Getting it right with your brand is a function of how well you get it with internal and external branding.
For any brand to stand out, these two must be in place. Irrespective of the size, nature, and location of your business, the effect of branding will always set you apart.
Small and local businesses may think that they do not need branding but in a training session we had, we demonstrated how small businesses can leverage branding. Using a Bole vendor in Port Harcourt, we opened the minds of the trainees to help them see the connection between internal and external branding.
We highlighted some things to do as follows:
– A yellow basin for the roasting
– A yellow table as the stand
– A yellow bench or stool
– A yellow parasol (beach umbrella)
– A yellow apron and cap
– Yellow nylon bags
– Takeaway plates with yellow covers only
Everyone agreed that these will make the vendor stand out and get known as ‘Yellow Bole’. That is even an awesome brand name 👌
However, there were other things we all agreed on as well…
– The bole must be tasty and delicious.
– The vendor must be hygienic.
– The vendor must be courteous. with good service delivery.
– The vendor must have the right assistants at hand.
– The vendor must ensure food is ready at the right hours.
– The surrounding environment must be sparkling neat at all times.
This exercise was just to buttress the point that branding is both internal and external.
How well are you leveraging the power of branding for your business?
Mapemond can change the game for you. Call or chat with us at 0816 560 8119 or just click CHAT
You can find some resources for both business and personal brands at https://mapemond.com/academy/
We have held two editions of our virtual hangout on branding, and both have been fantastic.
The first session was to be summarized into a document to serve as a refresher course but guess what happened? It turned out a sweet book that walks you through the concept of branding and how you can start positioning your business for better results with little effort!
We don’t want the participants to enjoy this goodie alone, so we have made it available to you as well, if you DESIRE to build a brand that stands out no matter your size or available resources.
It is going to be one of the best content you have ever read on the subject of branding. It is written in simple English with very relatable explanations and insights. You can get a copy at MAPEMOND BOOKS
Building a profitable and successful brand is totally in your hands now.
We hope you won’t let this giveaway pass you by.
Some people say that branding is for big companies with deep pockets, but there are so many big companies with little or no branding.
You can have money and still not get branding right. In fact, there are so many businesses that are making serious money but pay too little attention to branding.
If you are thinking your business is too small or you don’t have money for branding, here’s the story of a ‘poor’ roadside business that has created a good brand image and has been maintaining it since the last time we checked.
There is a bukka sited beside a fence somewhere in Trans Amadi in Port Harcourt. Many decent office workers around that axis eat at her bukka.
We nicknamed her bukka “Clean Pot” because the pots are always sparkling, the environment too and the food processing is so hygienic – she cooks in an open space where customers see everything going on in the kitchen.
This is to paint a very basic picture of someone who doesn’t even have a brand name and is not on social media.
How much does she spend in building and maintaining this brand image?
Waiting until you are big before branding is actually a big mistake. You can start now and keep upgrading as the business grows.
Imagine building on the brand “Clean Pot” and gaining steady visibility to deliver food packs to offices in Trans Amadi using logistics companies.
Imagine the ‘Clean Pot” brand expanding to other strategic locations. As that happens, the branding game goes deeper because systems would have to be in place to maintain the brand image across board.
Relate “Clean Pot” to “Starbucks” or even “Chicken Republic”, can you see the prospect for the brand as it focuses on its own strata of the market. Of course, there will be limiting factors and challenges but they are firstly cultural problems, before economic.
We can go deeper in analysing Clean Pot, but the point is that branding actually begins with your orientation and mindset regardless of your financial status.
We read a post on Facebook that got our attention. It was written by the Co-Founder of Gidi Cakes, Daniel Adeniyi.
It is about Africa’s Top 100 Brands for 2020. The study done by Brand Africa showed that majority of the dominant brands in Africa are not local brands. In fact, in 27 countries that were surveyed, only 3 as shown below had a local brand in their number one spot:
1. Zimbabwe (Econet)
2. Zambia (Trade Kings)
3. Tanzania (Azam)
The leading brands in Nigeria are not Nigerian. Like the Gidi Cakes Co-Founder rightly submitted, most Nigerian businesses are not brand conscious. The study also showed that the leading media brands in Africa are not local – BBC, CNN, and Al Jazeera. Only seven local media brands made the list of the 25 most dominant media brands in Africa.
Out of the 100 most dominant brands in Africa,
#1 to #6 are foreign brands.
