Thursday, May 24, 2018

What is your brand doing?

Innocent Swai

Innocent Swai 

By Innocent Swai

In almost for all startup companies, everyone is part of the marketing department due to limited resources.

In such companies the everyday is a constant battle to gain some level of awareness from their customers, bankers, suppliers to mention but a few.

However, this is an old problem as for more than a few centuries ago, several brands weathered this problem by interrupting the ongoing routines of captive audiences with advertising.

Genius advertising teams

Some creative brands penetrate the markets with the help of their genius advertising teams, hence reaching the saturation point of public awareness easily. When Apple brings out a new ad, news media intervenes and make it front-page content while and die-hard consumers become more than zombies lining up in their stores, of which most of them have yet to see the ad.

As such, these kinds of happenstance are rare. Not all consumers spend their time waiting to hear about a new product from every other brand. Typical consumers, will only debate about brands at the point in time just before a purchase is made.

Have a purpose told story

Creative brands have a purpose-told story which incites a call to action. I am curiously examining how majority of marketing departments once established, they fail to come up with branding stories. How does this happen? Is it something to do with limited budgets? May be.

However, all brands are able to lay a foundation for designing their own calls to action by cementing their brand in the consumer’s ways of life and their minds too.

Why are some brands able to forge emotional bonds while others are not? Apart from Apple, which is best at it, other brands like Samsung, IBM, General Electric are doing the same thing. These companies are able to surround their brands with storytelling with positive emotion associations which sticks to their audiences’ hearts and minds.

Find your unique yet universal narrative

Let us revisit what a brand looks like in the twenty-first century. In a recent interview, Patrick Davis, CEO of Davis Brand Capital (DBC) laid out a bold vision of the modern brand.

He made it clear that, a brand is a single organizing idea which is a higher-order construct that everything else comes from and aligns with it.

It’s even more interesting when he liken it to water that which makes life and everything else possible, whether it’s agriculture by growing our crops for food or healthcare by cleaning our clothes or taking shower. As you can see water like branding is that ingredient that goes across everything else. It matters.

Finding fresh sources of water that are not yet depleted and can be used in different and diverse ways is a challenge.

The same analogy applies to branding as it is intangible and abstract. It’s true that water as well as branding is all of those things all at once.

The job of branding is so important to be left to the marketing department alone.

It takes more than one department, actually the whole company to make its brand tangible and real.

The truth is more to do with searching for a story to tell which is compelling whether it happens in one image or three lines or a long-form piece. In other words, what I am saying is that, brands can be the link between consumers and the positive associations created by the stories they tell and beyond.

Mr Swai is content director for MobiAd Africa Tanzania Ltd.