Building a successful brand seems to be seen as essential and even equal to building a successful company.Every business needs a well-structured plan for growth. Branding must be an inherent attribute to this.
During the business inception and growth phase, one must focus on achieving a positive PL, product innovation, building core team, and keeping it omnichannel relevant. But with time and growth comes business needs and expansion plans. A good product or service invariably leads to positive word of mouth amongst its customers; this is the beginning of brand building. Whatever we sell or serve, should define the core proposition and our values.
Thus, Branding is your promise to the customer. It tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from that of your competitors. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be. Consistent, strategic branding leads to a strong brand equity, which means the added value brought to your company's products or services that allow you to charge more for your brand than what similar, unbranded products command. In business conversations, the most misquoted term for Branding is point-of-sale material or advertising; these are mere tools. Branding is the overall goodwill aura that surrounds the brand.
The Indian consumer is a mix of experimental and traditional. So, a 'focus' strategy works the best. When a company focuses on a key offering, tailor-made for a market, it gets the first mover advantage. The brand almost creates a category in a geographic segment by not getting distracted with other offerings. Also, the Brand needs to keep reinventing itself to stay relevant and ahead of the competition.
When the category is established with organized players, the task of branding is to remain top-of-mind but when the category has unorganized players or when the entry-level cost is very low and the loyalties are not very high, then branding needs to differentiate its offering by creating strong word-of-mouth, quality proposition and value for money.
Customers tend to choose a brand for one (or all) of three reasons:
With digitization, technology has been a huge enabler. Branding strategy should be not to tell stories but to enable consumers to make stories they tell their friends and family. This cumulative effect will result in business growth in the long run and will create the desired pull for any brand.