Saturday, July 11, 2015

Why You need a B-R-A-ND-I-N-G strategy before a F-U-N-D-I-N-G strategy

When you are seeding a company, a bankable idea gets paramount importance.
Even afterwards, an early stage entrepreneur is mainly focused on how to get the idea running from grounds up.
SO when does he think about branding? The problem is - he does not!
When investors ask him, the branding paragraph is hurriedly made, and embedded in the footnote.
Folks, what do you think is branding strategy? It is not the tools you think it is – PR, Social Media, and Digital Marketing, etc.
No
They are just the tools, the vehicles, the platforms - enabling the Brand Strategy.
On the other hand, Brand Strategy positions you, in a manner that forges an emotional connect with your audience.
Even if there are low entry barriers in your market, this strategy ensures brand loyalty IF you have strategized early enough.
For example, had Flipkart formulated a brand strategy early on, they would not be struggling today with ‘look-alikes’ and ‘me-too’ brands and end up becoming a ‘deal of the day’ portal.
Where is the emotional connect? What stops a customer from going to Snapdeal / eBay / Amazon?
Everyone is claiming to give a happy, convenient and fast shopping experience, than what are you doing which stands you apart and makes the customers identify with you and be loyal to you? Commoditization is a huge business challenge for Indian firms.
Flipkart can still get it right. However, time is of the essence. 
Slogans come from a brand strategy and positioning, and brand positioning comes from the heart, especially in a B2C scenario, in India, and in an industry where ‘me-too’ brands flourish.
This is just one example. There are many more, where the brand strategy and positioning has gone haywire.
Here a notable exception is ‘Airtel’ which always goes for great connect with the audience, percolating from their brand strategy and positioning.
Case in point – ‘Har friend zaroori Hai’ campaign, and nowadays the ‘Family Plan’. They have a way of drawing you within their fold and making you feel cherished.
THAT is the panacea all B2C brands should look for, to be adopted as a family member by its consumers. Can your brand promise that?
Think hard and long, deliberate, consult, and strategize - BEFORE you put your brand in the market, not afterwards.
Note: In my posts, ‘He’ and ‘She’ are both represented by ‘He’ - Just Saying :-)

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