget a good business.
b) Product Viability. Beyond your assumptions and excitements, does your product really work? Will people actually pay for it? Does a sizeable market exist for the product or service? If your product (or service) is not viable, you cannot build a good business around it.
c) Business Model. A good business is one that has clearly defined sources of revenue. You must have a plan of how exactly the business will make money repeatedly.
d) Business Strategy. No experienced person starts a business and leaves it to chance. You need to have plans on breaking into the market, gaining market share, retaining customers, and so on.
e) Growth Possibilities. As the years unfold, a good business should be expanding in revenue, workforce, market size, new products, and so on.
f) Systems & Processes. You need to organize the business as much as possible. Establish guiding rules and operational procedures for finance, HR, procurement, bids and tender, and every other aspect of the business. Develop and maintain a global perspective.
g) Corporate Governance. This pertains to the leadership structure of the business. If you want a business that can function without you or even outlive you, a business that keeps everyone accountable, and for quality decision making, you need a solid corporate governance structure. A good business leaves a legacy and creates a succession plan.
Your business model and strategy is like a socket with electricity, branding is the plug, it must get into the socket and the switch turned on. If you want a solid brand, keep working at building a solid business.
Building profitable and reputable BRANDS is what we love doing.
More lessons coming on what makes a solid brand.
Every brand is perceived in a certain way and that perception is concluded as its personality.
The personality of any brand is what is referred to as its archetype. Regardless of their geographical locations, size or nature, brands all over the world have different archetypes that distinguish them from others. It is based on this, customers are able to relate with or draw conclusions on a brand.
Now the simple question we would like you to answer is, what brand archetype (or identity/personality) are you assuming knowingly or unknowingly for your business? Whether you are aware or not, your business has been operating with an archetype that may be good or bad. Moreover, the personality your brand has taken is what it would be known for and its success will be largely dependent on it.
There are twelve basic archetypes (or identities) that a brand could assume. We have listed them below alongside a brief description of each one. As you read through, try to identify which archetype best describes your own business.
1. The Innocent: Always want to be happy
The innocent brand is driven by an ambition to get the best from life. Brands like this tend to look for happy ways of escaping negative traps and simply want to be free. They always want to get things right and would not want to do wrong things that may attract punishment. With their positive attitude, they are able to overcome challenges seamlessly. These kinds of brands aspire to keep their customers happy and hopeful. Under this category, we have brands like McDonald’s, Dove, ToysRus, and Coca-Cola.
2. The Explorer: Wants to break free and discover other things
The explorer brand as the name implies is given to adventure and new discoveries. They are ambitious and trendy, always seeking for new ways to cross hurdles. They find pleasure in exploring new opportunities and also pushing new initiatives. Explorer brands create products and services that are thrilling to their customers. Their products are usually designed to give customers more freedom. Brands that fall under this category are Go Pro, Jeep, and Timberland.
3. The Magician: Making dreams come true
Brands with this kind of archetype make everything dreamy. They awaken your imagination and make it run wild. They take you away from reality into a fictional world that speaks loud of their creative ability. The Magician brands run with a vision which they pursue with determination until they achieve it. Brands in this group act as a catalyst for new innovations. They are intentional about giving each customer a long-lasting personal experience. This set of brands is always searching for solutions to problems and ways to make the world better for their customers. They can also be referred to as healers or visionary. Some of such brands are Disney, Red Bull, and Mary Kay.
4. The Outlaw or Rebel: Revolutionary
The Outlaw or Rebel brand dreads dwelling in the box. They are radical and don’t enjoy restrains which is why they have the tendency to rebel against an opposing factor. They are fearless and can challenge existing rules. They move on to develop new standards. Outlaw brands form some sort of cult that pulls the crowd with their beliefs. Brands in this are Harley Davidson, Charley Boy, etc.
5. The Ruler: Wants to be totally in charge
Ruler brands are authoritative brands. They have a strong personality that tends to be controlling sometimes. They have a great sense of masculinity. The Ruler brands present themselves as experts in their industry. They are usually rated high and occupy leadership positions. They often use their power to promote order and produce more results. Budweiser although not a ruler brand completely, uses the ruler brand archetype for its slogan “King of Beers”. Regular examples of a Ruler Brand are Rolex, Google, Rolls Royce, Hugo Boss, Microsoft, and Donald Trump.