#7 is the South African owned MTN.
#8 to #14 are foreign brands.
#15 is Nigerian owned Dangote (I did an unofficial corporate internship with them)
#16 to #27 are foreign brands.
#28 is Nigerian owned Globacom
#29 to #35 are foreign brands
#36 is South African owned DSTV
#37 to #45 are foreign brands
#46 is Nigerian owned Nasco (Mapemond shall be visiting them for a research project)
#47 to #49 are foreign brands
#50 is South African owned Shoprite
So 44 foreign brands and 6 African brands in the top 50 of the list. You may think that more African brands will feature in the second half of the list, but that is not the case. The second list of 50 also features 44 foreign brands and 6 African brands – Star, Tiger, Jumia (some persons argue that it is not African), Tusker, Clover, and Maltina. In conclusion, 88 foreign brands and 12 local brands in total!
You can see the list here: VIEW THE REPORT
Let’s bring it closer home. A related study of the top 25 African brands showed only 4 Nigerian brands – Dangote, Glo, Jumia, and Star.
These stats don’t surprise us one bit because in our branding and marketing work, we have loads of insights and experiences that support this survey even though there could be a variance.
There is the assertion that “Africans don’t like local”, but that is not exactly the case in our opinion. Branding is such a powerful aspect of business that is being underrated by most businesses both big and small. The businesses that take branding seriously will be at the top of the market regardless of where they originate from and as we can see, foreign brands don’t joke with branding at all.
For example, out of 100 restaurants in Nigeria, the ones that take branding in its true sense most seriously will emerge the most dominant.
If you are a fashion designer, baker, or whatever you are into, the more seriously you take branding (in its true sense beyond logo design down into strategy, culture, marketing communications, etc), the higher you will climb on the chart of leading businesses in your sector or industry. And you must not have billions to spend, it begins from being intentional and consistent.
If you would like to take a deep dive into the subject of branding, there are articles here for you: MAPEMOND BLOG
We are cooking a lot of webinars, Instagram live sessions, Facebook Room conversations, and more on the subject of branding. Leave a comment on this post if you would like to be notified when it is time.
Don’t downplay your business. At whatever level you are, consider your business as a brand and build it with that consciousness. It yields far more results than casual business and hustle.
A brand name does not merely exist to reflect the idea of a business but to help in promoting and selling the brand to its target audience. If you have to keep explaining your brand name to people, you need to start thinking of another name. Your target audience should be able to connect with your brand name in some ways – pronouncing it, appeal, or nature of business.
You can use your business name as your brand name, but it is not a must. Therefore, if you have already registered your company and it is not suitable as the brand name, the company name can be different from the brand name. That is better than the continuous struggle to explain your name.
Think of the company Nestle and the brand names Milo, Nido, Goldenmorn, Purelife, Kitkat, Maggi, etc.
Think of the company Food Concept Limited and the brand name Chicken Republic.
There is the company Tech Premier Media Limited and the brand name Techpoint.ng
Think of the company Sundry Foods Limited and the brand name Kilimanjaro.
Think of the company Guaranty Trust Bank and the brand name 737.
Think of the company Transsion Limited and the brands Tecno and Infinix.
Same with Unilever and others.
Can you think of other examples? Service-based brands can also apply the same concept. It is important to mention that some companies become brands in themselves. However, our usage of the term “brand name” refers to the same thing as “trade name”, which means the name a company uses to promote itself to the market.
If your brand name is different from your registered company name, you will have to spend some money to trademark the brand name so that it belongs to you. By the way, even your company name is not really yours until you trademark it. In other words, the person who trademarks your company name has the proprietary right to the name even though the name is registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission.
Your brand name is part of your marketing, eliminate unnecessary hurdles with your naming. If you are looking at building something sustainable, get the naming of your brand right, and work towards protecting the name by all means necessary and possible.
Mr. Williams was lost in thoughts as he sat down at the wedding with the event brochure in his hands. He was impressed by the quality of the design, print, and everything. The brochure was for a one-day event, yet was of such top-notch quality. He left the wedding with a resolve to trash his company brochures and marketing materials and do them all over.
There is a message for you from Mr. Williams’ experience.
Take the outlook of your brand more seriously. From your flyer and brochure designs to every other thing that prospects and customers come in contact with.
When it gets to the point of bringing out money to make payment for products or services, customers tend to have some sort of resistance and doubts.
