To Get Branding Right, an Entrepreneur Needs to Emotionally Connect with the Product First Your value system should be clear and there should be certain amount of consistency in company processes - Amol Arora
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Building a brand requires an entrepreneur to emotionally connect with the purpose of the product. One needs to connect with the domain and enjoy building his venture rather than chasing hot sectors. For Amol Arora, things changed when his MNC boss discovered the entrepreneur inside the University of California MBA graduate.
Arora, is the Vice Chairman & MD Shemrock Preschools & Shemford Schools – is one of the fastest growing school chain in the country. His brand has more than 625 Shemrock Preschools and Shemford K-12 Schools in 27 states and union territories in the country. Entrepreneur caught up with Arora to understand as to what it takes to build a strong brand identity in India.
How can one maintain a strong brand identity?
"If you trying to be something which you aren't at heart, then you will never be able to pull off the branding. Yes, you can advertize and do your marketing, but if you intend to create a brand where people think about the brand name and connect emotionally, then you have to start being true to yourself. Transmit the values across all employees and this needs to come from the head of the organization."
"The drive that the head of any organization gives, the employees and franchises follow suit. Your value system should be clear and there should be certain amount of consistency in company processes.
There are brands that have popular names but one rarely knows what they really stand for. Real brands are those that create a real emotion amongst its consumers and that has to start from the top of the organization," he said.
Arora had propagated his brand identity across all branches – which is stress-free and fun-filled learning and that is communicated across the organization and all consumers.
Marketing is not branding, it's merely awareness, he added.
Why education domain
On asking why he chose to join the education domain, Arora said that an entrepreneur should not chase sectors based on the hype around it. "My mother ran a play school and I used to help out with the marketing. Someone asked us whether they can take up the franchise of our brand and that's when I decided to take it up as a full-time venture," Arora said, who previously worked at an IT firm in the United States.
It was his previous employer who made Arora realized that his real knack was in building Shemrock and hence asked him to pursue entrepreneurship and quit doing a regular job.
From 1989 – 2009 his brand had just 70 branches and post 2009 the company went on an aggressive expansion spree by putting systems and processes in place. From 2009 till date, the brand expansion has grown to 625 from 70 branches.
Amol Arora was one of the speakers at the Franchise India Conference in Hyderabad earlier this month.