We have often heard the term “Branding”. But what does it actually mean?
According to Wikipedia – “A brand is a name, term, design, symbol or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers.”
If you think yes, you can actually end this article now. In that case, my article would be very clickbaity.
If you think no, well let’s understand the term more deeply. Also, remember I am going to divert a lot from the topic in the middle. Imagine this to be a conversation in print.
Alright then. Let’s discuss branding.
To talk about what branding is, let’s see what branding isn’t.
Branding isn’t your logo. A logo is a symbol signifying your brand.
Branding isn’t your vision. A vision is what you imagine your brand to be.
Branding isn’t your product. A product is a commodity you are trying to sell through the brand.
Branding aren’t your impressions. Impressions are the numbers that you generate in a more advertising sense.
Mind you all of these are essential components that build a brand but they are not branding.
Now after that jargon, coming back to the question what is branding?
On a more human front, your branding is equivalent to your reputation. Branding is a feeling of which people have about your company.
As Jeff Bezos says, “Your brand is what other people say about you when you are not in the room.”
Now, this makes branding a highly opinionated term. So at the end of the day, your brand is an opinion of your company in someone’s head.
And in my opinion, that is not a bad thing.
To win in branding, you can either win 1-0 or you can win 8-2 just like you do in football.
In order to win 1-0, you have to persuade each and every person to be aligned with your thought.
Achieving that is highly improbable.
When you win 8-2, it is 80% of people who are aligned with your thought.
As a brand, I would not recommend you to spend your time in trying to forcibly change someone’s thought, you rather focus on people who are already in line with your company.
Branding is an important factor for your business.
In fact, without a brand, selling your product is extremely difficult.
To support my statement, I will present an analogy here.
When you want to make a house, you have to lay a strong foundation and only then you can build on it.
Branding is the foundation of your company, wherein people know what to feel about your company. Once that feeling is instilled in people now you can try selling them products.
If I were to give you a good example of branding, I would say it is Nike.
Because in my head, Nike has achieved this state of being an amazing company. I know now if a product is Nike, it has to be good. Their reputation in my head is extremely well painted.
So the question you need to ask yourself is that what picture have I painted of my company in people’s head?
If you want to read more about Nike’s branding strategy, click here.
If that picture matches with your company’s objective you have done a great job in branding.
But you need to also remember the fact that branding is influenced by a lot of external factors which have nothing to do with your product or customers.
I will give you an example. Let’s consider Zomato.
Zomato announced a 10-Day menstrual leave for its female employees in an annum. What does it tell you?
The company is progressive. Now anyone reading this would feel great about the company. It has created a feel-good factor in my mind without actually talking about their products or services.
On the contrary (without taking any names) (Chuckles…) there are companies that do not treat their employees well. So the employees have started to publicly go out and speak about it.
This also affects the brand.
Coming back to the topic of branding, keep in mind that every decision you make, the way you treat your employees, the culture that you create in your company, all of that matters for you.
At the end of your day, it’s your reputation. You can take years to build it and seconds to destroy it.
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