6. The Lover: Make you fall in love with them
The Lover brand evokes the emotions of their customers. They try to meet their needs and also make them feel special. The Lover brands believe love is the bedrock of everything and as such make it the center of their services. Their aim is to create an intimate relationship with their target audience. They are usually committed and passionate about their goals which are geared towards flooding the market with their irresistible offers. Examples of such brands include Chanel, Victoria’s Secret, and Celine Dion.
7. The Sage: Knowledge bank or seeking truth
The Sage brand is an intellectual brand that loves to seek and share knowledge. The Sage brand creates an environment that promotes teaching and learning. They are always in a search for answers to questions most brands have been avoiding. The Sage brand is known for intelligence and problem solving. Some of the brands that can be classified as Sage include Harvard University, National Geographic, Peter Drucker, Paulo Coelho, etc.
8. The Jester: Lives in the moment
The Jester brand is playful and full of humor. It operates with one clear goal which is to have fun. Brands under this category would never want to pass across as boring. They don’t worry about problems but rather live in the moment and see how things unfold. They try to create a cool impression of the present and use several means to lighten the hearts of their customers. The Jester brand infuses fun into all its activities even during critical brainstorming moments. They encourage people to play and embrace their inner child. Examples of such brands are McVities, Old Spice, and Saka.
9. The Nurturer: Loves to care
The goal of the Nurturer brand is to care for others selflessly. They are known for altruism, compassion, empathy, and generosity. This type of brand looks out for the safety of its customers. They often portray family image and promote service to humanity. They educate people on better healthcare tips. Baby care products such as SMA, Johnson & Johnson, and Pears are all examples of Nurturer. Other brands like Ford are also under this group.
10. The Creator: Wants perfection and inspires imagination
The Creator brand works with a big picture in mind – a vision. They are focused on creating, developing or revamping fresh ideas and would remain dogged until they accomplish it. Their fulfilment comes from the end result of their inventions or innovations. Most marketing and technology brands fall under this category. Most times they are considered perfectionists. Examples of such brands are Lego, Canon, and Apple.
11. The Regular Guy/Girl: Wants to belong or offers a sense of belonging
The Regular Guy/Girl brands are those that make efforts towards the satisfaction of their customers. They try to promote a sense of equality and humility in the minds of the customers through their products or service. They produce their products with quality in order to increase the level of trust customers have for them. The target is to always create a sense of belonging. Examples of such brands include Wrangler, Barack Obama, and Budweiser.
12. The Hero: Wants to prove itself
Hero brands are on a mission to succeed and show they are worthy. They despise failure and only leverage their strengths. Hero brands are determined to make a difference and impacting the world greatly. They present themselves as superior brands and often times use striking images and colors to communicate their brand values during marketing. Examples of such brands are Duracell, Nike, and the US Army.
As you aspire to be a global brand or conglomerate, ensure that you put these things in perspective to align accordingly, the market will give the verdict ultimately. Knowing the archetype your brand should be helps you become more intentional with your marketing communications (particularly what you say and how you say it).
Whether you like it or not, your business will assume its own personality and it’s best you don’t leave it to chance. Consciously design and harness the personality you want your business to represent as a brand.
Do you need help in branding your business? Let’s do a great job for you. Send us an email at email@example.com
Do Business Better!
The emergence of smartphones began a new era in the mobile phone industry. Smartphones have undoubtedly become an important part of our lives that we can hardly do without. They are referred to as the new personal computers because aside calls, smartphones come with enabling features that have brought more ease to our lives, businesses, and generally changed our society greatly.
It would interest you to know that prior to 2007 smartphones were not as affordable and rampant as they are now. In fact, twelve years ago, the mobile phone market was mostly saturated with Nokia Symbian phones, Samsung and Apple smartphones. While Nokia phones were affordable, they had numerous limitations. On the other hand, Samsung and Apple smartphones were too expensive for most customers in Africa to afford.
