Understanding Branding and Its Importance for Your Kenyan Online Business.

Last Updated on 23 September 2019 by Gertrude

A brand is your movement and you need to understand branding for your business so that your business stands out. Many Kenyan online businesses don’t understand branding and its significance in building generational wealth or getting recognised. 

What Does a Brand Mean. 

A brand is your identity, your why for getting into the business. And how your customers will reach you. It doesn’t stop there though. A brand is far more than explained in the Kenyan online business space. 

A Brand is the Following:

  1. The Name. 

What does your name stand for and how is it going to be memorable?. In today’s SEO world, branding involves naming a business according to search engines. Not necessarily but giving your business a searchable name. For example, if you deal with mindset classes, name your business gertiemouldsminds as is my Instagram or something industry-related, to what you’re selling.

A business name should not be too long but memorable. It must reflect the kind of business you are getting into. To find a great business name, know your niche market and know more about niche marketing. To know more about niche marketing, subscribe below to get the complete guide to niche marketing. 

2. Symbol 

A symbol identifies your business. It’s like a business tag for the brand. A symbol should be something symbolic like the Apple sign or the Mcdonalds sign. Want to know why Steve Jobs gave his company the name Apple?. I consider him to be the Father of Marketing and Brand Strategy. I love his unique voice in the field of marketing. 

3. Slogan/ Business Tag

What are the words that identify your business, for example, Nancy in Property Show, says, ‘There’s something for everyone’. Or Apple’s Think Different or KFC’S Finger Licking Good or L ‘Oreal’s Because You’re Worth It. A tagline doesn’t have to align with your business name. It can be something that deeply resonates with you, like Apple’s Think Different slogan. It went with Jobs belief that those who have the nerve to think are the ones who can change the world. Make your tagline memorable, yet catchy. Make it fun and let it bring your personality. 

4. Logo 

What is your logo?. What does it say about you and your business?. Before making or creating your logo, brainstorm some ideas, then go to the drawing board.

Let the logo be memorable yet catchy. Let the logo tell a story about your brand. I particularly love Sonal Maherali’s logo, the Simba Maharani, I didn’t know a female lion (lioness) is called that in Swahili. 

5. Mission

What’s your drive and why are your starting your business?. What problem/need/ want are you fulfilling with this business?. Sometimes, the tagline reflects your mission for your brand. Let your mission be the driving force when the going gets tough. Nike’s mission statement is inspiring, ‘It’s to drive to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world’. 

And that’s what Nike has successfully accomplished over the years in business. 

6. Vision

What do you see when you imagine people using your products?. What experience do you want them to have?. Why is it important to you that your customers feel this way?.

What do you envision your customers seeing in the end?. Is it a 30-day mindset change?. Is it a new beginning you envision for them?. Envision your products and what your customers will feel when using them. Write all the experiences you see. 

 7. Product Message 

What is the message you want your customers to express after using your products? Is it a new them?. How is the product delivered?. In cheap packaging yet you said you’re an exclusive brand?.

How will the customers feel after getting the product?. If you’re into digital products, what would you want your customers to feel after downloading the product?. Is there enough information in your digital products?. 

8. Marketing Strategy/Plan 

What is the marketing plan for your business?. Can you measure the results of the marketing messages?. What’s the marketing budget?. Who is your competition?. What do you want to accomplish with your marketing messages?. What are your marketing long/short term goals?. 

9. Brand Colours 

What are the colours that identify your business?. Why are they your chosen colours?. For example, my brand colours are black and white. And have the other colours to make room for colourful background pics. 

Let your brand colours tell a story as well. Black and white for my brand, GertieCreativeWorld means I tell my story in plain sight without fear or shame. I embrace myself and have accepted to change. The other softer colours like baby pink, purple and blue indicate my colourful nature and the baby within me. 

Let your brand colours speak your name. Let them show your personality and use them always. 

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Developing a Strong Brand Also Helps You in 

  1. Identifying Your Ideal Customers 

Who are your ideal customers and how do you intend on getting to them?. Where do they hang out and how are you going to reach them. Is it through paid advertising, having a physical shop, or is through organic search???.

Will you advertise on billboards/ brochure marketing?. Who will distribute the brochures?. Who are the salespeople you’ll employ, do they know where your ideal customers hang out?. Are they knowledge-equipped about your product to deliver the message to your customers?. 

2. Expectations 

What should your customers expect from you as a brand?. Is it excellent packaging?. Timely delivery?. Answering to the complaints and dealing with exchange products?. What are the production timelines if making custom goods?.

