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Mon 20 Dec 2010

BRAND BUILDING(brand communication)

                                            BRAND COMMUNICATION
Brand communication is a strong ingredient in brand building.

Nicholas Johnson, former member, Federal communication commission said "All television is educational television, the question is: what is it teaching?”

The above quote brings us to the question: WHAT IS YOUR BRAND COMMUNICATING?

Building a brand demands having a plan that consistently or currently communicate your attributes, uniqueness, image and brand personality to the general public.
There is need for the delivery and understanding of the ever-evolving consumers’ responsiveness to economic change, anticipation of market trends and the facilitation of communication potency that will ensure brand communication integration.
Brand communication in brand building requires that your business must orchestrate a brand image that goes far beyond its years of existence -sustainability!
What kind of IMAGE is your brand communicating? Let’s consider an image called "intaglio"


"Intaglio" is a type of image produced by an engraving or incised figure or carving in a stone or any other hard material depressed below the surface of the material so that an impression from the design yields the desired image as seen in the sample image above.

I want to attribute the "intaglio" to represent a good brand communication in brand building; creating a positive and credible impression for your brand in the minds of your target audience. Those credible impressions created represent the image your brand is communicating.
"intaglio” represents your brand being carved out or/and singled out from the surface of other brands and general public can see the 'carvings' and develops confidence in your brand.
Let me say clearly that a brand's logo is totally distinct from a brand's image; the logo is just like a cup of water in a bucket of water (image!); a brand can easily change, modify or redesign its logo, making it "Leonardo d'avincically" captivating but if the IMAGE is "dark" before its target audience, the logo can't illuminate the darkness. A BRAND LOGO IS EASIER 'BUILT' WHEN DESTROYED THAN ITS IMAGE ‘CAUSE THE TARGET AUDIENCE IS ACTUALLY "MARRIED" TO THE IMAGE & NOT THE BEAUTIFUL LOGO. That’s why God as a master brand custodian, chose JESUS to be the express IMAGE of his brand.
Below are logos of some great brands that has communicated the right image over the years

                                                                                 
                                                                                               
 



                             

                                                                                                        

             
Let us briefly consider a few brand communication factors in brand building:

*BRAND NAME DESIGNATION
This is the act or process of choosing a name for your brand.  In doing this, originality is needed. Choose a name that correlates with your brand operations and be positive in your choice name; don’t choose names like "darkness Inc", “death line", "Lucifer" etc. use names that the general public will reckon with.
Register your brand name with the corporate affairs commission/corporate body of your country.
I suggest you use uncommon names like words from Greek, Latin, French et al 'cause most of the English words have been used by some other persons.
Whatever  name you are using as  a brand  name, don’t forget  that it must correlate with  your business modus operandi; for example, if your business operation has to  do with communications, then, you  can  consider  a brand name like "parrocom",or"mouth2ear"  or "homolog".

*BRAND PHILOSOPHY
At this level, you are communicating your brand vision, mission statement, goals and objectives, connectivity et al. Your brand philosophy is mostly encapsulated in a slogan.  I.e. your business slogan. For example, when you see/hear a slogan like: "Everywhere you go”; then MTN, a multi-national communication company comes to mind. ", “just do it”; NIKE comes to mind, “the power to be your best” or “think different” –APPLE COMPUTERS is it, “the reliable airline”-KLM rings a bell, “your potential, our passion” –MICROSOFT stays on  mind, “Express & logistics” –DHL, “Rule your world”  - that’s GLO, ”Twist  the cap to refreshment” –COCA-COLA.

Choose your own brand philosophy and don’t pay lip service to it, let it be practically felt in your business operation, in short, make it your  modus vivendi.

*BRAND ESSENCE
This brand communication factor is what I call the main engine of building your brand as it talks about/reveals what and why your brand is in the market, why is it existing and what all is about. Your brand essence as a brand communication reflect in information communication technology (ICT), your market strategies, brand color, structural communication, image display, product packaging etc

*PUBLIC RELATIONS
PR is an integrated marketing communication effecting a perpetual brand development and improvement, which is a necessary propellant in the direction of achieving excellence and professionalism that will endure and add tremendous value to the business bottom-line.
This is arguably the most important brand communication factor, involved so strong in brand building. PR is  about your constant  and progressive  relationship with your  target audience, the  integrity of your brand, consistency in promises fulfillments(promos,  bonanza, discounts etc),good customer service(promptness  to delivery, response to phone calls, emails, complains etc).
The good thing about PR as a brand communication is that your target audience becomes "addicted" and faithful to your brand alone; they won’t want to patronize any other brand than yours, they end up becoming strong campaigners for your brand, telling and influencing others to patronize your brand.
Create an avenue through your website or any other media by which customers can pass comments on your brand & its efficiency and learn from the good, bad and ugly comments and adjust in operational improvements. This is consumer checkmated brand building.


*BRAND QUALITY&VALUE
You make sure your brand is communicating quality, integrity, efficiency as these make your brands stand out among others.

*BRAND CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY (CSR)
This is yet another good brand communication in brand building; here, your brand is expected to communicate sponsorships, supports, reality shows, sports, scholarships and other community programs.
It is good and advisable for brand custodians to have or continue to have an attitude of effective and rational CSR performance in the running of their businesses in line with the societal expectations of a responsible corporate citizen in this 21st century.
Martin Luther King (jnr.), US clergy man, leader and black human right activist said "as long as there is poverty in the world, I can never be rich, even if I have a billion dollars. As long as diseases are rampant and millions are dieing, I can never be totally healthy; I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the way our world is made"
Any business/brand should have a humanitarian aspect in compassionate contribution to the development of the community in which they exist.
CSR is a very strong ingredient in building your brand, particularly in sponsorship as it eventually attract and collocate Return on Investment (ROI).
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is an important mechanism in consumer engagement because it compliments marketing and it plays a more effective role than advertising.
Through advertisisng, you are communicating your brand from a far distance to your target audience but CSR is an avenue to get very close to your target audience, bringing about sustainable communication between your brand and them.
Different brands across the globe such like siemens, Pepsi, Nokia, Coca-Cola,  Samsung,  T-mobile, MTN, GLO and more have carried out CSR particularly in  the area of sports, precisely  football  because the population of people attracted to sports, especially football all over the world are so numerous. This has made sports the globally dominant avenue for sponsorship among others.
I suggest that other avenues for sponsorships should also be explored by brand builders in order to show distinctiveness/uniqueness of your brand and not just going with the band wagon.
As a brand builder/executive, you must have CSR incorporated in your business operations.
You should have an evaluation process on Return on Investment (ROI) on CSR, particularly by critically looking at the impact of CSR on brand equity and its effect on your brand image in juxtaposition with your brand footprint.

....culled from my book on 23laws  of branding

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