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Branding Today

By: Avis Jan at De Mellows

Submitted on Wed, Aug 2nd, 2006 12:00 am

It has become a surging trend in the 21st century that every firm is taking Branding seriously. Starting from the entrepreneurial middle- aged guy whose hair is starting to recede at an alarming rate right up to the CEO of an MNC who probably doesn't share the same problem as his hair is all gone anyway. Branding in today's world is significant to companies as candy is important to a child. Even more so is the significance that online marketers are doing. Web Branding which actually means translating the brand strategy to an online strategy. So this process articulates the presence onto the Virtual world.

Companies and marketers have been making a common mistake of invoking exciting methodologies for raking in the sales and profits for a company without contemplating on the implications of strategies devoid of a long term outlook. The intent of conjuring solutions to increase the clientele base has to be the bread and butter of any organization, albeit what is it that is being done to boost the equity of the company? Are Internet marketers just resting on their laurels after successfully implementing campaigns that boosted their revenue by a nifty 10%?

Internet Branding has to be taken seriously in today's world due to the ever revolutionizing strategies imposed by the great minds of today. A Brand should encapsulate the soul of the organization and only by understanding its constitutional position can the Brand propel forward and surge exponentially. There are a fair share of companies that don't believe in Branding and think of it as a mere transition. They however feel that critical elements like customer service, sales and an intelligent workforce and management can overcome any adversities. This however could be a fatal blow to any organization's amour as the notion tends to underestimate the turbulence of today's corporate environment. They may deny that identity is not worth creating but in actual fact, they could already be perceived as a strong Brand without themselves realizing it. Whatever the case scenario, if one claims ignorance on the imperativeness of creating a Brand identity, it is tantamount to corporate suicide, sooner rather than later.

Why is there much emphasis on Branding by companies in this era? If we really look into history there never was a time when Branding didn't exist. It maybe wasn't as explicit as it is in today's technologically liberal community, but it did exist in a plethora of crude ways.

In China, around 1750s, there was a rice seller named Hock Seng, who actually had the best tasting rice because he chose to grow it with some special formula. People knew his name and what he sells and they flocked to him to get the nicer tasting rice. Although rice is rice and the taste is pretty much the same, he managed to distinguish it and marketed his product well and made it into popular Brand. If people wanted rice the only place they went was to Hock's paddy field. They chose Hock! Why? Not so much because they want tasty rice but it's because of how Hock has created an image and established his special rice by Branding. It wasn't your everyday rice. It was Hock's rice which probably tasted like any other rice, but because he chose to differentiate himself from the hordes of other Chinese farmers he managed to create a brand by himself.

India is a land of rich history and tradition and it goes back a long way. Indian astrology is well known around the world as Vedic astrology. Iyer Panditji was a famous astrologer during 500 BC in South India. During that period there were many astrologers, who in actual fact were better than him. But they weren't as famous or as wealthy as him. Why? Panditji set up a system where he gave consultation to the King and the affluent where he charged a hefty amount but on the other end of the spectrum he gave free consultation to the poor and needy. He became popular and was well known throughout India for his nobility, expertise and magnanimity The King only got enlightened by Panditji's exploits after many of his people started raving about Panditji's good work. Panditji was good no doubt, but he managed to create a system where he was invited by the King to be his personal astrologer. So in South India when anyone mentions astrology, the only name that comes to mind is Iyer Panditji. It is not because he was the best in the land, but it was because he chose to align himself with the best and the "worst" in the land by creating a brand identity.

Internet Branding takes into account Search Engine optimization, E-advertising, E- mailers, Interactive marketing and of course creating a streamline image in tandem with the company's essence. It has to be aligned with the company's motto and philosophy. It has to be strong virtually as well. Many Brand managers overlook the power of Internet Branding and hence minimize the essence and significance.

Although branding existed in crude ways long time ago, no one can undermine the significance of establishing a solid foundation for them to induce the Brand creeper to grow and thrive. Today's branding is more complex and refined. Just by placing a few good ads in the media or creating awareness of your products in a novel way is not Branding per se. It takes energy, commitment and focus to Brand your company in the 21st century. It takes cooperation from the CEO right down to the rank and file employees. It is an ongoing process. Sometimes, hiccups might happen along the way like some real unforgettable ones by the major players of today.

New Coke
The launching of New Coke took every fan of Coke by surprise as they weren't ready to embrace it and were very much attached to the Old' Coke.

Ford Edsel
There were so much of "hoo-ha" before its launch, however the discerning public found the car too pricy and it sounded like "weasel", hence they scrapped production real soon.

Colgate Kitchen entrees
Consumers can't really see themselves eating food which Colgate made. It reminded them so much of the toothpaste!

Although these great Brands are all powerful leaders, this just shows that Branding is an ongoing process where perfection is a perpetuating desire. These brand leaders know what it takes to be in the forefront like all great brands. They have been proving time and time again of their essence and it has always been a challenge.

Branding has always been existing and we have overlooked the basic fact that although humans consciously strive to make everything around them a success, they forget that Rome was not built overnight. This is very much applicable to Branding. Brand managers have to understand the implications of making the Brand a sustainable force that will sometimes follow a product life cycle. As the saying goes "The higher you go, the harder you fall." But Brand managers and marketers are so convinced that there wont be a downhill and hence do not take contingencies. This could be a checkmate if things take a turn for the worse. When things like these occur, the Brand goes downhill and succinct examples will be like Planet Hollywood, Ovaltine and Yardley. These companies wanted to perpetuate their identity only to fall behind because of the lack of skills and vision.

If these kinds of predicaments were to occur then Branding will cease to exist in the next few decades. But for every organization that fails to live up to its eminence, there will be another company that will strive to fade into the limelight with much pomp and valor. Not to say that it is bad, but sustenance is more significant than a big entry. It is better to be a Good Brand that has been and will be, than to be a real Strong Brand and market leader and eventually fizzling out in a couple of years.

The creation and demise of Brands has to be part of the Brand life cycle of the corporate macrocosm. Everyone involved in perpetuating the significance of Branding has to understand that it will never cease to exist but it will suffer a shorter lifecycle if it is not to be taken seriously. Once this aspect of business is understood and the correct emphasis is given to it, we can see organizations flourish and consumers enjoying the experience too.

We have to understand that Branding is never for companies only but for customers also. Independent Brand managers and marketers are internal customers who should provide invaluable advice to companies, with everything in mind except their paycheck. At the end of the day, Branding is not a commodity. It is an art and we are all artists and art lovers. To convey that kind of message across to the discerning public is what Branding is all about and what it has always been throughout the centuries. It has always existed but through different meandering faculties.

Internet Branding is an important aspect of business and in today's era it is even more so. But my point is that it was always there throughout the centuries subtly and superficially.Although not virtually, Branding was in existence. It is more real and composite now. Organizations and entrepreneurs should look into bolstering the image of their companies by recreating the spirit and accentuating the soul of your firms. Branding is an Art. We have to create the identity and empower the companies and customers to relish it, hence eternalizing it.

About the Author

Avis Jan
De Mellows

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