Tag Archives: local branding

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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Online presence is not enough to reach potential customers

The new rules of branding your business on the Web have shifted from presentation to engagement and interaction. It’s not enough to have a website, social media presence and consistent brand aesthetic online. We have listed some innovative but effective tips for a great start.

Even if you’re entering a flooded marketplace and online is certainly a very crowded, you always have a chance to make your brand and company stand out. People used to think water was all the same; now stores carry half-a-dozen brands or more. Marketers struggle with differentiation because they give up too soon. They think that this can’t be differentiated, it can’t be unique. Experts say the constantly shifting marketplace creates the need to be creative with your approach. The toothpaste market is one that professionals cite as a constantly changing product selection that requires vigilance on the part of brand managers.

Turn your face to online marketing, increase your connectivity, and gain traffic to you site from elsewhere. You don’t necessarily need to put out the next viral marketing video or hire an expensive marketing agency to achieve a high rate of traffic. All you need is a bit of effort, few tricks and commitment to make your site a quality destination for visitors. Add Facebook links, blog, SEO and build your site populated with links.

Pay attention to your About Us page because visitors always consider checking About Us to learn more about your company and the services you offer, it deserves a little more consideration and more respect. Sure, you need to include all the basics. But few tactics can make your About Us page a more exciting read and your company come across as more accessible. Avoid writing too much but focus on connecting with your site visitors. A more personalized page also means readily available contact information, it also shows customers that you want to hear from them.

Don’t start conversation for sake of doing it, once done you have to be an integral part of it. Social media has one very important perspective to share with brand management, the conversation. Like branding, social media is all about conversation and building effective relationships. The rules for brand messaging through new media versus traditional channels haven’t changed, but it sure got better and more interesting. It’s not enough to have a Facebook page or a Twitter account, you must participate in the conversation by making regular posts and replying to direct messages from your customers. Monitoring social media is a must for all companies, it has shortened the time frame for company responses to complaints or accusations. These days, companies need to acknowledge any issues and control the messaging in a matter of minutes instead of hours or days. You have 20,000 Twitter followers but it hardly matters to your customers. Experts say that Unless you’re in one of a handful of businesses like public speaking, managing a personal brand can be a huge distraction for company founders. Steve Jobs had a personal brand, but it is Apple’s product design that makes it a valuable company.

Brand name is very important for any business. Think about re-branding or another solution can be to acquire another brand. Appearing in the media as a source of expertise can go a long way toward building your brand. To gain media coverage, identify media outlets that are most applicable to your particular areas of expertise and send them targeted pitches. As with print, the Web has also democratized the world of radio. After you have become an area of expertise, you will find that there are plenty of opportunities to take your message on the road. Becoming active in professional organizations and attending conferences offer valuable opportunities for networking. Making an appearance as a vendor at an event can also offer long-term personal branding benefits.

Monitor your brand’s reputation and be ready to respond. Facebook, Twitter, and other networking sites have become essential components of many companies’ online marketing strategies, but there are countless other sites on which customers rant about their experiences. A question or complaint left unanswered on any of them has the potential to tarnish a company’s brand and scare away prospective customers. The most basic services, like Google Alerts, allow users to select keywords to track and to receive e-mail updates whenever they appear on the Web. Others like Social Mention and HootSuite clean profiles on social networks such as Twitter, Facebook and others for relevant comments.

Brand is all about trust and relationships, there’s no better way to build on that than by posting testimonials or listing big-name clients you’ve partnered with. That will lend your business a good amount of credibility. You might consider incorporating your clients’ logos somewhere on your page as an added visual element. Mentioning awards and recognitions received also make your business more appealing, company history, achievements interests readers.

Share your thoughts, inputs, feedback, with us here.

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How Online marketing made a smooth entry into world of brands

For every service or product, organisations are forced to market themselves, create a demand and launch their products. All these years traditional marketing had been very effective and still are for consumer products but with changing time and competition, companies no more relied on their product lines and services, they had to create a strong brand presence in the society. Brand image has many elements attached to it few being trust, loyalty and value to customers, and companies had to bank on it. Branding became so imminent that big global brands started queuing up for local branding or region level branding for strong foothold. With brands becoming stronger and markets being brand dominated, smaller companies had to look for innovative ways to attract consumers and it was not an easy job.

With cut throat competition, budgets for marketing were sky high, only big players could compete and take risks but of-course the reign did not last long. Issues of traditional marketing is not hidden, we all know that its about mass marketing, companies were clueless about what was working demographically. Online marketing slipped into shoes of targeted marketing and fitted so well, it gave hope to marketers who were already hungry for newer ideas and much cheaper ways to reach its audience. Online marketing as a tool was incredible, it was real time and its reach was unfathomable. This platform is viral, one wild world that can make a whole difference.

Online marketing did not find appreciation and favours from many and had been written off several times but it stayed on and only grew stronger. Today, every brand is present in the social media platform, one Facebook page, a Twitter account, a Linkedin profile and few more medium has become a staple, and if you are not there, you are so outdated. This online medium also enabled us (read as individual and corporate) to become more social and interactive than we were few years ago.

In fact, we personally believe that online marketing delivers depending on the way you use the platform and if your strategies are right, your creative ideas are bound to click and convert audiences into customers. With so many innovations within the industry its incredible to see how things have turned out. But its a fact that these innovative marketing ideas made a difference to the whole world, today we are on a global platform and the whole world is out there willing to experience what you have to offer.

What’s your experience?
If you have some experiences related to the post please share it with us.

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Local brands do exist

Its hard to believe the existence of local brands in times when global brands have swept the markets clean. These bigger brands have customised their products and services to find admiration and love from the locals, they have gone to the levels of developing newer products that’s loved by the locals. To our surprise, local brands are still alive and do have a decent market share. Like for instance, with the advent of global brands like Mc. Donalds and KFCs, we thought life span of Haldirams would be at stake. But no, it turns out that quite a huge number of people still prefer fast food from Haldirams over Mc. Donalds burger. Not just that, with growing competition Haldirams has become more organised and offer varied menu with more options, offers value added services like swift service, hygienic practices, good packing, etc.

So as to close this, no matter what local markets are an important area for businesses and cannot be neglected. With some careful marketing local brands can leverage their presence. And even better, it is definite to grow with sensible marketing and excellent service to offer.

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