4 Ways to Go About Branding On a Low Budget

Now before you roll your eyes at yet another post on branding, think about why there’s so much noise about it. About the existence of brand experts and agencies. Finally, think about the way companies like Apple, Nike, and other big guys rake in a lot of money because of how much effort they’ve put into their branding. What about Kim Kardashian? Her brand is doing a lot for her especially in this social media age. As a company, we believe in a comprehensive brand strategy and we’ve even written about it here. From consistent brand colors to a bold mission statement, the blueprint is set. So, what new thing could we possibly be bringing to the table?

Well, here’s the gist. We understand that not everyone can have their A-game set when it comes to branding. We all cannot go the way of Nike or Apple or even Amazon. Your company is most likely not half as big as these brands nor do you have the funds to pull off such branding efforts. So as the old saying goes, when the desirable is not available, the available becomes desirable. Consider this a guide to kickstarting a good branding campaign on a low budget. Let’s get to it already, shall we?

1. Go with bright colors: Companies like Facebook and even brands like Supreme play along with this rule in their logo designs, and you definitely should. For a moment, let’s forget other grand definitions of branding and focus on just one, which is to create brand familiarity. And one easy way to get yourself easily acquainted with someone is by creating warm vibes, right? By standing out. Hence the need for bright colors.

Now just a heads up, the fact that you’re being encouraged to go for bright colors doesn’t imply your brand should turn into a rainbow. Sometimes, you just need one or two distinct colors and that’s enough to capture the attention of anyone. Do you think we’re joking? Try this simple task: What’s the first brand you think of when you hear blue and white? How about red? The truth is that different brands might come up in your mind as different brands may be using a particular color but one or two will be the boldest.

Do you remember the brands with rainbow designs? Maybe, but not as much as you do for the ones with bold colors. Remember, the trick to play up those bold color(s) in your logo, business cards, and content.

Talking about content and brand familiarity, let’s move on to the next point.

2. Use social media first, save a website for later: okay, so before you go on about how websites are needed more than ever in these times, you should consider the cost of setting up and maintaining one. Now compare it to the ease of setting up a social media account for your business and relating with your audience with it. Good. So let’s do a little refresher course on the benefits of using social media for your business, shall we?

it’s more personalized: websites are great for conversions but Dms are greater for conversations. As with all things super techy and automated, there’s that feeling of relating with a bot instead of a human being while on a site. You’ll hardly feel that way when communicating via DM. Relating to your target audience through the comment section alone is a great way of warming up and building a relationship with them. A DM is the icing on the cake here since you get to chat and even get more personal responses from your audience. This is unlike websites where you’re usually directed to FAQs and emails are usually employed, with that being the most personalized communication offered.

social media allows you to flex your muscle at content creation: this applies to both personal branding and corporate branding. Blogs are cool for SEO and the likes, but nothing beats DIYs and short posts on your social media handles. This is especially when you are trying to save time for your audience while staying in touch with them. With the frequent updates on the different social media platforms, you can easily try your hands at different forms of content like videos, posts, pictures, and even polls. At what cost? The cost of paying for the data consumed.

This is what we mean by low cost and super effective.

PS: as you grow, you’ll need to move on to a responsive website to get the job done. But since you and your brand are most likely at the beginner stage, social media is a good place to start. Doing this and running ads regularly with the background work already done is a sure-fire way to grow your brand.

Next up, niching.

3. Niche down as much as possible: so I get the need for you or your brand to debunk the saying about a jack of all trades, master of none. But then, this might not be necessary if you don’t have the resources to walk the talk. How about you go only as far as your resources allow you to? A lazy approach yeah, inexpensive too but believe me, with high returns. The good thing about niching down this way is that you get to dedicate your efforts to creating content for a single purpose.

Okay, this might seem boring and you might think it’s hard for you to keep up doing just one thing, but think again. Will you rather dedicate your time and resources chasing one goal, doing it so well that you become an expert, or you’ll rather alternate between two or more niches, end up focusing more on one at the detriment of others and coming off as confusing to your audience? The answer is glaring my friend.

