Business/corporate brand identity is important for business growth.

Have you ever wondered why many people want to know what Business & Brand Development is? Why there is so much buzz about Business & Brand Development?

Well, the answer is simple. Over the past decades, people-particularly those in the corporate world-have become exceedingly interested in finding out ways to develop their business brands and make it something worthwhile; something better than what it already is. And so, they hire business brand developers to further their interest and push their brand to the members of the public in their desired demographic. These business branding strategists work with companies either in-house or on an outsourced basis.

As a company or business organization, have you hired a business developer? If not, why not? If so, what are the things your business developer should be doing? Some firms have full business development departments that comprises of people who spend their entire work days planning and executing strategy, CRM, among other business developmental activities. Their job runs across a broad spectrum of tasks that help increase Brand visibility and recognition.

Below is a list of what they do with their time:

Creating your company brand’s public Image

Everyone in this entire world has a public image; something the whole world knows and identifies them by. Stephen King is known as the master of the horror genre; Beyonce is known for her powerful vocals and sex appeal. Micheal Jackson was (is) known for his signature shiny attires, his midnight black tresses, and the general aura of the slightly strange persona he had going on.

Familiar with the above? If so, then what about businesses? Certain examples will be used to buttress this point. For example: Coca Cola is known for their promise to, among other things:

  1. Refresh the world
  2. To inspire moments of optimism and happiness
  3. To create value and make a difference.

The same thing goes for other companies and manufacturers, plus firms that provide services to the members of the public. They have their public image. Every business and every firm should have a public image which they maintain. Even if they think they do not have an image, they still do. No public image is still an image.

Question: how is this public image cultivated?

Yes, some people might be tempted to think that the public image of a firm/business should be based on what the people and viewing public perceives them to be. This is far from the truth. The public image of a particular firm or company should be the image the company wants to have in the eyes of the public. In other words, the company should be responsible for nurturing the type of image they want to get in the eyes of the public.

A company that makes the mistake of letting the public choose its perception of that company makes a terrible mistake. This mistake is one that can cost that company its business and clients.

What the Business/Brand Developer should do: this individual is responsible for creating a particular image that the company wants the public to know it for. For example: let us use the case study of Ms. B.

CASE STUDY: MS. B

Ms. B is an average-looking young woman just out of the University. She knows she does not really look great and perfect, and she knows that people see her that way. She wants this image to change. She wants people to see her differently. To see her as a smart, successful, beautiful young woman with a lot of potential. Possibly as a sleek young woman too. Wouldn’t hurt.

What does she do? She hits the gym five days a week. Controls her diet. Changes her body lotion. Takes better care of her skin and her hair. Gets better clothes that fit. Deletes all the old pictures on her social media accounts and updates them with newer and better, strategic ones. Starts creating better posts. Creating and nurturing relationships with new people. Makes artful use of makeup to accentuate her already existing features. Washes her old car everyday and makes sure it sparkles. She makes sure she takes care of every little detail about herself. She always has a great smile on her face and a kind word for everyone.

People start becoming wowed with Ms. B. Old friends think she is amazing. New people think she is rocking the entire world.

She is not the most beautiful girl in the block but she is by far the most well put-together. People take a lot of notice. Her esteem in the eyes of the people rise.

Analysis

Images are cultivated consciously, painstakingly. With great effort.
That is what a company should do: hire someone who can take the time and the effort to create a particular image in the eyes of the public and make the whole-hearted effort to maintain it. The public image is cultivated over a period of time; it is not something that can just be done over the short haul. Any one that says a short-term image is lasting would not be saying the truth.

Branding

Branding is extremely important for businesses. What is your brand all about? What is the message you have put out there for people to term you by? What is people’s perception of a particular business?

What Branding is NOT

Many people think that branding is all about slapping together a logo and a Web site, filling the description areas, then sitting back and relaxing. Or perhaps adding one or two listings to business directories, then that is it.
These contribute to branding, but they are not Branding per se in and of themselves. So, take note.

Examples

Michael Jackson was known for his over-the-board musical pieces which were all visually entertaining movies in their own right. He was also known for his perfection. That is his brand: Excellence and Perfection. He maintained this over the course of his entire career. Beyonce is known for her evocative musical pieces and her stunning good looks. These, she has maintained over the years, without fail. That is her brand.

Coming down to the home front, a firm like Olaniwun Ajayi LP (one of the leading commercial law firms in Nigeria) is known for top-notch services and excellence in every single aspect of their law practice areas. That is that firm’s brand.
Some firms are known for their swift responsiveness to all matters that appear before them. Likewise, some firms are known for sluggish responses, poor attention to detail, lack of enthusiasm, sloppy work. And that is what they will be known for.

The Perception

What a firm represents is what it is perceived as by the public. Whether positively or negatively. It is the perception of a firm by the public that will contribute towards building its public image. So, for those that think that public image and branding are exclusive of each other, think again. They are married; what culminates from the latter will lead to the former.
Are you beginning to understand the picture? These processes are all intertwined with each other. There cannot be one without the other. One without the other would culminate into a big mistake.

Consistency

This is still tied together with the branding. A firm needs to seriously maintain a high level of consistency across its channels. Branding is all about perception, and in order for a firm to be able to develop the type of perception it wants in the eyes of the discerning public, such a firm will need to maintain consistency across its various channels.

Press releases, blog posts, newsletters, white papers, infographics, video presentations, and any other material a firm is sending out to the public needs to maintain consistency in order to foster a united brand front. Stemming from this, a firm cannot use a blue-and-grey color scheme for their web site, use another completely set of colors for their reception and office areas, use yet another set of colors and presentation templates for their other promotional or information materials and then expect people to take them seriously.

People will become confused, thinking that perhaps they are dealing with different companies altogether.
So you see? Consistency is key. It is extremely important. Your brand should leap out at people wherever they see it.

Consistency is key in branding, and all these go to foster great business development.

BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHER

The work of a business development strategist is mapped out, but it does not follow any given blueprint which is a one-size fits all approach. Each business will ultimately be different, so what works for one business may not work for another business. However, there are constants in the business development game, and keeping to these constants will ultimately lead to great results.
To that effect, when choosing a branding manager and business developer, do ensure you choose someone who knows exactly the steps to take and what to do in order to drive the brand message forward and enhance the visibility of the co the members of the public. They have their public image.

This article is written by Kingsley Ugochukwu Ani, Kabbiz‘s head of branding and business strategy. He leads the Kabbiz business development team on Company brand/corporate identity briefs.

Reach out to our team on info@kabbiz.com for your business branding needs.