Branding 101: The Surest Way Of Keeping Your Brand Afloat Is To Inspire

BY OGABA AGBESE||

Harnessing creativity is our goal here at CreativityTurf and how can we serve you better if we don’t look at the number one thing that sets you apart? You! Branding through some sort of misunderstanding has become synonymous with business cards and logos. The superficial things. It has drifted away from the one thing of importance which is “What do you offer?”We know branding has become more like a scam attempt to make companies look good, make individuals seem larger than life, or even used to sell the same thing in a different box. Branding became image. People have built business rightfully from augmenting perception but every now and then the client needs a new “fix” to keep them in the minds of the consumer. This is wrong as it becomes of a game of wins/ losses. Customers lose; agency and clients win or the agency wins and everyone counts their losses in most cases. How can this be reversed?

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Well for one, we must change our perception of branding. Let us look at branding as inspiration. What message do you want to spread? What can you inspire people to do? How can your product inspire people? People tend to form emotional connections with things that inspire them to take their lives to the next level. Figuring out how you can do this is hard; very hard.

History has accounts of the most prolific Generals being the ones that were able to light fires in the bellies of their soldiers. These soldiers would form a bond of loyalty with their commanding officer and will stand up to fight with him whenever the situation arose even if they were septuagenarians. For instance the Nike “Just Do It” campaign is genius. Genius because Nike somehow or deliberately puts itself in the background while it tells the individual “everything is within your reach if you just do it” “do you want to have muscles as toned as this athlete? Just do it” or the Apple “Think Different” campaign. It showcases many heroes and heroines helping the viewer realize the only thing he / she has to do to be like those people is to “think different”. We could take a page from Christianity and you’ll find that the premise of the good news was to show you that you were once as loving and as compassionate as God and this was a journey to get you to your original form. Inspiration! Give something to people to aspire to then the brain takes care of the rest. Inspiration has been known to be the biggest trigger of emotion but it is rarely used because it requires people to ask themselves tough questions. When these tough questions get answered there is magic.

Now back to the business cards, stencils, and logos. These are not going to help you move units. They are just separators. Good enough only when the message is already established. I have heard many wise men tell entrepreneurs not to focus on their logos and stuff but instead focus on what they have to offer people. The things that matter. It is true.

As we become successful we forget what matters then look for patches to help us when things aren’t going our way anymore but when focused on inspiring and helping people become their better selves’ patches won’t be necessary. We stop focusing on protecting the image and instead focus on how we can make people feel amazing their entire lives. One could still have a crappy logo and people will still form emotional connections with it. If you have to put a Vera Wang dress on a pig all you have is a pig in a very expensive dress. Which makes my point about thinking branding is image. It doesn’t last. It falls apart faster than a house built out of paper. You are a brand and the surest way of keeping your brand afloat is to inspire. Inspire someone today and watch your brand grow.

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Ogaba Agbese|| is an architect in training, a poet. Founder and CEO of TreeJump, a nostalgia engine currently in the works.

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