Brands are not built overnight

This is a guest post

I have good understanding of how businesses in America, UK, Europe and many other countries operate. For them, marketing is an important aspect and the whole company and its ideologies are based on it. And that’s also the reason why even the youngest companies also have a very strong value in the market place.

Here in India, its exactly the opposite. There is a gap in understanding the need of a brand. There are many reasons that support it, most important one is, companies are not funded and are very dependent on the sales report determined every month end. Which automatically deviates the resources towards increasing sales force and equipping the department with all they need leaving marketing far ashore. Let me share this, recently, I was in a meeting at a potential client’s office. The CEO says, ‘no we don’t want to brand’, then she added, ‘we are already a branded company, people know us, we get covered by various papers all the time’. Then she asks me, ‘what do you mean by branding’. I gave her the example of Nike’s Swoosh. She said, ‘well, we first need money coming in then we will think about branding’.

I just want to bring this to the notice that branding is not so expensive as many businesses are worried about. And as a matter of fact, brand is not built overnight, it needs time, patience and perseverance from its creators and visionaries. Its important to create a brand identity right in the beginning so that all communication, website, collateral, logo, etc. are in line with the brand identity from day one. For a start-up, a nice working logical website with information easily available on the website is a staple. Or else what’s going to happen is, a company operates for sometime, has different stationery and collateral. There is no clarity on what and when to use, and ultimately it comes to a situation when a staff send out a mail, it has a different look and when the other one communicates, its different. This kind of chaos only creates dilemma and questions in your counterpart. If you cannot manage your own communication, how are they going to manage work for others and this means it can also cost business.

Hence, professional vibe is extremely important for succeeding in business. In the past, we have experience of working with start-ups like PolicyBazaar and VitalWires. Lets focus on VitalWires, at that point of time it was known as Gravity Microsystems, a SAP consulting firm. In 2010 the company was looking for a partner to help them rebrand from scratch. Industree had the opportunity to be associated with the company right from name selection to setting brand identity, guidelines and marketing strategy. We had a couple of meetings with the board and team members to understand their ideas and vison for the company. In over a year’s time, VitalWires transition was a success. Today, they are a strong team of 40-50 employees based out of Gurgaon.

We helped them create a brand guideline which includes brand identity, objective, target, story and personality. I also realized that developing the guideline really helped the company because it clearly described what all they could perform. Since templates and product lines were also developed based on the guideline, all brand elements were used as mentioned in the guideline. Which meant all outgoing communication was consistent and focused. The color palette also addressed the need of showcasing VitalWires as a no nonsense company. The main color ‘blue’ stands for inspiration, sincerity and spirituality, which actually is the objective of VitalWires. We also managed their online activities, content development and time to time need basis work. It was a satisfying project and we made it happen.

This is for the readers, marketing is not so expensive as it is perceived to be. Of course, it will be a different story if you are going by Above the Line (ATL) activities to market. However, I have something in mind to say about ATL, which we shall do in the future post.

If you are a start-up, don’t wait for the last moment to start marketing your organization, because as I said earlier, start early and brand it right. You will save time, energy and money. When you are new, work pressure is less and you have the patience and time to spare. As time passes, you know what works and what does not and accordingly you may adjust when things when the business is still young. Hire a professional company to assist in creating a brand identity and they will suggest you the rest.

Hope this post is helpful to many small sized businesses because that’s where branding is mostly neglected.

Bijeta is the author of this article, she is the founder and director of Industree since its inception. You can follow her on Twitter

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