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Take Care Of Your Brand And It Will Stand Out On Its Own Positive relationship with customers help you build your brand in an indirect way

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In this cluttered age of brand communication with brands trying to vie for consumer eyeballs and engagement, it is a confusing, unclear and volatile time for brand custodians to take decisions, choose messages and predict mediums that will help their brand stand out from the rest and grow.

But against what many early-stage ventures would like to believe, brands cannot be created overnight. A brand image needs to be understood, cared for and nurtured. It's like a seedling that needs pampering, love, and the right amount of sunlight to grow into a beautiful flowering plant.

It is a daily process as even one day of forgetting to water your growing plant can spell immediate death. It is a slow, yet satisfying process, and while there could be ways to get your brand stand out once, there is no quick fix to consistently get your brand stand tall among all in the industry.

Every brand wants to be number one, and we all have the same vision and goal for our brands. Even if there are hundreds of competitors, there is a reason only a select few are able to survive and sustain their brand engagement over years, decades, and even centuries. These brands are ones that understand that building a brand is process, not only a process of care and nurturing, but also a process of constant reinvention. You need to handle the brand with care.

A few years ago, it was rather difficult for us to make people understand the value of socks, which was seen as just a mere commodity and now 30 years later, socks is a fashion statement. If you believe in your brand with a clear vision, the battle is half won, and for the half, here are some methods to help understand how to create sustained brand image that lasts much beyond the campaigns you run and the media you buy.

Don't Always Try & Play Safe; Take Risks!

Playing it safe will not always work, but taking uncalculated risks will not either. As an entity, standing up is what's important. Your brand strategy may fail or perform wonderfully, but one thing you have to keep in mind is that this is the brand communication, regardless of the outcome, it must be in line with your vision and what you believe in. If it is, go ahead and take the risk as it is these brands, which like cream, will find a way to rise to the top. Make mistakes and learn from them.

It's Not Always About You

"My brand; my vision; my profits; my money" — it's not always about you. Always remember that your consumers significantly shape the brand. Give them priority and make them feel like that by going all-in and concentrating on the details.With loyal customers who have been with you for more than 15 years, you will learn that going the extra mile is what makes your consumers happy, sometimes these things might not make sense in the Profit and Loss sheet, but helps in building a brand image.

Make The Rules, Don't Break Them

We're not saying break the rules and be a rebel, but make them. Don't be afraid to stand for what you believe in and follow it all the way to the top. If we did not have the vision and faith in bridging the gap in the socks industry thirty years ago, we would not have been able to make the rules, be the thought leader and a trendsetter.

Relationships and Relationships

Relationship building is one of the most important aspects of the brand because after all these relationships help you to build your brand in an in direct way. Nurture them' it's always amazing to have loyal customers and vendors. Running a business is basically ensuring that all the stakeholders are happy, staff, customers, vendors, investors, banks, value chain partners. EVERYONE needs to be happy for you to be happy. All this boils down to having strong and valuable relationships in place.

Be True to You

Though you have a clear vision of what your brand should be in the next 10 years, along the journey they tend to forget or think that being a part of the herd will help them survive. Never forget the first reason why you started and if need be revisit your goals and your beliefs every now and then.

Branding and Engagement is a two-way street, as you go out in the market always remember that you must be curious and make the most of it.

Lubeina Shahpurwala

Partner At Mustang Socks And Accessories

The author is a Co-Founder of Mustang Socks and Accessories and also the Vice Chairperson, FICCI Ladies Organization (FLO), Mumbai Chapter

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