How Power of Branding Can Explode Your Startup!!
“Dude, I almost had a tiny heart-attack yesterday.”, Gaurav said to me while playing with his iPhone.
“What happened, man?”, I swiftly asked him.
“I was in Cafe Coffee Day with my girlfriend yesterday and we were having a great time. Then, we had to go to this theatre to watch a movie. We booked a cab and after riding for around 5 minutes I realized that I don’t have my phone with me. I remembered keeping my phone on the table before going to the bathroom at CCD, but I couldn’t remember whether I took it back or not.”, Gaurav said to me.
“Damn! What happened next?”, I felt curious.
“I asked the cab driver to turn around the cab and go back to the CCD. And that’s when my Shruti became really angry. She said I always do stuff like this and I’m never careful. Can you believe that girl?”, Vaibhav asked me rolling his eyes.
I wanted to reply that ‘Yes, I believed her’. When I and Gaurav were in college, he did forget his phone at least ten times in different classrooms. And then, he used to force me to go into the classroom with him to get back the phone. Gaurav was always careless with his phone, laptop, and other stuff.
“No! Anyways, go ahead, what happened next. Did you find your phone?”, I wanted to reach the end faster.
“Okay. I asked the cab-driver to turn the cab but Shruti disagreed. She persisted to the driver to continue moving towards the theater as we were getting late for the movie. I didn’t understand what was wrong with Shruti. After all, it was my iPhone. I saved money for over 3 months to buy that phone and she knew how much I liked my it…”, Gaurav continued.
“You do love iPhone and you are a die-hard Steve Jobs fan. Everyone knows that.”, I said to him with a wicked smile.
“Yeah, that’s what I thought. Everyone knows how much I love apple products. And it was my beloved iPhone which was missing. How could Shruti not care about it?… And then I realized what was going on. Shruti must have picked my phone before we left CCD. And that’s why she didn’t care about my questions and asked the driver to go on.”, Gaurav answered. He sounded like he was Sherlock Homes and he has just solved the biggest mystery in the world.
“Damn that girl. She really rocks.”, I applauded.
“Shut up, Kritesh. I almost got a heart-attack for around 2 minutes in that cab. And Shruti’s joke wasn’t that funny.”, Gaurav sounded a little scotched.
“Actually, it was kinda funny. And I think you deserved to learn that lesson.”, I answered thinking what worst could have happened if Shruti has not picked his phone.
“Yes, I know. Anyways, I always try to be more careful with my stuff, especially my iPhone. But its just something that I can’t help. I do careless things like this all the time, unknowingly.”, Gaurav sounded a little worried. But, then I realized that it was Gaurav and he never worries for more than two minutes for anything. So, he’ll be fine.
“Tell me one thing, Gaurav. If you know that you are not so good at handling stuff — Why don’t you buy a cheaper phone? You won’t regret losing or mishandling them? Why did you pay Rs 106k to buy your iPhone X?”, I asked Gaurav a question whose answer I might already know.
“Haha. There’s no way in hell I’m going to buy any sh***y phone. I always go with the best.”, he bragged.
“Oh, come’on. iPhones are not the best. You know that there are many other phones on the market with better configuration than that of iPhone, Right?”, I tried to reason him.
“Yeah, maybe there are. But, I don’t trust any other phone. I believe in the brand of Apple. Maybe the price is a little high, but the satisfaction that I get after using Apple products are worth it”, he answered with a big pride.
“Okay Champ, I got it! Brand matters more to you than products… Now, give me your iPhone so that I can play that new game which you downloaded last week. I bet I’ll break your high score within ten minutes.”, I challenged Gaurav and demanded his phone.
“You can try, dude. But I’m confident that you’ll not be able to complete even first three levels…”, Gaurav guffawed at his remark.
According to Wikipedia, a brand can be defined as:
“A brand is a name, term, design, symbol, or other feature that distinguishes an organization or product from its rivals in the eyes of the customer. Brands are used in business, marketing, and advertising.”
Sounds a little boring, right? That’s why I’m not a big fan of Wikipedia when I’m searching similar topics –which are not fact-based.
Anyways, the definition of a brand is relative and it varies from person to person and company to company. Here are a few common definitions of a brand presented by a few well-known personalities —
“A Brand is not a logo, identity or product. A brand is a person’s gut feeling about a product, service or organization.” — Marty Neumeier, Branding expert
“An Idea of an image of a specific product or services that consumers connect with by identifying the name, logo, slogan or design of the company who owns the idea or the image.” — Josh Wagga, Branding Expert.
“Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.” — Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon.com
A Brand is an emotional and psychological relationship with your customers.
This is the thing in your business that causes a customer to drive 15 km from the city to buy from you.
Further, you can consider a brand as a person. If you like that person, you will stick around with him/her. Similarly, if you like a brand, you’ll remain associated with it for a very long time.
What are the Key ingredients of a brand?
“Too many companies want their brands to reflect some idealised, perfected image of themselves. As a consequence, their brands acquire no texture, no character and no public trust.” -Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group
Although every little detail matters while branding, however few of the key elements of branding worth mentioning are a brand compass, name & tagline, identity, core value, meaning, and brand culture.
Anyways, what matters the most while defining a brand is the values, vision, and personality of the brand.
Few examples of the most powerful brands in the world.
“Your brand is not what you say it is; It’s what they say it is”
In the late 1880s, Coca-cola started packaging and leveling its drinks to differentiate itself from the generic competitors. When it started, Coca-cola was just another carbonated sugar drink. But today, no one can compare Coca-cola with the road-side soda shops. Maybe both the products are similar, but the difference is in the power of branding.
Similarly, if you’ve been to the McDonalds, you must know that it is also just another burger selling company. Moreover, you can find dozens of other shops in your locality with even better and cheaper burgers. Still, they won’t ever be able to compete with Macdonald.
Few other well-recognized companies in the world which are enjoying the power of branding are Amazon, Toyota, British Airways, Dunkin donuts, VISA, FedEx etc.
Moreover, if you want to know the world’s most valuable brands, here is a list by FORBES:
(Source: The Worlds’s Most valuable brands list by Forbes)
Why Branding is so important?
The simplest answer to this question is that with big brands, people want to associate with the company easily, willing to pay more for the products/services and argue less.
Branding is important because the customers have a lot of options these days. They have an option for everything at least 10x times. The Power of branding helps the company to win a price war, survive worst economic crisis or recession, or simply grow its profits — no matter how much the competitions.
It is a way for the company to stand out in the crowd, increase values to their offers, attract and connect with the ideal customers. A company with a big brand enjoys the recognition, trust, greater financial values, increased marketing effectiveness, and inspired employees.
Also read: Why Nobody is Waiting for Your Startup?
We are currently living in an era where having a brand is a necessity for the companies as it boosts the business values and helps them to acquire customers more easily.
Nevertheless, with power comes responsibilities. When you are building your brand, you should also keep in mind the values that you are offering to your customers. After all, a brand is a promise.