Branding important to grow business value [New Straits Time (Malaysia)]
(New Straits Time (Malaysia) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) KUALA LUMPUR: BRANDING is and remains as one of the most important aspects of any business, particularly in today's more challenging marketing environment.
Although branding is part and parcel of what businesses must develop as its identity while promoting its products or services, many brands are still facing failure, regardless of the numerous opportunities available to grow the value of the brand.
Part of the reason for the failed branding is because today's marketing environment has become much more challenging.
At the same time, many brands tend to ignore the common principles of marketing, said Millward Brown chief global analyst and author Nigel Hollis.
"One of the main concerns is that businesses have become fixated on the challenges of how to reach customers through various marketing channels, while forgetting that what reaches the customers is equally important," he said in an interview after the launch of his book, "The Meaningful Brand: How Strong Brands Make More Money", here, recently.
With 30 years of experience in the business world, Hollis explained that customers tend to remember the products that are different from others while at the same time are meaningful to them. They tend to purchase products that they believe meet their needs.
Humans tend to use "short-cuts" to decision-making, he said, while adding that often when brands are similar, even just a little difference to the competitors can potentially influence customers' purchase decision.
At the same time, customers will purchase something when they are able to justify their decisions.
"We are more instinctive and emotional in our decision-making than many of us will like to believe. We do like to be able to rationalise why we made a purchase decision because the actual justification of the decision is always more important than the fact that we made the decision," Hollis said.
In today's digital world, social media has become one of the most important tools of marketing for most brands. However, Hollis noted that some of the brands are not using social media effectively to engage with customers.
"It is interesting to see how some brands are confident about engaging with their customers and consumers directly through a medium like Facebook or Instagram, whereas other brands find it really difficult to do so because they are the sort of show-and- tell type rather than engage- and-talk," he said.
It is easier for brands to make itself meaningful and different if it knows what it stands for, Hollis said, adding that the more meaningful and different a brand is, the more powerful it is going to be as it can drive more sales and command a price premium.
He added that the objective of marketing is to build intangible value around the brand to make the product or service worth more than it would be. Thus, it is crucial for businesses to know and understand what their brand stands for.
In his book, Hollis has laid a simple framework that can be applied to any brand worldwide. There is a discussion on why brands need to be meaningful and different, how to make brands meaningful and different and how to amplify the brand in the marketplace.
"If someone sits down with the book and think about their specific brands, they will be able to work through the questions at the end of each chapter. There is a simple checklist that people can work through to help them understand how they might drive more value from their brands," he said.
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