Speaking from a Kenyan point of view, many are still blind to the concept of branding and how important it is in setting the pace of any enterprise. I will give an analogy:
Two men go fishing. One has a long hook the other has a short hook but plenty of worms. They both aim to catch plenty of fish but in different ways. The man with the long hook aims to catch much fish at once and the one with the worms aims to catch a single fish fast and repeat the process since it is effective. The man with the small hook and worms is more likely to succeed.
The fish in this scenario are prospective clients. Branding is what attracts the clients to you like the worms attract the fish to the hook. The man with the long hook went after sales before he undertook any branding.
By definition, branding is the creation of a unique name (and slogan), presence and image of a product or service in the mind of a consumer. It is a process and not an activity. It begins when an enterprise is created and continues for as long as the enterprise exists.
What are the merits of effective branding to an enterprise?
Branding has nothing but merits. Only bad branding has demerits. I will refer to Safaricom, a mobile network company in East Africa to bring about an understanding of the merits of branding.
- Creation of an image – Branding creates a constant image about an enterprise to its consumers. If you walked along streets of Nairobi, anything green would instantly trigger the thought of Safaricom or M-Pesa. That’s an image that has been created in your mind.
- The impression of size – good and effective branding will create the impression of size and influence of an enterprise to its prospective consumers. A strong brand creates an image of an established business that has been there for long.
- The notion of quality – a strong brand projects an image of quality in your business. Safaricom is a mobile network company that easily transitioned to mobile money because of the strong trustworthy brand that it had been creating for many years
- Experience and reliability – consumers tend to trust brands that are strong and associate them with experience and the promise of reliability. That is why, for instance, people may opt to buy mobile devices from Safaricom even though that isn’t their primary business.