Brand Builders - Key to Success

Branding & Marketing - Ep 02

There are 5 key principles that should be considered when doing branding and marketing activity and all of them combined won’t grow your brand if you don’t apply the sixth unwritten principle which is: marketing is an ongoing, habitual, consistent action, or at least it should be.

Branding & marketing should constitute of these 5 principles:

1. Have a plan
2. Know your market
3. Define your USP
4. Establish what you’re selling
5. Speak of the customer

Marius: 00:01 Good morning Kyle.

Kyle: 00:06 Good morning Marius. Good to be with you guys.

Marius: 00:07 Thank you and we started off on a good footing the last time that we spoke. We talked a little bit about brand mentoring and what it's all about. We are going to have five more steps today. And that's after we started working there after the time and seeing you. These are things that need to be done. And then the marketing aspect of that can be quite emotional for some people and quite costly. But let's start off with asking the question in terms of brand mentoring where does marketing as a discipline actually fit in?

Kyle: 00:44 Ja so, there are four key areas of brand development that we've identified. And that's basically just to make the process as simple to understand as possible because the simpler the process is to understand. The easier it is to keep your mind on it and to keep going with it. So there are four key areas that are identified. One is branding and marketing. The second is your brand or your company culture. The third is your customer experience and the fourth is your product and service innovation. So today we're gonna be talking a little bit about the branding and marketing section.

Marius: 01:25 Kyle, I need to ask the question first off. Now that you've established a brand and a lot of work went into that and obviously quite an amount of money depending on how serious you are about your business obviously. Is it necessary to after that start with marketing or are we going with the old one saying you know I'm telling somebody it's a wonderful product. He tells somebody again and then we go to Facebook and that would suffice. Is that the case or not?

Kyle: 01:52 Well, look, word of mouth will always feature a part of any brand strategy. The point of getting your brand in alignment is you want people saying the right things about you. If you don't define your brand you don't actually have a strategy for it. And you purely relying on word of mouth then it becomes really difficult for you to actually map out a strategy of your products and services because what's going to happen is you're just going to be totally reactive to what the market is telling you all the time. And to be quite frank and honest you know if you want to raise your profile or you want to shift the product development and totally reliant on word of mouth is not, you're not putting any messaging on that. Then you have no say in what your brand is totally marketing what your brand is. So you want to have your own message that you're putting out, if you're putting out so that people can start to understand that.

Marius: 02:52 I would like to ask this question that if you talk about branding, we see on television mostly on television, brands like Nike or Adidas or one of these Spur franchises. Is television the only way of saying this is how I need to market and are there other avenues? Are there alternatives?

Kyle: 03:18 There are lots of alternatives to marketing. I mean marketing is the overall activity of promoting your brand. So whether that's on social media advertising whether that's physically going up into the market whether that's talking community what I'm doing now is marketing of our brand. Talking with you, you know. So there's lots of different things in marketing you know, sponsoring a local school is a form of marketing you know. So I think that people get to the terms marketing and advertising kind of into interchanged a little bit and advertising it but just one sliver, one pillar of your overall marketing activity. So, marketing is the overall activity to promote your brand. Whether you do that through advertising, through events, through blogs, vlogs, those types of things. Whether it's physically handing out flyers on the corner. That’s all marketing, you know. It’s anything that you could promote your business or your brand.

Marius: 04:22 Ja, they say that any publicity is good publicity. I'm not so sure about that in the times that we live in. If we take the Spur one for example, it just requires a small incident and there you go. But getting back to your five pointers for the day Kyle. Would you elaborate on that for a bit?

Kyle: 04:38 Ja, so the five points are really, you know, I would say its a the combination of good practice or best practice as well as what kind of thing most small to medium sized business owners tend to do. The first point is have a plan or strategy. I guess this is the most obvious point but I would say the one that from my point of view gets ignored the most, you know. People want to develop a brand. Sometimes they don't have a budget so they don't come to an agency like Idea Power for example which gives you a one stop, coherent, all in one approach and you know, wanting to use lots of different service providers where there's, and I call it the "Friends and Family" package. You know, you go to this friend and to that family member to get each individual thing and what kind of happens with that is that there's no coherent plan. So you go and you spend a bunch of money but more importantly, you invest a lot of time and effort into it on your own part and what you get at the end of it, is not really all pointing in the same direction. So I would say it's my number one thing is you've got to have a plan or strategy, you know.

Kyle: 05:48 The second thing I would say is which is critical which forms a part of that strategy is know your market. You know, you cannot understand your customer in too much detail. The better you understand your customer the more you define them in terms of what’s they need, what’s their pain, what’s, you know, every little detail about them. The better you know that, the better your marketing is going to be. So you know, if you look at the great brands in the world, they really know their customer really really well and they split that customer for each product line. You know, so for this product line this is ideal customer for that product line with that. So that would be my second most important thing.

