Apple and Coca cola have mind blowing selling figures and grow at a fast pace because it is not just their substance that sells, but the face value of their products appeal to the world. This is because in today’s world a lot of people are quick to draw conclusions BASED ON WHAT THEY SEE. I don’t really find fault with that because a cover should be an introduction to the real product. So if the cover is on point, why won’t the content be?
The concept of branding extends far beyond just your company logo to your business’ core values and to every interaction you have with customers and suppliers. In effect, your brand creates and maintains your reputation and is essential to thriving in almost all areas of life.
Perceptions form the core of human thought and influence a huge percent of what we believe. This may seem like common knowledge in theory but people just seem clueless about it in reality. That’s why some people never pay attention to the need to control perceptions others have about them. Politicians take this one very seriously, because what people think about them will determine if they will win an election. Hence the need to expel propaganda that will enure to their benefit. Bad publicity= bad faith=loss of faith=loss of an election.
Had Ebola started in America,their media would have tried as much as possible to reduce the reputation damage it would cause them by efficient and conscious branding to make the world believe what they intend for the world to believe about the outbreak. Years ago when I was in NC in high school, a colleague recounted a story of how he felt embarrassed when his white girlfriend googled Ghana and all sort of negative things begun to appear rather that the good things we have in this country. How will investors come if we have such a poor brand.
A friend of mine complained bitterly to me about her visit to a nice looking salon in a part of Accra. According to her story, the place was “up to date”. Or as the “gals” will say; “Jerh and classy”. On the other hand, they charged extremely high prices for what could be done elsewhere with the same or even better quality but with lower cost. They could charge higher prices and still thrive in business because of the way they packaged their services. Basically that’s the same reason why, every gentleman wants to be adorned with an original Rolex watch because they think it’s the best. Rolex has managed to form such an impression through branding. Vogue has done it so well that the ladies join in with the name tagging of things that are “in vogue”. I have been thinking a lot lately about how people turn around their lives through branding. It’s like all you have to do to be a “hit” is to properly present yourself and your cause within the context of “jerh AND high tech”. That is what makes the difference between a successful failure and a failed success.
I am going to try not to go into the issue of self branding through the use of make-up but I can’t help it,(ladies forgive me), but as the name suggests it’s just a makeup and does not reflect the real person. However if it looks good it sends a positive signal to the world about the wearer. If it was poorly done and looks horrible, the consequence of that may even be a dud job interview. Perceptions matter, dressing matters, presentation matters and how your face looks may just determine your next big gig. Branding can cause woes and also cause bliss. It just has to be done well to achieve the latter.
Some people just don’t see the need to appear well to others. They say boldly “I don’t owe anybody”. But whether you owe anyone or not, people will still think in a certain way depending on how they see you. So why not spend time controlling this power that others have to determine your reputation. In a country where we import stuff because they are branded well in other countries just says that we regard branding. The paradox is: we mostly don’t apply that regard in finishing our products. The few, who do, soon monopolize business. The recent Glo advert with the big ladies dancing is very catchy and the target audience may not all switch to Glo but they got the message and may start considering the option. That was epic branding.
With this, how do you blame the mother who gracefully flaunts her son’s admission prospectus booklet from Adisadel College to the face of all in a bus? Maybe she didn’t mean too. But I doubt she would have done that if her son had gone to a school which did not meet her standards”. If she had to write his prospectus in her note pad, and do all the necessary research on the school. She would have been far from mentioning it unless asked.
You are valued by your perceived value. Business people, independent contractors all need to have a good brand to appeal to others. Personally, a good brand can help you sail through difficulties with ease. Typical but a bit offensive example is the fact that here in Ghana, when you go to an office to get something done and introduce yourself as someone who has just landed from U.K or the U.S , you are treated in a pleasantly different manner. And it’s all because of the brand that those countries carry.
Sometime this year I went to the African Regent Hotel here in Accra with a friend for a meeting. The architecture, design and the whole aura of the place was proudly African. The only thing amiss was that; there was a young man dressed in black trousers and a white shirt who sat in the corner of the restaurant playing a piano. The music was great and everyone was enjoying it. The irony though, was that he was playing songs by West life in a place that was supposed to be “originally African”. He should have been playing some high-life music to match the creeds of the Hotel. Sadly that’s the case for most people who mismatch till you cannot form an impression of what they really stand for. The brand manager had apparently been absent from work that day for such a thing to have happened. I believe any tourist who was visiting would have been disappointed by the lack of complementary African music to the beautiful African décor.
T’was a branding error. Consistency matters in the branding process. Am not against foreign stuff. My message is clear, let’s start branding our selves decisively and meticulously to prevent other people from reading meanings that are inconsistent with what we intend. We all admire good things. That’s why people who present sustainable business solutions sweep the market. That is why we still import although some things are now Ghana made. People will consciously and unconsciously form impressions about you, the good thing is that you can control their impressions if you do your homework. You can grow your business or attract whatever you want if your brand appeals. The world is watching-double check to see if your Face Book profile picture is not making you lose friends-lol