When are you to deliver the products?. When you set great expectations, your customers know when a product release will happen. That helps create a lot of hype around a product. Imagine, iPhone 11 or Samsung phones. 

3. Differentiating/Distinguishing. 

What’s your unique selling proposition?. What makes you different?. If you identify your U.S.P you’re pitted against competitors and over-saturation. You get to stand out in the crowd.

You get identity because of your message or stand. You think different as Steve Jobs would say. 

4. Developing a Marketing Plan

Your brand helps you identify what your marketing message will be. Who your customers will be. And how you’ll reach them. You’re going to grab your customer’s attention because you know who they are. You’ll know your competitors. You’re going to highlight your value as a brand. 

5. Mission 

Crafting a mission helps you know the direction of your business. And also craft your brand’s why. Why do you sell?. Why are you creating?. What need are you filling with your business?. What problems have you identified? How are you going to fill it?. 

6. Customer Service

Your customers are the focal point of your brand. How will you handle their complaints?. Are you qualified in handling your customers?. What qualities of customer service do you have?. And how will the qualities help you deal with furious customers?

Or are you going to give priority over your customers because of a race like Nakumatt did?. Who is your Manager?. And does he teach the staff the importance of customer service to all staff employees?. 

7. Increasing Brand Awareness 

Brand awareness means customers identifying your products/services. And your customers knowing of your existence. Increasing brand awareness is important because it brings your customers close to you. 

8. Brand Recognition / Reputation Building

How would it feel like being known as Safaricom or Britam? World recognition is strong. It takes a long time to build a name for your business, but only a second to ruin that reputation. 

9. Business Value 

How will you appeal to investors?. Investors love brands with recognition. Would you invest in a brand that doesn’t know their value or scaling ability?. When valuing your business, you need to know how much revenue the business brings, the expenditure. Expected losses. 

10. Advertising 

Your brand makes advertising easy. You know what your customers want. What they love in terms of products release. Where they hang out and how they’ll respond to your message.

Add a call-to-action for every advertising you craft for your brand. And use a lot of copywriting to increase conversion. Learn how to write advertising messages for your brand by following my YouTube channel.

We’re learning how to write sales copy that converts and effective landing pages and more about funnels. And why sales funnels are important. 

11. Employee Pride and Satisfaction 

How would you feel when employees speak of your business?. How would you feel to get treated as part of the company?. How would you tell others about the company you work for?.

Would it be something like, ‘Oh wow, I dread going to work because of that boss’’ or ‘I love going to work because the work environment helps me to utilise my abilities?’. 

A brand’s reach grows bigger because of its employees. And when your employees are psyched to do work, they get psyched to promote your brand. They relate to customers well and are ready to help and answer questions. 

12. Increasing Referrals/ Word of Mouth 

Your brand must bring in revenue from your previous customers. The previous customers help you create a strong brand presence. When others refer to others about your brand, their friends will buy from the brand with a lot of power.

The brand making their friends happy and jovial. And the brand that makes them loyal customers. Capitalise on word of mouth by asking your customers to spread the message. And offer the best referral programme reward. Also, free word of mouth helps reduce the marketing fees/expenditure. 

13. Creates Trust 

With a strong brand, comes trust. Comes building of a reputation that doesn’t fade. Can you imagine how Kenyans have trusted Mpesa so much it has become a movement or a bank in your smartphone?. Or insurance is sweet with Britam?. Or Dola flour is great because of their consistency in quality?.

Create trust, let your customers earn your trust. Don’t shortchange them with low-quality products or your employees with poor pay. They’ll spread the word and ruin your brand. You don’t want to break the trust. 

14. Gaining New Customers

How does it feel to have new customers patronise your business because of the powerful word of mouth from your customers?. Or because of your excellent customer service?. New customers mean expansion. New customers mean your brand is getting too many customers, therefore, means trust.  

 in conclusion, developing a strong brand presence is more than having a great name. How are your products matching up to the name of your brand?

After two years in business, is your business still focused on the quality of production? Is your customer service top-notch to entice other customers?

Don’t fall into statistics of businesses failing after ten years due to poor customer service, this article on Hubspot is crucial to open your eyes. 

A brand must gear to stand out. Differentiate yourself from an oversaturated market. 

Begin with niche marketing. That helps you stand out and gain a market and help you build credibility in your market. 

What branding part did you over-look in creating your online Kenyan business?

What are you going to do to improve your online business branding?

What branding strategies will you employ to get your business to as many Kenyans as possible?

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Online Businesses / Work in Kenya