What is a brand?
It a perception, an image or an impression that people have about an individual, group of people or an organisation. From an individual perspective, it is what people say about you when you are not in the room, according to Jeff Bezzos. From a corporate perspective, it is that stamp of identity or recognition which distinguishes you from other organisations.
Who defines your brand?
Your customers and potential customers define your brand, based on how they perceive it. What they say, what they think, what they feel, their experiences and expectations all come together to become the brand, your brand. It is therefore crucial for each organisation to lay the foundation clearly regarding how they would want to be perceived by potential and existing customers. The process of brand building is not done overnight, it is in fact an ongoing process where various elements are combined by an organisation to create one whole brand.
Key attributes of creating a unique brand
- Define the name of your organisation
- Outline clearly what the organisation’s key offerings are, whether it is products or services
- Point out your Unique Selling Point, that which makes your product or service stand out from the rest
- Be clear on who your target market is, this is important because it affects the way in which the product or service is packaged so that it attracts the right people.
Key tenets of a winning advert
- Several elements are taken into account when one is packaging a message that is aimed at communicating brand attributes effectively. It is important to understand your targeted audience and to be clear on where the target audience is found, this will determine the kind of advert you craft.
The advert must contain the following attributes:
- Be clear on the core message to be conveyed by the advert. For example an advert by First Capital which was advertising digital banking. The advert showed a cell phone and the code that one dials in order to access an array of services. The messaging was very clear.
- It must have an emotional appeal, something that hooks the audience and makes them want to hear more about the product offerings. For example, the Vodacom television advert which showed a Baby shower scene full of ladies. It was selling data bundles but the emotional appeal used in the advert left one wanting to see more and this automatically endears the potential customers to the advertised brand.
- It must be packaged simply so that it is easy to comprehend. It must not be too far-fetched. For example when MBCA rebranded to NEDBANK, the awareness campaign for the new name simply carried the name and as a result the message was very clear that this was the new identity.
- It must be relatable, the targeted audience must see it and immediately feel a connection to it. For example the Castor Semenya television advert was done to push the Nike brand, but the images used created an immediate connection with the targeted audience, the women and the way the advert was scripted was simple yet powerful. After watching it, the targeted audience would be endeared to buy no other brand but Nike.
- It must be packaged with the notion that it has the power to pioneer a fresh way of thinking and to change existing perceptions.
- It must tell the truth about what the product or service does, but put the message across in an interesting and fascinating way, that grabs the attention of the customers and creates an interest that may result in possible uptake of the product or service.
The dynamism of the advertising world
All organisations need to be aware that the advertising world we are in today is fast paced and highly competitive. What it means is that when one is working on an advert it must be a wholehearted effort along the lines of ‘go big or go home ‘concept. It is important to ensure enough money is set aside for the advert to gain enough mileage in the selected medium. A lack of sufficient flighting money can cripple an otherwise good advertising campaign or promotion. Organisations must be bent on annihilating the competition in all aspects. So full knowledge of the competitors and the activities they are engaged in is crucial. Sufficient slots in the chosen medium is important so as to maximise the impact. Appropriate positioning of the advert within the selected medium is also important for example in the newspapers, the early right hand pages are considered the most prime pages with the most mileage, in radio, the breakfast shows and the afternoon drive time slots are considered the slots with the highest listenership while on the local ZBC television, the news hour is considered to have the highest viewership. Today’s advertising is no longer a ‘one size fits all’, neither does it follow a general approach or execution, it now has to be target specific, so that like an arrow it hits its targeted audience with precision. Similarly, the anticipated mileage and estimated business that will be solicited by the adverts, must be commensurate to the investment committed to the advertising. It is important for organisations to tap into the most creative and experienced experts so as to ensure that their campaigns are well thought out and designed to disrupt people in the organisation’s favour. One example is Nandos who have always done a good job on picking topical events and rhetoric in the market and spinning them creatively to send out a Nando’s message while being relevant to the current situations in the market.
In a nutshell, all organisations must sit and plan in a detailed manner whenever they consider embarking on effective advertising campaigns.