Are you a small business that wants to know what and how branding can work in Miri? Do you wish to create a successful brand for your business, no matter where you’re from? If you are, you should continue reading!
What is a brand? Most people would think a brand is all about its visual identity like logo, name, design, etc. Do you really know the exact meaning of brand? Branding is more than its visual identity! Have you ever come across the book called The Brand Gap? Well, I believe this book can answer most of the questions and misconceptions that have been playing on your mind!
The Brand Gap is one of the books written by Marty Neum. Marty started as a graphic designer and copywriter. He works with marketers, consultants, designers and CEOs to help them develop their brand skills and bring meaningful change. He has helped big companies like Apple, HP, Adobe, Google and Netscape to build their brands.
Who should read this book?
The Brand Gap is a revised and updated version that explains the concept behind branding. It’s great for anyone who is involved in marketing, branding, design and business, doesn’t matter if you own a business in Miri or other cities. You can use the guides from this book to create brand identities to grow your business. It is the most-read book about branding in the world and there are over 20 million people have viewed the SlideShare version of this book.
What you will learn from this book?
There’s a quote in this book that says “A strong brand can give your company a competitive edge”. From the book, you’ll learn the 5 branding disciplines and understand the gap between branding strategy and design. With the guides, you will have the idea to make your brand message stand out in a crowded market while maintaining relevance to your business strategy. Therefore, you can create successful branding although you’re a small business in Miri!
What Is Brand?
Let’s look into the word “brand”? To correct people’s misconceptions, a brand is not a logo. What people have been talking about is the trademark. A logo is a trademark which symbolizes the brand. A brand is not a corporate identity system either; not your business communication strategy, behaviour or design! It is also not about your business product.
Then, what is it if it’s none of those? The answer is pretty straightforward; “A brand is a person’s gut feeling about a product, service, or company”, “A brand is not what you say it is, it’s what they say it is”. From these sentences, you can see that it is not something that any company can control but they can influence the customers by delivering the qualities that make their products or services different from others.
What Is Brand Gap?
Strategy and creativity are two different things. Marketers and strategists are thought to be left-brained people as they think analytically, logically, numerically, etc. Contrastingly, creative people and designers are commonly right-brained people who follow their intuitions, emotions, visuals etc. But, the right brain isn’t always aware of what the left brain is thinking. Thus, the moment when there is a fracture between creativity (magic) and strategy (logic), the brand gap is created.
This is why you can see some well-known companies appoint Chief Brand Officers (CBO) as CBOs are specialised in creating a bridge for the gap between logic and magic.
Charismatic Brand & The 5 Disciplines
Marty says the brand gap can be viewed in 2 ways; as a natural barrier to communication and as a natural barrier to competition. Companies like Apple, Coca-Cola and Nike became well-known and gained a great advantage over other companies because they know how to close the gap. So, how can your business do branding in Miri?
A brand is charismatic when the business successfully delivers its messages into people’s brains without noise, distortion or the need to think too hard about it. Hence, you know that the brand is charismatic when it is frequently mentioned.
To create a charismatic brand, there are 5 disciplines to master;
To build your brand, you must answer 3 important questions first. Who are you? What do you do? Why does it matter? If your answers to these questions are unclear, that means you have no focused brand. Branding is all about focus. Why? An unfocused brand that’s too wide is said to not stand for anything and people do not have a clear reason to buy it. A focused brand knows what it is, what makes it stand out from the rest and why people want to buy it. Differentiation of the brand is what makes the people want to buy it as it is more appealing than other brands.
Therefore, it is important to answer these 3 questions to make your brand stand out in the market.
“It takes a village to build a brand”. Branding is a team project. It requires interaction with thousands of people and diverse skills to get the results. Branding takes hard work and you will need a group of specialists to share ideas and align the teams’ efforts together to get a successful result. You can build a team or hire a third party to work with you.
How to form a collaboration? There are three basic models to manage brand collaboration; to outsource the brand to a one-stop-shop, to outsource the brand to a brand agency and managing the brand internally with an integrated marketing team.
It is not the strategy, but the creativity that makes you stand out in the market. A business needs creativity for innovation to make changes happen. Innovation is something that has never been tried before and scares people. But, that is exactly the thing that makes people curious about the brand!
The question now is how do you want to be innovative? Creating a good name is a part of innovation. The name must be brief, appropriate, distinctive, likable, extendible, protectable, and easy to pronounce. Besides that, you must know that an icon is like the DNA of the brand because it pictures the personality which differentiates it from other brands. Lastly, the packaging is the final and best chance that you should not miss. A packaging must be able to create emotion in customers by understanding the natural reading sequence of your category. Therefore, you must include the information that the customers would question themselves when they are observing the product or service. Hence, your business can create a bond with the customer.
To validate your brand, you must bring the audience into the creative process. To do that, your communication model must contain 4 components; sender, message, receiver and the receiver sends the message back to the sender. Using this communication model, you can get feedback from your customers. The feedback is important for you to improve your brand based on your customers’ needs. Therefore, communication between your business and customers becomes stronger and more attentive.
How can some businesses be successful? “Business is a process, not an entity”. Business is all about survival, so, you must be able to adapt continuously to the market trends, economy, industry and marketplace. Branding is something that you must study, analyze, teach and manage. This is why the big companies need CBO to manage and teach brand knowledge to the employees who are in charge of branding. Hence, the companies don’t need to hire external forces and manage the brand internally.
A business with a brand can influence your customers’ perception of your business which is based on the brand personality, promises, reputation and customers’ experiences and expectations. With a brand, your business can build customer loyalty, trust, reputation and recognition. These benefits will provide you with long-term success.
To end the book summary, there are also 220 words of brand glossary and some takeaways highlighted at the back of the book. As this book is very beneficial to anyone that are new to branding, a small business in Miri would find this very useful too! Thus, it is important to take steps in building your brand to strengthen the foundation for your business strategies.
If your business needs help with branding, you can contact Horizn Digital Miri anytime. We would be very happy to offer you help to grow your business.