“The right company name starts a conversation. The right company branding keeps it going. ”
To an average Nigerian, until recently, Macleans is another name for toothpaste; Omo is for detergent, Indomie is for noodles, and Maggi is for seasoning powder among others. But have you ever paused to wonder why it was so? It is simply because each of these companies has recorded a landmark success in their chosen fields. A brand can boast to have attained this milestone when it becomes the face of its product in that when consumers think of a product or service, a brand is what they see. According to Wikipedia, a brand is “a name, term, design, symbol, or other feature that distinguishes one seller’s product from those of others.” In the business world, a brand commands several interpretations and the commonest of it all is that it is the overall representation of a business.
Branding your business is one of the necessities of setting it right. It will not be a bad idea to name your business whatever you wish but it will also portray ingenuity to name your business as The White when the product you offer is all about blue. A brand goes a long way with an interesting name but it doesn’t end with it. While launching a business in 2014, I named it after the product I produced. My resolve was geared towards making a brand that will become the face of the product among competitors. The logo too, a cow head, was to further promote the business as it is into the production of meat snacks. Branding your business entails everything about the idea, the team, and the operations. After securing the right name, you need to think of the color(s) your business is to be identified with, the logo, the motto if need be, and the vision and mission statements.
A business will thrive more if it is reckoned with as a brand than just being a usual provider of a commodity. Consumers reckon and tend to readily offer their monies to brands for various reasons ranging from the demand for quality to being ostentatious. It was the obsessive demands and believes in the genuineness of branded products and services that the word ‘packaging’ became the Nigerian use for hyping the worth of products or services. Who wouldn’t want profit after all? In the line of business, every Entrepreneur must be able to identify the tide and swim along to his own advantage.
However we eventually chose to go about our ‘packaging’, one thing that is to remain non-negotiable is to ensure we do not create a vacuum or an exit for potential consumers; this is achievable by ensuring that our brand meets these consumers at their various touch points. We are not to promise what we cannot deliver or promote what we do not represent. If we ever go against any of these, we risk it all whatever reputation we’ve built for the business no matter how long. As good as it is recommended that we set no limit to how far our businesses can go; we also must not be freighted with the illusion that we have the resources to meet all expectations.
With a name, a logo, and a motto, we are to begin to look into setting our standards; our set of beliefs and commitments to attaining excellence in our businesses. Facebook’s mission statement is “to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.” Google’s mission is “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” To IBM, it is “operating a safe and secure government.” Our sets of beliefs are what make our mission statements. What a mission statement does is to proclaim the purpose of the company and how it is to be achieved while a vision statement tells us where the company hopes to be in the future. It is our responsibilities to hence develop a code of ethics that will determine the conduct of both our teams and our business’ activities.
Summarily, it is advisable one consult a brand expert for guidance as an erroneous omission in the dos and don’ts of a business branding may do avoidable damages to the health of any business.
According to Joanna Meiseles, “there are many tools available to help write a mission or vision statement. But… it’s often best to keep it simple – one or two sentences – and describe why the business exists. What is the core value or the daily purpose? …”
Take a brand, cherish it, and promote it everywhere.
We Can. We Will. We Must.
Akolawole is a Social Media Executive for Airtel Nigeria, a Columnist with Stock Watch newspaper, and an active Youth Advocate on Entrepreneurship and Nation building. He can be reached via email@example.com and/or +2348085366022 (SMS only).