The second session presented by Headstart Live 2.0 was as insightful and informative as the very first one! This time we had with us Mr. Srish Agrawal who has been known to be in the business industry for the last 15 years. He is the CEO and Founder of A1 Future Technologies and his professional expertise is highly sought after. His entry into the industry was marked by the formation of a local designing team in 1997 and today, the very same team is under Top 5 design companies in the world. To make it even more exciting, he is also an angel investor – a cherry on top for all the startups present at the session!
Branding and Digital Transformation are two terms that are quite often misinterpreted. Entrepreneurs dive into the market without knowing what they actually mean and then create hurdles for themselves in the long run. One of the many consequences of not knowing the exact meaning and processes of these terms leads to a lack of deliverance as opposed to what was decided in the initial days.
To begin with, Mr. Srish clarified the exact meaning of Branding and the various functions that are a part of it. Branding in simple words is a perception that is created around the brand and the company. You need to be clear with the purpose of the brand before jumping right to marketing. There is a process of branding and here is a rough idea –
- Define your target audience
- Define the purpose of the brand based on your audience – What is unique? What is special?
- Define the message, voice, tone, attitude, and the persona that you wish to convey through the brand.
- Differentiate yourself from competitors.
- Maintain consistency.
The brand and the company name do not necessarily have to be the same. While the company name can be a little complicated, the brand name should be easy to pronounce, write, and something that is not forgotten easily. The basic difference between a brand name and the company name is that while people seem to remember the former, the latter is mainly used to cut checks. Target Audience and The Product should go hand in hand. The best way to figure them out is by understanding both through thorough research.
These days, founders have an extremely important role to play in building their personal brand apart from the startups brand. The audience does not only want to know about the company but also about who is behind the creation. The founder acts as the face of the brand. A brand model is not enough, the founder needs to build trust and be capable enough. Infact, there is a higher chance of success if the founder has good connections and successful testimonials. The best technique is to go online, communicate, be original, and let the audience see your transparent self.
The right time to start marketing is during the idea stage and before the launch of the business. That is when perceptions are formed and it is easier to work on the initial feedback received. Building relationships, creating posters, and designing surveys are the right way to go! Marketing may kill or make the brand – it depends on the tools and channels that are used to market and increase outreach.
Going global can often be tricky. While there is no thumb rule formula, it is possible that sometimes your message may have a negative implication in another language. It is essential to do basic research right from Day 1. Keep your eyes and ears open; avoid using a brand name that has already been used in the past and has a negative history since it may affect you in the initial days.
Logos are one of the factors that are considered important in branding. It is not about what you want your logo to be but what your clients will enjoy; what they will resonate with. Here are a few pro tips –
- Each color speaks something and has a personality, choose wisely.
- Make sure the slogan on the logo is readable – need not be more than 3-4 words.
- Do not expect that the logo will portray the business that you are in. It is not necessary to showcase exactly the products you sell.
- Keep in mind the number of colors you use in order to save costs.
- Sometimes the color in print and on-screen is different, be sure that they match.
Negative campaigning is an aspect all businesses experience at least once. It is completely your decision if you want to take the bull by its horn and decide to take the opportunity to fully pivot. It gives you a chance to analyze why negative feedback exists and how it can be eradicated. Depending on your capability – respond positively, communicate with customers, reply back, and resolve the problem.
Moving forward to the next term, Digital Marketing. While it may seem like rocket science, that is not the case. Apart from being very relevant today, the term simply refers to an attempt to leverage digital technology. It includes plans to improve strategy, marketing, operations, and productivity.
The Missing pieces are part and parcel of the business industry; the challenge is to find out what those pieces are. The best solution is to do a perfect gap analysis. It may be challenging if you are not tech-savvy and so it is preferred to go out to a consultant and seek advice. Things like communicating with the customers and learning from software tutorials across the web are some activities you can do.
The quest to be on top is never-ending. While patents may set you apart, getting approval in the real market is not as easy as it sounds. The easiest way is to differentiate your product and offer a benefit that no other competitor does. Highlight the differentiator and make sure it reaches the relevant audience. In terms of Trademarking, hire an attorney and get him to do all the heavy paperwork. This option is not only inexpensive, but will also give you extra time to build your brand.
The best communication strategies to use digitally may be numerous, but in the end, it all depends on the product you offer. Whatsapp business has increased in today’s times, but is extremely common and so loses importance. On the other hand, Quora is a Q and A website where you can act as a consultant and give answers to the problems stated by the audience. Slowly, when you have gained an expert status, the trust and dependency will also increase. That is when you can maintain a balanced ratio and start redirecting people to your business site. Finally, an ultimate hack is to use video ads on YouTube and put your content on top of the business videos that have been monetized.
For the businesses that have been hurt by the pandemic, the best tip is to move on to what the audience is moving on to. Eventhough it may be forced transformation, see what the people need, go online, and cater to them across the globe. Since there is a lot of information all across the web, use micro marketing, a concept where you decide to target a specific audience.
To wrap it all up, the personal and professional knowledge imparted by Mr.Srish helped the audience in gaining perspective on two very important aspects of a business. The session did not only add value, but it also made them realize the importance of putting these terms into practical use and the major role they play in pushing the startups towards the path of success.
Contributed By –
A volunteer at Headstart.