4 rules to grow your brand
When starting out, I didn’t know I would end up building a brand in the process.
What I’ve been doing with the King Kaka brand or the Kaka Empire brand or any other brand that I’ve created over the years has been very organic.
I didn’t have all these notes that you’re now exposed to. If there was a newspaper talking about the entrepreneurial journey, I didn’t come across it, YouTube then didn’t have such content, and I didn’t have a mentor.
So how did I do it and how am I still doing it?
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When I got into music, I used to follow around some established rappers and producers, and I noticed one trait that all the successful ones had: excellence.
This is simply the quality of being outstanding or extremely good. The world is made up of people putting in average effort. Therefore, anyone who does anything extra is held in high regard.
Average is popular because it is ‘safe’. Safe in the sense that very few entrepreneurs are willing to take risks, and since money and time are involved, they’d rather invest in a tried-and-tested working structure.
The larger percentage of who I am is a perfectionist. So from the word go, even with few resources, I ended up building products that surprised key players. In this way, I built a strong, different brand. Let excellence guide your brand.
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Every time you show up somewhere, do you convert sales or have an impact? This is a lesson that I picked up later in my business journey.
Even though something falls under the category of advertising, it doesn’t necessarily mean it is selling. Big brands like Coca-Cola are always running ads, and yes, they’re selling, but they also know that repetition leads to attachment.
A psychology professor did some research on human behaviour and the conclusion was something we encounter everyday: we attach meaning to what we see.
The Coca-Cola billboard will not necessarily tell you to buy the soda, but it will use a young model who resonates with the youth culture. I saw a billboard of a white lady wearing Maasai beads, and she had Coke in her hand. The small details will leave an impression on you.
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And when you get off the roads and get home, you’ll see the brand is sponsoring a tournament, and its CSR activities will have made the news. This is 360-degree advertising.
So if you’re a young entrepreneur and are building a product, always ask yourself how differently you’re going to communicate with your consumers.
Your brand has to communicate, but keep in mind that not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that you can count counts.
But the best branding you can do with a small-scale business is to make a promise and keep it.
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I once met a business strategist and the first thing he congratulated me on was my change.
The world is evolving and so are most business concepts and consumers. Technology is changing by the day, and that’s why, after a while, the app that you love will ask you to update it for efficiency.
But not all changes will be received positively. A month ago, Instagram gave a new update and within a few hours took it down. It was a new feature that allowed users to view feed differently, but the world wasn’t ready for it.
You need to get ready for backlash when building a brand.
And don’t get comfortable – you snooze, you lose. When Instagram started, it only allowed 15-second videos, and then it gradually introduced one-minute videos. Before you rebrand, make sure it’s for the better.
Every business that is out there is solving a problem, from taxi services and restaurants to whatever else you can name.
Think about the problem you’re solving and what your contribution to the solution is. Organic marketing will happen the moment you put out a good product.
Consumers will talk about you without your having to convince them to do it.
But after all is said and done, always look at your brand as being multinational, but specialise to earn your place in the market. Consistency will make you win.
The writer is an award-winning artiste and entrepreneur.