Last year in one of my interactive sessions on corporate branding, I had asked a group of learners to cite some examples of cohesive corporate branding. The kind of examples, which knit the corporate brand story together smartly, have a certain discipline in the narrative and demonstrate a purposive usage of the symbols and other elements associated with the company brand. Top of the heap was the airline brand Indigo. The group had a lot of good things to say about the brand.
Interesting that there are many things we do not know as entrepreneurs, marketers and dreamers. The catch though, is you or your teams have to possess three qualities — an acute sense of awareness of the environment, the ability to observe and seek patterns in the business moments and lastly, a well-cultivated sense of humility that will empower you to learn. If you have these, then you have taken the first step towards the discovery of yourself, your team and the dream that is your startup.
You are fortunate if you have a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’ as an answer. But if you do put down a ‘don’t know’ then you and your company are in real trouble. So is your team.
For me branding is what people think of your brand/idea and you when you are not there in the room. It is fundamentally the basket of associations that are triggered – they could be unaided or aided ones.
Startups, ideas and brands need optimism. In fact, they thrive on it.
And if optimism is packaged well, it can be contagious across a range of stakeholders. Customers, employees, media, supply partners and more- all recognise optimism as a signal of hope and an undying will to win. It is in most cases seen as a ‘can do’ attitude that the startup/brand possesses as an asset. Optimism signals that will to survive, thrive and stay relevant.
A relevant advice? No, actually observations that have immediacy. Those, which can possibly help the startup world to hold on to their dreams and continue to change the game. But how does one do that? Or allow me to say that how does a founder keep an alert eye on those aspects of branding, which can help the startup journey, move smoothly and smartly in the public’s mind.
Today, tomorrow? Really when does one begin branding a start up? Is there a right time to brand a startup?
Yes. Right from day one or two. Or possibly the day after you have your basic idea and its name are in place. If you are wondering why the hurry, then you need to ask yourself why they ought to be a method in the madness. You wouldn’t disagree on the method. Right?
To start a fire, to ignite curiosity and simultaneously talk to multiple groups in today’s ‘waiting to know world’ – that’s PR (Public Relations) 2.0 for you.
Do not confuse it with the old-world way of broadcasting messages and sending out press releases. Think of it as creating active, multiway conversations, which have the ability to elicit participation; more as dialogues and multilogues that take place between equals and entities without any talking down, or talking up but talking to each other and together.