There is a common misconception in the branding arena. Some believe certain products or services are ‘easier’ to brand than others. Some assume that certain industries require less effort for branding than the rest. Some even suppose that they can do without branding because they simply do not need it. This is far from the truth as there are factors at play which augment the effectiveness of any branding endeavour. What is important is we do our best within our capabilities. Exhaust every possible avenue in your respective arena so that your brand will be remembered. You cannot neglect your branding, even internally. When it boils down to it, never settle for a ‘No’ and keep on pushing ahead for your brand and for your country. After all, no one can ever say anybody ‘over-performs’ when it comes to branding!
“Always welcome over-performance – only those who are dead say it is enough!”
Many put tireless effort into branding, be it for themselves, their companies, products or services. As a country, the business of branding encompasses all kinds of things, viewed in totality, and will have a formidable pull in the international domain if done properly. We must strategize in order to brand effectively. And we must be able to see the beauty even in the simplest things in life for this same beauty can be applied to all things.
I made an interesting observation during the recent Chinese New Year celebrations. Amidst all the endless festivities, camaraderie and revelry, three types of people stood out to me:
• Firstly, there are those who are pretty good at sweet talking, but lack the force of action to back it up.
• Secondly, there are those who are not eloquent in their words (or hardly talk for that matter), but whose actions speak even louder than words can.
• Thirdly, there are those who do nothing (other than being there).
Though we may be prone to judge, perhaps to say which might be better; when you really look at it, be it sweet-talking or showering with lavish gifts, for instance, or merely gracing the occasion with one’s presence, at the end of the day, personal ‘branding’ (called ‘impression’ in this instance) takes place. Regardless of the form it is conveyed, the impression itself is one that is organic because it cannot be seen or held, but rather, felt.
How can one say a sweet-talker who has etched a smile on the face of an elderly person has done any less than another who has showered the same person with lavish gifts, mementos and keepsakes? Who might know how the absence of a loved one or family member from such an auspicious family gathering might have affected the same elderly person in an adverse way? So just being there, neither saying nor doing anything particularly memorable, involves the investing of one’s most irrecoverable asset – time. The presence (just like Brand Presence) matters.
Like all brands in existence, their very presence definitely counts for something. Still, doing something over and above the rest will cause the brand to be inadvertently remembered for a longer time (if not for always). No one ever stops to think how things might have been if someone or something was not there (for instance a brand that is not yet in existence). But everyone remembers, for one reason or another, if you stood out of the crowd to be a blessing through your talents.
I realized that in the grand province of Brands and Branding, to really create an impact, it is not about the ‘on-the-surface’ sort of things. It is about something much, much deeper, transcending Brand Eminence…
It is about Brand Essence… It is about Brand Emotions. At the crust of it all, it is in relation to how a brand makes you feel about it that makes a lasting impression.
It is believed that people will often forget what you say. People even forget what you do.
But people will always remember how you made them feel. This is the secret of everlasting branding. It is, and always has been, all about the ‘Brand Experience’.
Coming back to the aforementioned misleading perception, it is not about the nature of the business. It is about how people relate to the business. The importance of such sentiments can never be
overstated. Branding endeavours should be tailored to take this infallible truth into consideration. It goes without saying that this is a vital ingredient in the business of branding.
“We accentuate our beauty and strength. We hide our ugliness and weakness.”
By applying this principle in how you promote your brand, it no longer matters whether you are at the forefront in the glamorous entertainment industry or thanklessly in the background manufacturing niche components. What matters is how your customers, clients, suppliers and patrons remember you and how the world at large perceives you. In short, their ‘experience’ of you. After all, isn’t that ‘branding’ in the true sense of the word?
Forget just being seen or heard – for what is branding if it is not felt deep within?
If as a brand, you may feel it seems harder to get your brand out there, perhaps because of internal constraints or the nature of the industry. So focus first on branding where it is most relevant to the sustainability of the business.
Instead of focusing on things that limit you, cast your attention to the limitless possibilities that await your brand out there. Use the skills that you acquired when you were overcoming your challenges as assets to navigate the branding seas and come out on top.
As a nation on the verge of breaking forth to a brighter tomorrow, let the whole world remember us because we have made the globe a special place – an epitomic country that blesses the very core of the planet, the heart of hearts. Such is the branding – the Country Branding – that matters.
“Don’t let your problems bog you down, but build you. Your problems do not weaken you, but strengthen you.”
All businesses rely on networking and no one is an island in the realm of Brands and Branding. So push on even when the going gets tough!