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Free Branding: Grow Your Brand Organically

Free Branding: Grow Your Brand Organically

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Free Branding: Grow Your Brand Organically

113 Seiten
1 Stunde
Nov 17, 2014


You want to grow your brand and business but you worry, branding campaigns are too costly and complex.

This is the perfect "Go-to" book for you. The pages are jam-packed with quick, effective and affordable solutions to grow your brand organically.

Roger's practical, hands-on insights, tips and ideas are easy to follow and use. He shows with invaluable clarity, the evolution of Philip Kotler's 4Ps. Start reading now and learn how you can grow your business alongside the fast evolving fundamentals of today's marketing mix.
Nov 17, 2014

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Free Branding - Roger SL Kerk




Going by its definition in dictionaries, the word Free as used in the context of this book is an adjective that generally means, to gain something for nothing, without charge, at no cost, paid for, or complimentary.A brand, on the other hand, is a particular name, much like yours and mine, which allows us to be identified from each other.

With these descriptions in mind, the act of branding is therefore about building or inventing a particular identity or image, which people can choose to identify with and relate to, which in turn, makes it a crucial business asset for a particular product or service being offered to consumers as a solution to improve their lives in some way. Just as we identify with individuals who inspire us in our own lives by their names, we identify and support those products and services that make a perceived or genuine difference in our lives. For this reason, most people consider appropriate branding practices as a central key to the success of a business. At the same time, this is also where most businesses get lost or swept aside in the ever-vigorous torrents of costly branding campaigns.

One fundamental reason for this phenomenon may be attributed to our conditioned nature to succumb to the temptation of employing popular trends instead of standing firm on our own brand’s promise, which entails having a solid understanding not only about our own brand, but also about when and why a branding campaign should be employed, and perhaps more importantly, how it can contribute to the maintenance and growth of our brand’s identified image or identity. It is this solid understanding, and the strength of a business owner’s commitment to your own goals that will allow the brand’s identity to take root, grow and consequently, thrive for the entire duration of a brand’s life.

The core goal of this book is to help you gain this understanding through exploring and finding the answers to pivotal questions that can steer you towards allowing your brand to flourish along its natural course, that is, organically or without having to rely on manufactured fertilizers such as prevalent market hearsay, exorbitant investments in more conventional branding methods, or subscribing to trendy branding campaigns, which are less likely or may not be able to evince the returns you desire. More to the point, this books aims to help you learn to optimise the benefits of branding without branding.

To begin, as the title of this book and chapter suggests, I venture to posit that the answers you want and seek, lie in a specific set of tested and proven strategies which I compiled and coined under the term, Free Branding. Furthermore, I propose that any business owner can employ Free Branding strategies, or tools that allow you to employ branding without branding to the advantage of your business. If you are thinking, there is no such thing as free in the business world, then I must say, you are exactly the kind of business person who will benefit most from this book.

Branding without Branding

While the contrasting premise of Branding without Branding may sound ironic enough to pique your curiosity, these favourable repercussions are really a happy coincidence since my main motive for using the term stems from my personal belief that it is the closest to perfect description of a set of four simple strategies that allow business owners to engage and implement potent, powerful branding practices without resorting to what many in the business industry may describe as costly branding campaigns.

For others, connotations related to costly are often enough to deter them from subscribing to what they consider costly expertise of advertising and promotions (henceforth A&P) campaigns, or advocating the exposure of these campaigns across a selection of high-cost media channels.

Prior to giving you an outline of the four focal strategies of Free Branding, we need to be on the same page as to what a brand truly is. I propose that a brand is nothing more than just a name for a product or service, which allows customers to identify or recognise it, and tell it apart from every other products in its category when in the midst of a purchasing decision. Further, it is the expression of the particular product’s branding, or the act of branding that propels or transports the brand beyond its given name, and helps people to choose one brand over all the others.

The fact is, people like brands. Brands help us to simplify our choices and once we become more familiar with it, guarantee expected quality. At the same time, our chosen brands can add fun and interest to our choices in life as they spark our dreams and aspirations, as they create or evoke a connection with us, much like a real-life friend. Forbes (March, 2013) went on to identify three key factors that draw us to a favourite brand. The first is honesty. Just as most of us find perfection intimidating, we find humility comforting and thus find ourselves better able to identify with, relate to and support those brands that expose themselves once in awhile. Next is value, which goes beyond quality or price, the spirit of which endears the brand to everyone who cares to appreciate the value shown to earn our loyalty (thus making us feel for them). The third factor is reciprocity, that is, the brand warms up to us by genuinely complementing or praising our own unique individuality, allowing us to feel obliged to return the favour. In combination, these key factors allow us to flaunt our pride and privilege in support of them.

In these ways, just as we feel encouraged by the presence of a close friend during a race, sports tournament or competitive event, we may feel inspired to perform better and with more confidence when wearing, for example a trusted brand of shoes or shirt. This sense of added value or confidence is consistent with the brand’s promise, particularly when compared to a brand that is unknown to us, or our peers.

This insight is incredibly significant when we consider the success of easily recognisable, immensely memorable, international brands such as Nike and McDonald’s. Most of us are able to accurately decipher the messages embedded within the visual mnemonic of these brands and their logos. We almost physically hear the words, Just do it, or I’m lovin’ it, even as we are observing these brands in passing.

Most times, the subliminal echo of the brand’s logo or words describing the brand’s name also flashes in our minds even if it is not visibly apparent on the media item or the material we are observing. The power of the product’s branding is so formidable that just by looking at a white symbol that looks like a ‘tick’ of approval over a solid black background, or a clown in striped red pants and enormous shoes, we feel automatically compelled to ‘fill in the blanks’ and get the entire message. Whether we realise it or not or, choose to accept or reject the validity of this observation, from shoes to fast food, cars, bikes, clothes and fashion apparel, you name it, all greatly built brands have the same effect on

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