4. Collaborate with similar brands: collaboration in business is such a beautiful concept, it’s hard to understand why many brands shy away from it. I know there’s a need for you and your organization to stand out and be known for a particular thing, but the goal won’t necessarily be lost by collaborating with others. There are two ways to go about this.

– For Personal Branding: work with someone that does something similar to what you do. Let’s say if you’re trying to position yourself as a skincare expert, partner with someone like that too. You can come up with content together and share your knowledge but in the same vein, shows the audience that skincare is your niche. This way you both tap into each other’s audience and learn together. Plus you gain respect if you all manage to work together successfully. This type of collaboration doesn’t have to be just between two people, you can work with as many people as your strength permits.

– For Organizational Branding: You will need to be more careful so your baby brand doesn’t get swallowed up by the bigger shark, i.e the brand you’re teaming up with. So, the best way to go about this is not just to look for a brand with a niche similar to yours, but one with an uncompetitive audience. That way, you run your thing together but you still get to stand out.

For instance, if your brand makes haircare products, you can partner with a unisex hair salon, but then distinguish yourself by catering to the needs of just those with natural hair or any other group you like. This way, you didn’t go through the stress of seeking out the audience, you simply met them at the point of their needs. But then, it’s not always easy to enter into partnerships like this but the idea is to look for the slightest distinguishing factor when collaborating.

The beautiful thing about these ideas as you must have noticed is that it can be applied to both personal and corporate branding.

As an extra tip, when marketing as a new brand, influencer marketing will not be the best way to grow your brand and gain the trust of your audience. This is because, in certain spaces, influencer marketing is considered a dishonest way of marketing. Most times, influencers endorse brands without actually using them, so it’s just for the pay and the reviews are not real. So, in as much as you want to make sales with them, it can easily backfire and your brand will suffer from the backlash. Coupled with the fact that this is pretty expensive and you end up spending more than you budgeted for.

Remember. The four-point strategy includes:

– Use of bright colors

– Social media over the website while starting out

– Niching down as much as possible

– Brand collaboration

But I must add the fact that you’ll need to have a solid content plan and a good social media marketer for this to work. It might also involve you pulling in your weight but that’s a small price to pay for going the cheap way, right? Definitely.

We’ll like to hear from you, have you employed any of these strategies before? What other strategies have you used when going the inexpensive way while branding? Share with us in the comment section.

Written by Blessing Onyegbula

A Layman’s Guide to Understanding Product Design

You come up with an idea, a supposed solution to a particular type of problem people face, and the next step is to bring your idea to life. Who do you need on your team to do this work for you? The person who does this job for you is not the marketer, that just involves pushing your product into the marketplace. The right person for the job is a Product Designer. Product design is an integral part of product development, with the design being a really key step to birthing a product. But sometimes, it feels like people know little about how it works, little about how key it is, and very little about how versatile this field is.

So, let’s break this down into bits and bring you to the world of product design.

Product design is simply the process of creating products that meet the needs of users and that aligns with a brand’s goal. It’s that simple.

Sometimes, the burden is on the product designer to come up with the idea for a viable product and then go on to bring it to life. In doing this, they carry out market research, check out trends in the market, understand the different pros and cons of bringing an idea to life at a point in time. This is because an idea might seem good, just as an idea, but it’s in creating it we find out that it’s not as effective as we thought.

That’s why the research stage might not be enough for the product designer.

Now, in the design stage, it’s not just enough to get to work in creating the idea, you actually have to test it out to see how it works. This is why the terms “prototype” and “sample” was coined. You may have seen certain companies coming up with a product, having it in the market, and suddenly discontinuing the production, certain factors may have triggered the discontinuation but one of such factors may be reduced effectiveness.

Hence, having a solid product designer can be very cost-effective for your business in the long run.

Moving on, product design as a broad field is not limited to just products, that is tangible packages and designs, it can also come as a service we patronize. In fact, that is becoming more and more of the task product designers are faced with; building services that meet the needs of customers. So, because people need to stay in touch with each other, a phone was built to ease communication. But it doesn’t just stop here. Since a large part of growth involves constant tweaking, companies thought of ways to make this communication need as accessible as possible and this is how social media platforms were born.

In other words, service-based companies employ product designers to create services as products that they sell to the market as solutions.