Having identified this gap in the mobile phone industry, TECNO launched itself as the most affordable smartphone brand. This singular move set a new tune in the market and brought more competition thereby giving the big brands a run for their money. TECNO came with an innovative approach and consistency to achieve customer retention. The brand literally rewrote the state of art of technologies by producing localized products under the principle of “Think Globally, Act Locally”.
The TECNO brand has proven that a need in the market is always an opportunity for brands especially new ones to gain a breakthrough. The founder of TECNO mobile, George Zho, knew this early and worked with the vision of solving the need of mobile phone users in mostly Africa, right from its inception in 2006. Notwithstanding being a Hong Kong based brand, TECNO mobile has become a household name in different countries as it keeps its innovative game on and leaves other phone brands trailing behind. The brand has remained committed to offering consumers with satisfactory mobile communications solutions.
As a subsidiary of TRANSSION Holdings, a company dedicated to producing high-quality smart devices and mobile internet service that can compete globally, TECNO as its flagship brand has become one of the leading phone brands in the world. TRANSSION Holdings has built its brand portfolio with superior mobile phones like TECNO, itel, Infinix, Carlcare, etc.
Though TRANSSION’s first attempt on a TECNO mobile wasn’t as sleek as what we now know the recent ones to be, and didn’t have a smooth entry into the market, the brand strived against all odds. With several modifications and innovations, the brand bounced back stronger, dominating its industry in just a short period. Following market research, TECNO mobile identified Africa’s need and dived in to solve it which led to its success, thereby making Africa its number one customer base. The entrance of TECNO mobile into the Nigerian market changed the telecommunications narrative in the country. It offered the customers more choices with different features that were affordable and this earned the brand more users.
Apart from its affordability, TECNO mobile also holds the reputation of being the first dual-SIM phone brand supplier in Africa and holds 40% of market share in major African countries. The brand has further established itself as a global player in the telecommunications industry expanding to continents like South America and Southeast Asia. The success of the brand can be ascribed to well-designed strategy and systematic management.
From solving an identified need, TECNO mobile has earned several recognition and awards. With its outstanding smartphone product chain that is uniquely designed, TECNO continues to beat its counterparts in the mobile phone industry. The brand’s strength focuses on innovative designs and manufacturing, sales and services.
The parent company, TRANSSION Holdings operates with a vision that has had a ripple effect on every aspect of the business especially in the quality of their product. Here is the company’s vision:
“To provide consumers in global emerging markets with their favourite smart device and mobile internet service.”
The company has a detailed mission statement, which is to:
- Be a moral conscious company.
- To provide users with smart device and mobile service that they enjoy;
- To provide partners with profit earning solutions and help them fulfil their potential and value;
- To create material and spiritual happiness for employees;
- To create value for shareholders.
- Become an outstanding representative of Chinese private enterprises which establish their business overseas.
The brand functions with values that have shaped its products and services. They are;
The brand has a culture that helps its organization thrive.
“To continuously thrive as a market leader among the industry, we must look ahead, think big and get ready for challenges. We must stay abreast of the changing market demands and fulfill customers’ expectations. That’s what our corporate culture is all about. It is the motivation, guideline and target we are following to succeed in our business and dreams.”
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
Do you need to get your brand positioning right in the market place? We can help. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Acquiring customers require a great deal of effort; they should not slip through your fingers too easily. Here are some mistakes to avoid if you want to retain your customers significantly:
1.You’re not romancing them enough – Clients deep their hands in their pocket to buy from you because they love how you meet their needs. Take advantage of this and make your service delivery and relationship more soothing. Simply romance your money out of them.
2. You have a marketing effort that sucks – Customers want to associate with a brand that makes them proud. If your marketing effort is not as impressive as that of the competition, even old customers will be lured away from you. You need to pay attention to all of your marketing materials and efforts.
3. Not asking for enough feedback – Do you have a system to receive feedback from customers? It helps you know what your product/service is like in the view of the customers. Customers have a wealth of ideas to improve your business and you can only get that when you ask.
4. Outlive your usefulness – You must constantly reinvent your products/services to keep customers glued to you or they will slip away to more interesting options.
5. Inconsistency – Ensure that you maintain a consistent identity and appeal so that your customers will not drift to options that make a stronger impression on them with consistency.
