Tomi’ Ogunlesi, Idy Enang on How SMEs Can Deploy Branding to Success
The 10th anniversary edition of USP Brand2Wealth seminar, the Brand Consultancy’s annual corporate Social Responsibility initiative aimed at teaching young business owners, the impetus to win in the market, held Thursday, 5th Oct, 2017 at Shell Hall, Muson Centre, Onikan Lagos with the theme: BRAND YOUR BUSINESS
For effective cross fertilization of ideas and ease of comprehension, the seminar, sponsored by Emzor and Bank of Industry with Media support from BrandCrunch Nigeria, the premier marketing news portal, LASAA and Classic FM 97.3 among others, has its faculty cuts across two generations – the new breed, young marketing practitioner and an older breed, both sharing enviable experiences garnered as award winning marketing practitioners with vast hands on experiences across the agency and client’s sides.
Each of the generations was represented by Tomijogun Ogunlesi, corporate Brand Manager, Master Brand and Corporate segment of Interswitch Limited as special guest speaker and Mr Idorenyen Enang, a seasoned business strategist and CEO Corporate Shepherd Limited as the keynote speaker respectively.
The CEO, USP Brand Management and convener of the programme, Mr. Muyiwa Kayode during his opening remark noted that the mission of Brand2Wealth is to empower SMEs with the branding knowledge and support to build a successful business. He added that building a great brand starts from vision.
“For a brand to be successful the first step is to love what you do; brand is all about love and passion. At the heart of every brand, you must have a value proposition. Valuing what you have is very essential in branding”, he declared to the audience, made up of mostly passionate youth entrepreneurs and SME operators.
His advised the participant never to shy away from starting small using Dangote the example to fire them up that they can grow as much as their imagination can carry them.
For the Special Guest Speaker, Tomijogun branding is a journey. According to him, branding takes its root from idea generation and not during promotion as the old school have had some believe. “There is a paradigm shift and the earlier the concept is seen as an integral part of product development the better”, he warned.
He analysed the concept of ICE- Identity, Culture and Experience as an important requirement for building a successful brand. In his words ‘identity is the fundamental rule of branding’’
Her furthered that product becomes a brand when it can fulfill needs while he maintained that products have properties that when combined together do something for customers and in any given category, most products perform similar functions. The need for superior appeal is needed to make your product stand out, he lectured.
According to him, “branding is first functional and emotional; product performs functional utilities while branding appeals to emotion’’
He added that in branding, innovation is very important because it goes hand in hand with branding ‘’in building a brand, you must have a business because without a business, there is no brand ‘he said.
Relying on power of successful brands like Indomine, Cellotape, Flit which have become household and generic names for their respective categories, he submitted that businesses should identify the audience and let the brand resonates with and speaks to them.
To build a successful brand and win in the market, Tomijogun’s winning nuggets for the audience include: focus your business in specialized area; creating a distinctive theme and logo; select client/customer where possible and maintaining high visibility. Others are drive content/engagement; pursue international alightment and cultivate relevant media relationship and partnership.
In his presentation, the keynote speaker, Mr Idorenyen Enang, spoke extensively on brand essence and how it determines the greatness of a brand.
Defining a brand as the comprehensive, consistent value a person receives by a using a product or service, the Corporate Shepherd’s CEO submitted, “if a brand doesn’t have essence it can’t go anywhere’’, adding that every great brand must have a value and a good character. He went ahead that a great brand can be known through its physical and emotional benefit which is the brand identity.
He warned the youngsters, “if you don’t have an identity, your business can’t have an identity and whenever a clear and strong brand identity is lacking, a brand is like a ship without rudder”
Speaking about Brand Equity, he said, when a commodity becomes a brand, it definitely has equity. He therefore outlined ways to build equity into your brand which he tagged 7 point agenda.
The agenda include: creating a vision; defining your value proposition; determining what will make your business different and unique offering. The list also featured- creating a good identity – logos; making constant communication of your brand and consistency with the product’s value offering.
In addition, Mr Enang gave four steps to building strong brands which are: Identity (who are you), Meaning (what are you), Response (what about you) and Relationship (what about you and me). While also adding that brand elements and brand identities play very important role in consumers’ mind, he charged the participants, “let your brand slogan, logo be memorable and meaningful to the consumers”
While encouraging SMEs to engage in marketing and change the perception of seeing big brands as the only brands that need marketing, he equally exposed his audience to the “Brand Value Chain” concepts which he described as a strategic way of thinking with focus on becoming “Brand Oriented”.
Additional contribution by Jeremiah Olayori