Then the third one, when I talk to most entrepreneurs they kind of have a loose idea of it. But they haven't really written it down. They don't really have it as a razor sharp statement and understand what sets you apart. If you attend business seminars or you listen to you know, kind of, business coaches and they will talk about this term "USP" or Unique Selling proposition. But the bottom line is you want to define what sets you apart. It's typically between three and six different bullet points of things. Individually, they might not be unique but typically, the combination of them will be. And those points may change or they may evolve over time but you fundamentally want to know where you're at, you want to know what sets you apart. You know, you want to know that if I come to you and say why should I use you, you should be able to give me the clear reason.

Then the fourth one is to define what you're actually selling, you know. So if you talk to many people they will talk about their product or they'll talk about their service and they say that's something that I'm selling which is the function of their business but it isn't what they're selling and what I've said to or found with most people, is when they connect their understanding of their customer. So that's who those people are, what are their needs and wants their emotional state of mind. Those kinds of things. When they understand that around the purchasing of their product and service, then the magic comes out. Because then they understand that this is what I'm actually saying. So you know, the easy example is an insurance salesman is not really selling insurance, they're selling piece of mind and that's a simple you know, a simple example but you can do this a lot more detail and the great brands of this world understand that really really well. So for example, you use Nike quite often. So Nike, they understand that if they celebrate great athletes, great sports people and woman that you can aspire to be like those people and therefore the brand association is going to be very critical. So do I buy a pair of Nikes for the performance of the product? Yes, but I also buy them because they make me feel like I'm also an athlete and every amateur, let's call them athlete wants to feel like a real athlete so that they're going to buy that type of brand. So you know, they understand the mindset of those people and that's what makes their marketing and advertising so provocative and so effective.

And that takes us on to the fifth point which is really my final point in terms of this is that, ultimately your branding and marketing all your messaging should speak of the buyer. You should be talking to your customers, not about yourself as much as possible. So a really nice example was I saw a little clip of the guy. He explained this point and what he did was he gave the idea of a beggar and I am sure and I don't know how it is in Middleburg and Witbank, then in Gauteng at almost every robot you get one of these guys with the board and it's pretty much the same format, that same story, you know. I have so many brothers and sisters or I have so many kids, I don't have a job etc. You know all about me you know, all about the person holding the board. And what this guy did was he said to the beggar - "No cool. I'm going to take a board and I'm going to rewrite it and I want to see what happens". So he took the board and gave it back to the guy and the guy made what he would typically make over a day, he made it in two hours. And what the guy had written on the board was - "If you were inclined to only give once a month, think of me next time. Now what was really important about that message was that it actually spoke about the person giving the money, not the person receiving the money. And I think it's business people and brand owners and entrepreneurs were often more guilty by talking about ourselves, rather than talking about our customers or clients. So ja, that would be my final point in terms of great branding and marketing.

Marius: 10:51 It actually makes sense and just to answer your question, yes, in Middleburg on the platteland we still have those every single robot has got one of them. But maybe I should take your words today and stop by the next best one on my way home this afternoon and rewrite that board. Kyle, just a final question from me. Marketing, should that be an ongoing thing? Obviously, you spend a bit of money and your marketing campaign goes well. Then should you just continue with that and you know, grow with the times again. Or should we leave it as it is and say we've done enough. Let's see what happens over 6 months and tackle it again after 6 months. What would you suggest? Is this an ongoing constant chronic thing or is it a once off and we'll do it again next year?

Kyle: 11:46 The best and I guess the unwritten sixth principle about good branding and marketing, is that marketing is an ongoing, branding and marketing ongoing thing. It needs to be a habit. One of the things that I really advocate very strongly with most of our clients, is that they start putting aside annual budget for marketing. Even if it's a small amount of money that they start in their planning for the year ahead, that they put across then. The activity or the action of marketing, that doesn't have to be totally consistent because obviously, depending on who you're selling to and what you're selling you know, we all, there will be buying cycles. So within your space, your industry, there may be a time of the year where people are more actively looking for your product or service you know, so let's to take an easy one like fitness for example. The two times of the year that people are already looking for new fitness things tend to be around September/October because we come out of that winter slump and we start to think - Oops, I'm going to go outside a bit more and go in the swimming pool or the beach or whatever and then obviously, the second one is you know those New Year's resolutions.

So if you're in a fitness brand it would most probably make sense that that would be where you would increase your activity but you would always try and have a baseline of activity that you doing something almost every month. And then I would say what comes with making it a habit, is that you start to measure results year on year so that you're able to make really good informed decisions about your marketing you know. So everyone thinks marketing is like about magic you know, you're going to hit this magic bullet and I would say marketing, is, you want to have a bit of magic to it but, it's really something about practice. The more you market, the better you will get at, the better you will understand your customer and who they are and what they need because they will reply to marketing. Whether the reply might be that they ignore it which in itself will tell you something about them but you will learn your customer over and over again. So marketing is a practice as much as anything else is to become better at it over time.

Marius: 14:09 That's the repetitive nature of that beast. Kyle Rolfe, thank you so much for joining us on 99.3 FM and we look forward to continuing with the discussion about brand mentoring with Kyle Rolfe next week. Kyle, thank you so much.

Kyle: 14:24 Thank you Marius.