6. Reward loyalty – Customers are more likely to stick with you if you appreciate their patronage and also reward them for being loyal, the little perks, bonuses or souvenirs matter.
The truth remains that customers will move on overtime, but try to ensure that you do your possible best to keep the much you can.
Written by Donald Alaye
On the 3rd of August 2019, the city of Port Harcourt was smoking hot with fumes from roasted plantain and fish engulfing the atmosphere, dust raised by thousands of people, and beats of different types of music blaring from speakers. The fuss and the standstill traffic were evidence that Bole Festival 2019 had taken over the town.
It baffled a lot of persons that a single event organized by just one brand had the ability to pull such crowd and literally turned the very quiet Obi Wali center to a beehive. The crowd was a mix of regular fun-loving individuals, on-air personalities (OAPs), and press agents from different media houses were present to capture every moment of the event.
But then the main VIPs of the festival were the wide range of vendors who made their products and services available to spectators and buyers. The highlight, however, were the entertainers invited to light up the event. It is safe to say that the event would have been nothing without the blend of people present that day.
Away from the jamboree, now let’s look deeper to see why Bole Festival was a huge success. Everyone who has ever tried to plan a project or host an event would certainly agree that it is not an easy feat! No matter how small that project or event, it requires a hundred percent brainstorming, planning, and organization to have an excellent execution. It was evident that the Bole Festival was well planned which is why we think the team deserved some applause. So here are a few things we observed;
Good Social Media Strategy: For a brand seeking to attract hundreds of people from around Nigeria and outside the country, it must leverage the power of social media. Being its fourth edition in the business of hosting the event, the Bole Festival crew made good use of their social media platforms to spread the word about the event. In the social media campaign, they focused on the fun facts about the festival while they watered the appetite of potential attendees with promises they couldn’t resist. We dare say the crew kept their promises. They also made good use of hashtags which flowed with their theme for this year, Our Taste, Our Culture, which resonated with the people.
Easy Payment: One thing customers dread is going through too much hassle to pay for a product or service. And their fear of online payment is endless! So including the option of online payment is sometimes a risk that only brave brands opt for. Yet the Festival’s crew was able to make the payment process, especially the online option, seamless. With just a few clicks on an internet-connected mobile phone, most attendees were able to purchase their tickets which was immediately sent to their emails. Several outlets in strategic places for the buying of tickets were utilized as well.
Partnership: Getting partners that believe and support a brand to the fullest is usually one of the toughest parts for most brands. However, Bole Festival has been able to break that limiting factor as it had quite a lot of sponsors and partners. Well, one thing is for sure, the brand must have proven itself worthy enough for partnership. Remember the first thought on every partner’s mind is “what’s in it for me?”
Variety: Though the main event is centered on bole, it was refreshing to have other options displayed by different vendors. This also presents the Bole Festival as an umbrella that houses and supports different types of brands especially SMEs. It speaks a lot about Bole Festival’s core values.
You can see more photos and videos at BOLE FESTIVAL
So, there you go! Those are our observations, but we would love to hear yours. Tell us what you think about Bole Festival in the comment section.
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
Want to learn more about brand strategy? Then attend our branding Bootcamp this August. See details at BRANDING BOOTCAMP
Do Business Better!
Attracting customers require a whole of consistent efforts, here is one that most great entrepreneurs in the world use. This strategy presents you as a go-to expert and it boosts the confidence of potential customers. It starts with planning – if you are not skilled in public speaking, seek training to equip yourself. Mapemond can help you.
1 Identify your prospects – where are your potential clients located, what kind of events do they attend or groups they belong to and how can you connect with them.
2 Create relatable topics – pick the areas of your business and pain points that the prospects will easily relate with.
3 Get your marketing materials ready – prospects may need some form of materials to refer to later (Mapemond are your ‘guys’ for such quality marketing materials)
4 Be open to giving attention – be willing to hear others out, receive their own marketing materials and create a rapport.
5 Give the last punch – share the action you want the audience to take or the one thing you want them to remember for long.
Always be ready to speak in public, so you can be influential in your industry and smile to the bank frequently!
Written by Donald Alaye