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Branding

“A brand is a voice and a product is a souvenir.” – Lisa Gansky

My personal brand poster.

Slaves were the first objects to be branded. I had always thought it was livestock but I was incorrect. It’s sad that human beings were treated as objects or commodities but I guess this still occurs today in more subtle and sinister ways. As with livestock, slaves were traded and needed a mark of ownership to show to whom they belonged. This is where branding supposedly began.

Our guest lecturer for the Branding class was Francesca Dall’Olmo Riley. Francesca discussed the importance of Branding to consumers as well as companies with our class. Branding is a guarantee or promise of a certain quality or standard from a company to a customer. Customers gain trust of certain brands and choose to be loyal to the brand due t being satisfied with the quality of the product or service or choose to try another brand as they feel they may get better value if they are not impressed by the brand they have purchased. According to Baker and Hart (2016), companies build their brand reputation around a set of values which they believe in and which they use to maintain certain standards thus gaining consumer’s trust or loyalty. Image also forms an important part of branding as consumers perceive themselves portraying a certain image when they purchase a specific brand and companies aim to gain leverage off the perceived image their product or service represents. Brands have become very recognisable due to their logos and the placement of these logos in campaigns and media platforms.

As part of the preparation for this class, we were required to bring an A1 sheet of paper to class to make a brand poster for ourselves. The poster was to include important aspects of branding such as skills required, target market, distinctive positioning and our own brand mantra. The task involved us using colourful pens and to create a poster that was attractive and to also come up with a brand name and logo for our personal brands.

The biggest challenge of the task was for me to decide exactly what my personal brand would do. I am a bit confused about what I will do next in my life in terms of work. I have a few ideas in my head but none of them are feeling more attractive or achievable than others. After some serious thought, I decided to focus on a vocation that included my past experience and what I have learnt on the MACE course. I chose to make my poster as a Brand Consultant focusing on established Brands that want to launch in Africa and emerging brands within Africa that need guidance and advise.

In my opinion I am fortunate to have a lot of the skills needed to be successful in brand consulting due to my past experience. However, I would need to strengthen my strategic thinking skills as well as my campaign planning skills. The target market I identified was retailers, brands and businesses looking to launch in Africa. I would also like to work with emerging brands or entrepreneurs from Africa as I believe my knowledge and experience could help to avoid making the same mistakes I made. My distinctive positioning is my experience and also my contacts in Africa. I have worked with many influential photographers, stylists and influencers from the continent. These people are the key to successful campaigns which African customers will trust and endorse. My brand mantra was ‘building brands through collaboration and shared knowledge.’

After we had all completed our posters, we had to present them to the class and to Francesca and Janja. We were then given valuable feedback about our personal brands and where we could improve. I really enjoyed this class for a number of reasons. Although I never studied branding, I feel building a brand and it’s identity was one of my strengths with Babatunde. I really enjoy the building process and putting together a story that is attractive and trustworthy to consumers. The challenge of trying to win consumer’s loyalty is part of this process and something that is very thought provoking for me yet enjoyable at the same time.

Bibliography –

Baker, M. and Hart, S. (2016) The Marketing Book. 7th Edition. Routledge.

Famous logos. How many can you name?

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Published by fortysomethingrebirth

I am a South African from Jo'burg. I love football, music (mainly from the Caribbean) and design. I am currently studying a Masters of Managing in the Creative Economy at Kingston University in London.

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