In a highly competitive and saturated market, the importance of branding and branding for growth in market share and product success cannot be overemphasized. Companies, countries, regions, cities and organizations that are able to understand the principles of the brand DNA are more likely to outshine those that do not, in terms of adding value to shareholder investments or in the ability to attract domestic and foreign direct investment (IDI and FDI).
A brand refers to the tangible and intangible values of a product, service or place. By themselves and in their generic forms; products, services, cities, regions and countries are similar to each other. In a blind test; A thirsty consumer may not be able to tell the difference between Pepsi and Coca-Cola, nor will a potential tourist be able to differentiate between the beaches of the Maldives and those of Mallorca. Therefore, the products become like other products, just another item that satisfies the needs. Any real difference can remain lost to consumers because brands mean nothing unless brand values are consciously communicated to consumers and target audience.
The DNA of a brand refers to its distinctiveness, novelty and attributes, compared to those of the competition. In this case, countries like Nigeria must discover their unique national brand DNA and communicate it to potential investors who may be attracted to South Africa as a potential investment country. Furthermore, brands like BMW must communicate to consumers the superior differences between owning a luxury BMW car, compared to a Toyota Lexus. Telecommunications companies like T-Mobile, Vodafone, MTN and GLO must constantly find ways to identify and decode their brand DNA and communicate it to subscribers, so that their networks really connect with them and do not consider themselves a mere provider. mobile phone services. .
Why is Brazilian soccer different from other soccer countries like England and Germany? Because Brazilian soccer is free-spirited, it possesses the element of samba that connotes enjoyment and pleasure. A very distinctive feature that has become a promise for Brazilian soccer fans around the world. It’s a basic fan expectation based on this unwritten promise that they will be entertained every time they watch a Brazilian soccer game anywhere in the world. Brazilian footballers try as much as possible to fulfill this promise, for this reason, players like Ronaldinho and Robinho continue to hypnotize fans both on and off the field.
Italy is another example, its football is rooted in a distinctive style of defending and protecting the goalkeeper, a famous billboard during Euro 1996 had an advertisement that read “Italian Goalkeeper, the safest job in the world”, a testimony of the distinctive style of Italy. of defensive football.
A brand must be unique in its own way; it must have characteristics that distinguish it from the competition, so that these characteristics are easily identifiable by consumers. Marketers must then seek to discover or create their distinctive brand characteristics and communicate them to consumers; Furthermore, any brand promises that are made must be consistently fulfilled and supplemented with action, just like Brazilian footballers.
Other examples that come to mind are the superior engineering behind Mercedes vehicles, the comfort of Nike trainers, the prestige of an Oxford or Harvard education, etc. These products and institutions have distinctive brand values that have also been communicated over the years to various stakeholders, thus helping to maintain the immortality of the brands in their respective sectors.
At the same time, brands must also constantly adapt to changing market conditions, brands are always catching up with consumer tastes, which are constantly changing, and any brand that ignores the ‘innovate or die’ warning you do so at your own risk. Consumers’ tastes for new products and services, just as investors seek new investment opportunities and ever-increasing destinations, brands must constantly reinvent themselves and be able to offer consumers something new. These news must be specific and relevant to the needs of consumers. For regions and counties, potential investors want to learn about new government policies aimed at reducing red tape, expanding opportunities, and increasing capacity. These new policies should be communicated to the people who need that information.
Apple has released several generations of iPods since the first generation was released in 2001; Each new edition seems to have something new for customers, who could also switch to rival brands with novel features. Sony made this mistake with its Walkman and Discman brands, and for a long time it did not offer any news to customers until Apple launched the iPod. Now, Sony has relaunched the Walkman on its mobile phones, but the damage has already been done because Apple has taken a better share of the market for portable music devices.
In addition to a brand distinction in terms of brand quality and superior performance, brand novelty refers to the evolution of the brand through a research and development process, the brand should be summarized in a brand letter and establish of that is. Therefore, brand attributes encompass all tangible and intangible aspects of the brand, which are also consciously and unconsciously communicated to customers and stakeholders.
Successful branding achieved through brand distinctiveness and novelty can still be adversely affected if customers and stakeholders receive mixed signals about brand attributes. The people element is key to enhancing the positive attributes of the brand. Both superior and innovative brand offerings will fail in the face of poor customer service. If the service delivery chain is slow or poor and customer complaints are not responded to in time, customers can take their habit to the competition.
In addition, the identity of the brand must be clear and easily identifiable; This can be achieved through a combination of elements such as corporate communications, advertising, public relations, corporate social responsibility, events, word of mouth, designs, packaging, labeling, logos, etc. The Nike swoosh and the Mercedes star symbols are excellent examples of strong logos that have now aided the brand recognition of the Nike and Mercedes brands.
Other attributes of the brand will include the use of colors, for example the famous yellow and blue jerseys of the Brazilian team and the orange jerseys of the Dutch team. England surprisingly has not been able to adopt and promote their national colors in a way that will be as different as those of Brazil and the Netherlands. Their red and white combinations are not as different as you would expect from a country with a large soccer following and a history of brand building. Nigeria has stood out in their green jerseys, although lately, due to the dwindling fortunes of football, they have been unable to keep previous promises and have also failed to live up to the expectations of the growing number of fans around the world.
Each brand must be able to communicate its origins and history, as well as its culture, knowledge and awareness of the brand’s DNA, and the successful communication of all related brand distinctions, novelties and attributes can help the brand live long, if not forever.