They suddenly want to take a closer look at your website, social media pages, and everything related to your business, their fears are legit, they don’t want to make the wrong buying decision.
At such moments, your branding speaks on your behalf, through your marketing communications and channel outlook, it appeals to their senses, exudes a sense of trustworthiness and likeability.
Get your branding and marketing communications right and stop losing clients without knowing it.
If you need a professional touch, talk to us!
2. Good Business
5. Good Product
To emerge as a solid brand means that you are solving a problem, so well that people keep coming back to you for your solution. As a business brand, there are two ways you solve people’s problems, through your products or services.
If you are going to build a solid brand, then your service or product has to get so good that it cannot be easily replicated by anyone else.
Here are some quick tips to consider in creating super good products or services:
a) Quality: Strive to ensure authenticity, durability, efficiency, dependability, or top-notch expertise and professionalism in the case of services. Give customers value for their money, so they can always speak well of your product.
b) Functionality: Your product or service should be designed to address the pain points of customers. Keep it as simple as possible while it solves the problem optimally.
c) User Experience: Make it very user-friendly. Remember the product is for the customers, not for you. The guide to this is to create products and services that customers can readily use by themselves with little or no support.
d) Innovation: It does not matter how well your product is functioning presently, you have to keep seeking ways to improve it by all means necessary. A lot is changing with how people live, technological advancement, and so on, your product or service should not be stuck.
e) R & D: To improve your product or service, mind your assumptions. Do your research from the customers and the general market, so you can develop the products and services accordingly.
f) Product Branding: In every way possible way, make your product or service look good. Everything about the product should reflect the standard you are trying to attain, it helps to establish your brand as solid.
It is important to mention that all these factors may not fall in line at once, but keep improving and with time your brand will emerge as solid.
Building profitable and reputable BRANDS is what we love doing.
One more lesson coming on what makes a solid brand.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com
2. Good Business
From the oldest hotel and business in the world, Nishiyama Onsen Keuinkan, to Colgate, Kelloggs, John Deere, Nestle, Unilever, and most other brands that have lasted over a hundred years, which we have studied, they all have one thing in common – brand values.
The founder(s) gave careful thought to the lasting principles that will govern the existence of the business as a brand and each successor had a duty to preserve and transfer these values to their own successor(s).
Here is a quick preview of some of these reputable brands and how values have helped them become solid brands:
a) Nishiyama Onsen Keuikan: The core value of this ancient brand is captured right in its mission statement, “it is the pleasure and mission of Keiunkan to carefully protect the benefits from this rare earth.” Preservation is an enduring principle for this brand and for over 1300 years now, it has ensured that the hot springs are preserved which implies that the hotel which was built to house the springs has to be preserved generation after generation.
b) Colgate: On their official website, we found the statement “The small soap and candle business that William Colgate began in New York City early in the 19th century is now, more than 200 years later, a truly global company serving hundreds of millions of consumers worldwide. Throughout this history, Colgate people and Colgate values have been at the heart of our success.” At the very heart of their success as a brand that is over 20 decades old, lies two things we have mentioned in these series of what makes a solid brand, people and values.
c) Kelloggs: More than 100 years ago, Will Keith Kellogg founded this brand and ever since then, it has gone on to become a solid brand. In their own words, “through our values-based culture, we create a stronger future every day”.
d) Nestle: Founded 152 years ago, innovation has been at the heart of the brand since its beginning. In their words, “ever since Henri Nestlé invented Farine Lactée to alleviate infant mortality, we have been dedicated to enhancing people’s lives.” Their value of quality is based on the commitment to enhance the quality of lives.
e) John Deere: This brand goes straight to the point on their website, “We work every day to uphold our founder’s core values. Integrity, quality, commitment, and innovation are more than ideals we work toward. They are values we live and breathe – values found in every product, service, and opportunity we offer.”
The world has over 5000 business brands that are over 200 years old (over 3000 of them are in Japan), and Japan alone has over 21000 business brands that are over 100 years old. One thing all these brands seem to have in common is the values they have held on to through the decades.
The question for you is, what principles govern your business?
What core values are you weaving through the fabric of your business that could be passed on to successors?
If you desire to build a solid brand that will stand the test of time, articulate and communicate your brand values to all stakeholders.
Building profitable and reputable BRANDS is what we love doing.
More lessons coming on what makes a solid brand.