Branding 2019 – Top 10 Investments Brand Owners should be looking at.
The world is evolving each day – technology, cyber security, environmental crisis is taking the front seat. Businesses have failed, some are trying to attain monopoly, others are diversifying and many are evolving from their traditional ethnics to the digital shoes. Freelancers are evolving as brands and brands are evolving into corporate houses and the corporate houses are busy with their employer branding – well! To keep it simple, they are busy with resource optimization.
The world is becoming smaller; imagine we are trying to reach the consumer on their smart phones and even watches. We are trying to knock their screens – which is attainable with advertising budgets but apparently for Top of Mind Recall we need to BRAND well. Because ads result into instant success and the result of branding multi-folds. Branding is long term and leads to not just Sales but leads to References as well.
Going further, we will talk about the Top 10 Investments Brand Owners must consider for the year 2019. The context is branding – readers are suggested to pick and infer or consult the author to link these points with their business intent for the year 2019.
1.Review your Brand Basics – Are they in line with your Current Business Intent and Practices.
With the outpour of business strategy, online courses, quick webinars – it is obvious that we all get enticed with the kind of magic wands we are being offered online at the click or a swipe of our card – and apparently all these courses are promising a multi-fold business growth.
There is nothing wrong in upgrading ourselves and keeping the business up-to-date but the points of consideration for any brand should be:
- How to keep it relevant to the brand goals?
- Is it going to help my business in any way?
- Do I need to communicate the same to my clients? Are they ready for the change?
- How will the team respond to this change? Are they equipped.
And most importantly….
Is this in line with my business intent or the change need a particular treatment so that the Brand Evolvement is well received.
2. Ensure Cyber Security for your Brand Space
Very basic yet significant. We are currently working with Brands – that are reaching out rural, 2-3 tier audience, urban population as well as International Markets – one thing that remains equally significant for all brands who are trying to develop a digital niche – they must ensure basic norms of cyber security.
This is about your Brand Image too. Do not embarrass your brand by listening to a complain as naïve as – “Your server denied access as the site in Unsecure”
Also take care of the data – the already big thing. Your clients trust you – ensure that you are trustworthy as a brand. Whether you have client information – that could be digital space, financial, card details for eCommerce brands etc. – make sure you are inferred as SAFE and SECURE brand to transact and do business with.
3. Content Marketing is Staying Strong
Branding without content is a thing of past. If you really think that you can sustain without offering the right and relevant content to your customers – I am sorry to say but it is a waste of time & energy.
Branding without content marketing – is practically not possible. Make sure the following elements of content marketing are a part of your Branding 2019:
- Visual Content (Social Media Marketing – Watch out the channels most relevant to your brand & customers)
- Video Marketing
- Blogging & Articles
- Online PR
- If you plan to use Marketing Automation – take care of the Content Templates
- Brand Voice & Copy (Copy/Jingles/ Voice Overs / Tele-calling Script are all elements of brand voice)
- Interaction Management – as that is the passive form of Brand Content that your SEO team is creating through Social Bookmarking, Participating in forums etc.
- Email Marketing (We will talk in detail about this in Customer Connect & Feedback)
Tip: Keep it Simple – short and Easy to Comprehend.
4. Set Goals for Scale Up
Scaling-Up the Brand is not just scaling up the start-up or business. Scale-Up for a Brand is done in the following terms:
- Raising the Brand Equity (Paid PR & Power Networking)
- Raising the Brand Capability (Staff & Possibilities)
- Business Offering Scale-Up (New Market & New Segment)
- Brand Reach (Removing the Geographic Limitations)
For instance, we were earlier managing the brands on strategy, concept, content & digital platform. Our scale up in brand capabilities allowed us to extend services and we could cater to Brand Exhibit Solutions, coordination for offline engagement, Off-site Brand shoots etc., for their marketing campaigns – we could practically touch the brand advertising and marketing for the brands we have been managing as a consultant & digital endorser.
Our content team could support the brand owners – by participating in their PR events and thereby cashing-on those participations. Like I always say, the more we involve the brand strategist – the better will be our ideas and execution around brand management.
5. Is Digital Marketing the way of Branding?
Digital Marketing is the current way of marketing but that is not branding.
Digital presence is significant, a must.
Digital approachability and interaction is even more important. Being there is not enough.
Digital Campaigns – should be taken seriously & managed properly.
Digital Advertising – works differently for each brand. Before entering this game – ascertain what we seek out of it?
The only thing constant in digital marketing is Content. Keep that relevant – be truthful with that. Create a connect digitally rather than just existing. Remember, followers are one-time result – the basic reason of being there is engagement – and be seen in the category.
