Essentials of building a B2B brand: Roma Balwani, Director, Strategic Resources Group

Guest Column: Balwani says fundamentals of branding rely on the client's mindset and ability of the agency to discern and hit the sweet spot

by Roma Balwani
Published - Jan 28, 2019 8:15 AM Updated: Jan 28, 2019 8:15 AM
roma balwani

Brands which have established a connect with its audience; be it emotional, experiential or the ‘Keep up with the Joneses’ variety, are all brands that have a high recall value. 

The brand experience can be instant, researched or simply alluring for the customer.

Social media, a startling different mindset of millennials, shareholder activism getting more effective, and technology as a disrupter, can all impact any brand. 

In today’s VUCA world, there is indifference, information overload and too much clutter to really identify brand attributes that can influence a customer. Hence, the question many brand gurus have been grappling with is: how to create a winning brand for the client.

To begin the exercise, we first need to understand the client requirement which may ultimately turn out to be radically different from the brand persona! The fundamentals of branding rely on the mindset of the client and the ability of the agency to discern and hit the sweet spot.

The discovery phase is critical as it is the bedrock of bringing together diverse stakeholders; within and outside of the organisation. 

Let me take an example of an agri-commodities company, keen to build its brand; this is a decision deliberated and taken by the leadership team or influenced by an investing company that has a majority shareholding in the company.

A brand expert or an agency prepares the blueprint almost like that of a battlefield, to start the process to pitch and gain the confidence of the client. The agency which is hired after the initial pitch is accepted, is the enabler through this brand building journey.  

The first step is to harness and bring semblance to the existing brand attributes of the product or services offered by the company. The soul-searching exercise begins usually with the leadership team, the discovery phase that will enable the company to understand the attributes which has helped them garner significant market share till date.

Then comes the phase to define the brand attributes; values and essence, which will crystallize and morph into a brand positioning statement. By now the naysayers are immersed in the brand-building exercise and excitement sets in where core values, vision and mission statements are deliberated upon to understand the brand’s essence. All aspects of current and future business are part of this strategic discussion which are confidential and strategic as in a war room.

To energize an existing brand, it’s important to assess and revisit the visual, design elements of the brand, be it the logo, or the tag line. The visual treatment forms the core of creating the brand persona that will be addressing the future business needs of the product or service.

The brand-building exercise will need to have many experts or creative avenues brought in at different timelines to deploy the integrated communication strategy. Creating the brand map is essential, which will drive uniformity in the offerings of products or services that the audience will experience while consuming the brand.

Till now it is a pulsating exercise within the organisation. Now is the time to unveil and embark on the exciting journey of building the brand with its target audience and the influencer community that hovers on the fringes. Their feedback and million other opinions will defend your brand, as it gets consumed.

For the brand to be sustained, it has to signify a sense of trust or have an aspirational value, encourage engagement, engage in conversation, which then leads to conversion or consumption.

The art of launching or relaunching a brand is to craft a disruptive, socially aware communication that will resonate with multiple stakeholders and influence public opinion. 

Why do we always recall some brands and some go into oblivion. They touch an emotional chord and remain memorable. The classic Google ad that united two old friends across the border is one such example.

(The author is Director, Strategic Resources Group)

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not in any way represent the views of exchange4media.com

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