The concept of “branding” in India is still at its nascent stage as it has been largely restricted to ‘visual identity and communication’ especially in case of startups. Contrary to this, rapidly growing startup ecosystem in India has realised the importance of branding. Some recent incidents have proven the importance of “branding” in Indian market. It is also going to play a pivotal role in future due to rising competition and brands being more prone to controversies. Proper branding will help startups survive in tough times and regain the trust of your stakeholders afterwards.
Setting goals: The predominant task of a marketer is to set his or her goals. Not only is it the foremost thing to define, it is also the toughest to set them right – not too high that are hard to achieve, nor too lofty. Goals give you a focus and a reality check if you are moving in the right direction. One must keep in mind to set – relevant, measurable, attainable, time bound and motivational goals. In an era where tech plays a pivotal role, right usage of which can help you creating your plans. Researches now aren’t reach bound; make best use of it.
Defining branding mix: One of the most crucial aspects where every startups destiny lies. Branding mix consists of relevant marketing activities. For a startup we must remember that they run on time and cash constraints. However, it is not something to worry in an era of digital marketing – a powerful platform that can make or break your brand. For a startup, it isn’t feasible to spend huge amount of money in commercial advertisements, even if they pull out huge amount initially, one cannot ensure if they can continue the flow. Therefore, selecting the right marketing tools become essential as they help you reaching out to your TG in time. It may comprise of PR, word of mouth, digital marketing, social media marketing & management, alliances etc. Logo, Website, Marketing Collateral are just basic elements of branding. It is actually the process of a product becoming a brand.
Strategic alliance: One of the most sought after strategy in furious markets, it is a mutually beneficial alliance between two brands to reach out to their TG in most fruitful and economical way. It is imperative, as startups do not have financial bandwidth to do it all. Also, alliances with another market player might fetch you the most desired credibility factor that a startup requires at the nascent stages. It is about being innovative and adaptive for the changes. While alliance might bring some really positive results, one needs to be very cognizant while getting into a relationship with any brand. Be very focused on what exactly you want out of the relation and define your limits accordingly.
Implementation: Action stage it is! Strategies on paper always look good. True test is when you enter the market up against your competition. The success of strategies will entirely depend on the way they had been perceived and the way they are been executed. Most startups have exuberant ideas and they easily get swayed away or over rely on the success of it. The positioning of your brand largely relies on the implementation of your strategies. Research, case studies can really help you in deciding your implementation techniques. Startups also has resource crunch and they simply can’t do ‘everything’. Professional assistance might be required at the time of implementation as it will bring more thoughts and resources that could do it better on your behalf. You may continue to focus on your product development while they take up on the assigned job. Again, be clear with what you want, how you want to achieve and what the time constraint is.
Analyse and repeat: Just running in one direction might not prove fruitful in today’s time. One must analyse their goals, achievements and strategies time to time; to comprehend market situations, prevent calamities and gear up for further action. It is like in exams, you have to give it a final read even if you are 100% sure. Look for loose threads or strain points in your strategy, to make it simpler and the bond smoother. It may be through discussing it with resources available or taking help of professionals. Remember, What, When and How are the simple ingredients you cannot ignore. One can never over emphasise on the importance of analysing and reevaluation. You must know your strategy like the back of your hand. After studying, draw analysis, focus on your strengths to get results quickly and work on your weaknesses. It will only help you get better results this time.
Branding is the food for your product; it is what you do to make your brand ready for furiously competitive markets. Proper branding can act as a decisive factor in overnight mushrooming competition, reaching and winning confidence of your customers and being sturdy at the time of any crisis.
This article was originally published on www.linkedin.com.