There is nothing like one-time digital marketing – those are only campaigns. If you are ready for a consistent effort digitally – this is the space for you.
6. People – your Brand Ambassadors
“A Brand is known by the people it associates with, works with, plays with & interacts with.”
When we talk about people as the brand ambassadors – we mean any human interface that the brand is going to have. Your team, your digital interaction, the emails that your team shares, the marketing communication or connect that your brand stakeholders receive.
People who are sharing your social media posts are also the brand ambassadors. This is the digital word of timeline and the digital influencers really make a difference.
In Indian context, personal message is the most preferred way to interact with – but with the digital marketing spreading endlessly – any digital interaction works as a brand credibility and the influencers can really make a difference.
People matter – Count on them! The following points of Branding 2019 are pertaining to People and how to reach the Top of Mind Recall.
7. Brand Engagement
Amazon India had sent the copies of a newly released book to the readers who were consistent with their amazon orders and book reviews, the packaging was different – unique and extinguished as that is how they wanted the readers to feel about the exercise. They wanted to appreciate them and ‘Thank’ them.
Brand Engagement is experiential marketing. How well are you engaging with the customers, are you touching them emotionally, do they feel special about the way brand connects with them. The idea of Brand Engagement is to create an experience and thereby a memory. Allow them to feel your brand.
Brand that go out of the way to connect with their customers are always long-lived and advocated as they become brands on the top of mind recall while others are mere service providers. Choose what you want to create and be that.
Go Beyond the Digital ways! It’s time for some Old School Marketing, because old is gold.
Branding 2019 is expected to be more about the traditional ways of Brand Engagement. Your audience is getting bombarded with the daily emails – from banks, grocery stores, mobile offers and the numerous APPs they have signed with. A personalized email by post – is what they are seeking most. Are we ready?
8.Customer Inference & Feedback
Are you thinking ‘How is Customer Inference different from Brand Engagement?’
Engagement with your brand is mainly a set of exercises built around reach and connecting with the customer personally. We have covered both online and offline connect with the brands – and also how to make them beneficial for the clients.
What do we mean by Customer Inference & Feedback?
It is primarily the Brand Image & Positioning that you have created not out of Brand Communication but purely out of service offering – as a solution provider – as a problem solver.
There are bad experiences in every business but how you handle that mishap, the unwanted experience is what leads to customer inference, the feedback counts because a brand inference be such that a client remembers to talk more about your positives and is genuinely or willingly forgets the undesired experience.
What could be the probable Customer Inferences for a Brand?
- Detail Oriented
- Knowledge Backed
- Logic Backed
- Awesome Team
- Very Cooperating
Customer Inferences for Start-up Brands:
- Naïve but Hard-working
- They know their game
- Love their zeal
- Very Creative
In the year ahead, the brands will be competing with start-ups, automation, freelancers, personal brands, may be automation backed Apps too – your defining factors will only be the customer inferences about your brand.
9. Employer Branding
- There is no dearth of talent! Agree?
- There is a scarcity of commitment! Agree?
- These guys don’t know what they seek out of career! Agree?
- There are too many distractions for the young talent! Agree?
- Struggling with unsure and undefined grievances! Agree?
If you agree to more than 2 points from the above, your brand lacks employer branding.
Employees are the base of a brand. They are the flag bearers and they need to be a part of your branding. Most of the businesses need human intervention and the employees are the impressions of your brand.
You need to brand well – so as to attract the right talent for your business. If Branding 2019 is going to a challenge and you aspire this to be a defining year for your brand – associate with the right pool of talent – associates, employees, vendors, branding agencies – everyone should be in sync with your business goals. Keep them aware and informed.
Work with your brand team now and create the elements for internal branding – communication, engagement, interface, feedback etc.
10. Advertising vs Branding
Now that we are ready with an absolute Brand in place – internally & externally, it is time to talk about the Marketing Campaigns. Create these in line with your brand goals, specifically those that are ROI intensive.
The advertising for your brand should be business intensifying as they should spank the brand but bring in instant business benefit. When you have to emerge out – reach out and make an impact instantly.
Your advertising budget must be an element of your branding 2019 and the same can be planned around the following:
- New Business Development
- Exhibits & Offline Reach
- Event Branding – to touch a larger audience or markets
- Personal Branding – to reach larger markets or new business through networking
- YouTube Channel
- High-end PR for citations and coverage.
On that note, let us begin working on the Brand Maps and let us fuel-up our teams, minds and remarkably execute Branding 2019. Now is the time to gear up and plan ahead and put the teams to work. Like always, the idea is not to live forever but to create something that will.
Happy Branding 2019 🙂
BTW, if you are looking to take your brand to next level in 2019. Then let’s chat. Write to me at — email@example.com