Learn #10 Steps for a Better Brand Journey The journey from missing to memorable for persons is similar to the journey of brand building in case of products.

By Harsh Pamnani

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Missing means something that is nonexistent or unaccounted whereas Memorable means distinguished and unforgettable. For example in Bollywood, there are thousands of actors, many of them are missing in the crowd i.e. not remembered or are forgotten after a period of time, but there are a few such as Amitabh Bachchan who are unforgettable and desired by audience in upcoming movies. At the same time, there are a few stars who were once missing, but are now moving towards memorable such as Nawazuddin Siddiqui.

Like Bollywood, in every field from sports to business to art there are many people who are in missing category, a few who are in memorable category, and some who are trying to move from missing category towards memorable category.

The journey from missing to memorable for persons is similar to the journey of brand building in case of products. For the products in a category there are many non-branded commodities, many bargain brands, some value for money brands and a few premium brands. Similarly, we could consider humans as products, their respective fields as categories and how they are recognized in their respective fields as their brands.

The way companies put in efforts to create brands for their products by adding features, showcasing value, establishing emotional connect, delivering experiences and so on, it is important for humans also to create their personal brands in their respective fields so that they could become known, increase their demand and market value.

Let's have a look at a few learnings from the brand building strategies for products and relate them with a few powerful personal brands. These learnings could help professionals to chart their journey from missing to memorable in their respective fields.

  1. Brands establish emotional connections, trust, positive perceptions and experiences: Through their customer intimacy, performance, evolution journey, relationship building etc. brands create emotional connection, respect and right perceptions about them. As an example of personal brand, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's performance in Gujrat helped him to build his brand as a progressive leader who has the ability to deliver economic results.He has built his image as self-made, strong, efficient, credible, committed, inspiring, sincere and incorruptible leader. His regular speeches and ability to inspire and connect with the audience at multiple levels have increased his popularity and personal brand.
  2. Brands reflect success and superiority: Premium product brands are purchased as testaments to power, success and class of the person buying or owning it.Even if people have not used them personally, they believe that they will get better performance.As an example of a personal brand, Sanjeev Kapoor is one of the most popular endorsers for food brands. He has also cooked for many dignitaries, including the Prime Minister NarendraModi.He has a massive fan following across all age groups, he is the only chef in the world to have his own channel – FoodFood, and he has been awarded as the "Best Chef of India' by the Government of India.
  3. Be significantly better rather than being little better: In case of brands, it is difficult to justify and sustain little better. Little can be matched by other players soon and difficult to get recognized by customers. Top brand is significantly better as compared to bargain brands which are little better than their substitutes. As an example of personal brand, Sachin Tendulkar is one of the biggest cricketing icons because he merged his talent with his desire to perform and supported it with intense practice and discipline.
  4. Focus on packaging: Product packages attract customers, engage their emotions, provide information, preserve products, and give image to brands. Earlier hair cutting or being a barber would not have been glamorous, but today Jawed Habib is a brand name in the field of hair styling. He has packaged his business in the highly competitive and commoditized business of hair cutting and styling. Even though he is not present in every store, he is able to attract customers on the strength of his personal brand.
  5. Brands gain reputation when promises are consistently delivered: People prefer a brand because they expect consistent quality and experience. This consistency acts a promise from brands to customers.For example, Amitabh Bachchan has been entertaining his audience since 1970s and has sustained his likability for multiple generations. Even after reaching great heights, even after facing setbacks, he has sustained his promise to his audience and has stayed relevant in the industry for decades.
  6. Brands constantly engage existing customers and attract new ones with innovations: To engage existing customers and attract new ones, brands have to continuously make their products better by adding new features and benefits. For example, Akshay Kumar established his brand as an action hero through movies such as Khiladi series and Mohra, established his brand as a comedy hero through movies such as Hera Pheri, established his brand as a romantic hero through movies such as Dhadkan, and established his brand as one of the top actors through his performance in thrillers such as Airlift and Baby.
  7. Brands reinforce consumer awareness: Brand awareness refers to the extent to which customers are able to recall or recognize a brand. Baba Ramdev is best known for popularizing yoga among Indians through his mass yoga camps. He gained a large following through his yoga sessions on Aastha channel and has been vocal about many political issues. He stormed into the ring to hug and congratulate Vijender Singh on his victory, did yoga with Ranveer Singh on dance music, participated in a friendly wrestling match against Olympian wrestler Sushil Kumar, practiced yoga with Shilpa Shetty and so on.
  8. Storytelling strengthens brands connection: Stories help to shape how people view brands and enables them to forge a connection with brands. If customers love and trust a brand, they are more likely to try products offered by the company. Kishore Biyani has been one of the most captivating storyteller. His story turned prospects into customers and many entrepreneurs into his followers.His autobiography "It Happened in India" documents his journey as India's retail pioneer.His story of struggle, failures, restlessness, ability to challenge the status quo, and think big has created his strong personal brand and reputation for his company.
  9. Brands are known for something: Brands are known for something special in their respective categories.As a personal brand, Prasoon Joshi is known for his creativity and storytelling. He is an Indian lyricist, screenwriter, poet and marketer. He has created many award winning advertising campaigns such as Thanda matlab Coca-Cola campaign, he has written script for movies such as Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, dialogues for movies such as Rang De Basanti, lyrics for movies such as Taren Zameen Par and so on.
  10. Products can be copied, but brands can't be copied: Though in every category, there are multiple companies with similar products, a few products are preferred over similar products because of their brand's visibility and credibility. For example, Vijay Shekhar Sharma, CEO of Paytm is referred as poster boy of India's rising cash-less economy.As compared to founders and CEOs of other digital wallet companies, he has given many interviews and talks in many reputed forums. His high energy and passionate speeches have created a lot of mindshare for Paytm.

During our journey from Missing to Memorable, we would face multiple self-doubts and questions from others. At that time we could definitely think in our mind the dialogue of famous movie Deewar. In the movie Deewar, Vijay, the character of Amitabh Bachchan is questioned: "Tum samajhte ho, tum yeh kaam kar sakte ho?' Vijay answers "Main samajhta nahin, main jaanta hoon main yeh kaam kar sakta hoon.'

(Views expressed are author's personal and don't necessarily represent any company's opinions.)

Harsh Pamnani

Marketer & Author

Harsh is passionate about marketing, and has authored articles in various business publications such as Advertising Age, Business Insider, Business World, Economic Times, Entrepreneur, Firstpost, InformationWeek and Retail. He is an alumnus of XLRI, Jamshedpur.

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