Brand and Branding Issues Chiyambire Kazaka
Most serious businesses do not underestimate the power of branding.
Those that do, more often find the going very tough especially in this age and time.
If businesses want stable growth, they cannot afford to ignore this powerful concept both in theory and in practice.
Today being my first write up, I want to talk about the importance of brand identity, brand image and brand equity in business.
This is the outward expression of a brand, how you want to be perceived out there by the target audience.
The brand identity should be meaningful, distinct, and flexible.
Meaningful in the eyes of your customers, distinct to bring originality and be able to be differentiated from other brands and flexible to accommodate changing times and tastes.
It is therefore, quite important that management should be able articulate their brand identity in order to derive value from their target customers.
Management should focus on not so common aspects of brand identity.
Such things like logotypes and signature tunes make a significant difference in brands that “speak louder”. Everyone is familiar with a Nokia tune that comes along with Nokia cell phone brands. In creating the brand identity, management should focus mainly on visual displays that bring customer conviction.
This in turn is the actual customer perception of your brand, the unique bundle of brand associations that are found in customers’ minds.
It must be understood that management has very limited or no control at all over it because this is formed automatically.
Management can only manipulate the outcome of the brand image. Strong brand image is a powerful asset that brings customer confidence that translates to repeat purchases because the brand becomes dependable.
When working on these brand associations the management should focus on brand attributes, brand benefits as well as brand attitudes (ie the assessment and evaluation of your brand by customers).
If the customer experience with your brand is better than what they expected, then you have a positive brand image. Such evaluations and analysis should be done more often.
Another aspect of branding that management should not take lightly is the brand equity. This is the value that is placed on your brand by your target audience.
In simple terms, if the customers behave favourably towards your brand then your brand attract a positive equity. It is, therefore, the prerogative of all brand conscious management to pay attention to the following assets of brand equity:
Brand awareness (otherwise technically called brand salience)
Perceived quality (superiority of your brand to alternatives)
Brand associations (Customer mental linkage to your brand — what they thought of as involved in the use or consumption of your brand)
These are intangible assets associated with your brand. In simple terms, the brand should be patentable.
A brand with greater proprietary assets has competitive advantage over others.
In summary, management should give more attention to the issue of branding because it has identification and differentiation aspects that are health for business growth.
Next week we will talk about leveraging brand equity.
Until then God bless you.
Chiyambire Kazaka is an independent writer and an academic with strong passion in the field of business branding./Cell: 0772 893 955 (Call and WhatsApp)/Email: [email protected]