You Don't Own Your Brand

Business Today Malaysia|February 2020

You Don't Own Your Brand
Lisa Hezila, Country Head of Renoir Consulting, Malaysia, and former Group Director of Young & Rubicam Group/VMLY&R, shares her insights with Business Today on how brands can influence the minds of people through a stream of experiences
Sharon Chang

Firstly, we need to come to a common definition of what do we mean by “branding.

”It’s all about being “mentally sticky” in a world of clutter – in a way that leaves people with a lasting, positive impression (and in the long-term a reputation). And businesses do this, consciously or unconsciously, through its interaction with their stakeholders - be it via their product experience, customer service, the retail experience, the advertising, etc.

Every action of the brand results in an interaction with a stakeholder of the brand - and this can include customers and potential customers, employees and even partners/suppliers - across every touchpoint (e.g. product, customer service and communications), is branding.

Branding isn’t something brands can own externally. In essence, it exists in the minds of people.

WHY SHOULD BUSINESSES INVEST IN BRANDING IN THE FIRST PLACE

Well, what is the alternative? Leaving it to chance?

The hesitation to “invest in branding” is partly due to the common misconception that only the communications part of marketing is “branding”; but in actual fact, branding is about nurturing your brand’s reputation, which stems from someone’s total experience of your brand, directly or indirectly. Every business that has an opex and capex are directly or indirectly investing into branding.

The question is: are you doing it strategically and investing in the right places?

Thus, investing to improve your product; your customer service - online, in-store or by phone; your retail experience; your website/app experience; your advertising - enhance customer’s delight which improves brand reputation; and ultimately are acts of branding.

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February 2020