Stephen Akintayo

Unscathed Branding

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stephen akintayo

Have you ever been to a place once and the memory of that place gives you delight? This is what branding does to people. A well-branded person or organisation can be likened to a perfume with a long-lasting scent. Whenever you encounter them, they have a long-lasting effect on you.

 Likewise, when you meet with people who have a terrible body odour, you tend to avoid them whenever they approach you. This is a brief understanding of branding.

So what exactly is branding in terms of a well spelt out definition? As with any concept, phenomenon or subject, there will always be various definitions, whether accepted or not. Branding, according to Amir Kassaei, is not a product or a promise or a feeling. It’s the sum of all the experiences you have with a company. 

This is so accurate because after the initial attraction you might have had due to the perfume as earlier explained, the behavioural, social, financial and economic aspect matters too and it can only be deciphered with continual communication with that company.

The CEO of Amazon, Jeff  Bezos, defines branding as what people say about you when you’re not in the room.  This is quite straightforward enough and I am definite you wouldn’t want to hear negative remarks about your brand. I’m also sure you know how big Amazon is today and for the CEO to say something this plain, you should consider it heavy enough. 

A few other popular brands that you may most likely know are Facebook, Guinness, Coca-cola, Pepsi, MTN, etc. Have you ever asked yourself how these brands got to where they are today? There must have been certain factors that must have brought them to such height.

The truth of the fact is that our world is a branded one and if you refuse to step up your game, you may soon lose the essence, especially in the world of business and entrepreneurship. In order to avoid this, there are a few things that are of great importance, such as business valuing, dressing, networking, consistency, content and finally, becoming your brand. 

For business value, it is vital to state that the sole purpose of your brand is to offer value. Once this is missing, then your brand has lost its worth. You are the one in the best position to state what it is exactly you are offering people. How do you successfully do this without being a pain in the neck? Your logo, fliers and colours differentiate you from others in the same market space and can be a way of telling what exactly you do.

Austin Kleon said, “You have to dress for the job you want, not the job you have, and you have to start doing the work you want to be doing.” Your dressing is a vital ingredient to branding. I remember when I needed to apply for a job once, I did dress well but what disqualified me was the fact that I wore the colour of the company’s biggest competitor. The interviewer said after saying I couldn’t get the job “Next time, study the place you are going to before getting there.”

In fact, it is scientifically proven that your dressing aids your confidence and reduces your stress hormones. Imagine pitching to Governors and Presidents wearing a short. You will only cause harm to yourself except in rare cases.

A few questions you might want to ask yourself are — What exactly do I want to portray? Am I providing a solution? Answering these questions properly will help define you. As the saying goes — When the purpose of a thing is not known, abuse is inevitable. 

Finally, branding can also be regarded as perceived value. Over time, your perceived value must match up with your actual value in order not to disappoint your clients or followers and build trust. When this is achieved, people will in turn ensure massive referrals and boom! You become the unstoppable MTN where people see everywhere they go. Go brand right today!

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