The thing about building services through product design is the detailed approach to it, the integration of different aspects of consumer needs, and the seamless design. So, you can be sure that skills like consumer research, UI/UX design, and all sorts will be required. That’s the beauty of product design and that brings me to the final point.

Remember when I mentioned the versatility of the product design field, well this is as true as ever in today’s world. Product design has moved from just idea formation and product design to involving a whole lot of consumer psychology. More so, with the level of technology on the ground, it’s definitely going to greater heights.

Recently, a documentary was made by Netflix on social media and its impact on human beings. Notice how the documentary highlighted the high level of consumer psychology at play, how each feature is geared towards increased attention on a platform, and how this is in turn affects our relationship with others. This just goes to show how the best products (including services) are the ones that solve our problems while touching at a primary emotion in us. These are human-friendly products and that’s one thing about the design field, the way it’s interconnected with different aspects in ways that we don’t even notice but enjoy.

So, when next you come across the word product design, understand that:

  • It starts from the research process; this is to create the perfect solution in form of products for the users
  • Product design is not limited to tangible products only i.e. things we can feel and touch. It can come in the form of services that we enjoy.
  • It is a flexible field that utilizes different skills in a bid to meet the users at the exact point of their needs.

Do share your thoughts and questions about product design in the comment section.

Written by Blessing Onyegbula

Why Brand?

Coca-Cola Branding

Branding is more of a NEED than a WANT. As a startup, branding gives you an edge over competitors. It is a marketing practice that helps to distinguish a product from another. What sets you apart from the people doing what you do is HOW you do it. The main idea of branding is for visibility. Let us use it this way. When you walk into a room full of strangers, what they think about you is a result of how you present yourself or the things they know about you (branding). Then, when they sit down and get to know you, that is getting to know who you truly are, away from their perception. At that point, if someone says “when you walked in, I didn’t know you were this confident”, you would definitely go “then, never judge a book by its cover”. Why wasn’t the cover made to suit the book? Why Brand?

We must understand how much branding goes beyond logos and symbols, it is also identification merely by seeing the colors associated with your brand. Yes, you read that right. Your business colors should reflect what you are into. It is very advisable to check out the colors associated with your industry before choosing your business colors.

A great example is Glossier. A skincare and makeup brand dominating the globe. They include stickers and a thank you note to every purchase. This is what sets you apart, doing the most for your consumers.


It gives your customer a long-lasting impression of you and it makes them know what to expect. People can judge things from the packaging, I definitely can. From your presentation, they know what to expect from you. They know if your things are for a very high class or affordable. In all your doings, brand well!

Branding also provides external cues to taste, design, performance, quality, value, and prestige if they are developed and managed properly. It creates trust within your industry. If you always pop yourself and the things you do in people’s faces, it would be easier to trust you because people would feel like they know you to a certain extent.

Branding and packaging help you market before your words do. Remember to brand!

Written by Oluwatosin Omolale

How to reduce Burnout as an Entrepreneur

60-80 hours work weeks. Critical decisions. Thought leadership and emotional intelligence. All these are the expectations of society from an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs are first human beings that have needs. After some time, it becomes really difficult going at this pace and this is where that mental and physical exhaustion known as burnout sets in. But then, this can be avoided to an extent. Entrepreneurs have become wiser in trying to secure the bag and staying sane while at it. So, if you belong to this category and want to know the best way to reduce burnout as an entrepreneur, here are six ways to go about it:

1. Avoid over planning and focus on the to-dos

2. Set boundaries and ensure balance  

3. Learn through the failures 

4. Delegate

5. Know when to give up

Let’s explore this further, shall we?

1. Avoid over planning and focus on the to-dos: As an entrepreneur, sometimes you feel that you need to come up with that perfect strategy. The defining factor when it comes to burnout as an entrepreneur is stress. Now, you can easily relate stress with hard work, that is in the physical sense. But stress can also be mental, which in return kills your mental state. 

A simple cause of this is over-thinking, planning, and all the overkills. Most times, entrepreneurs fall into that trap of over strategizing in their quest for perfection. This shouldn’t be so. The simple but overlooked solution therefore should be focusing on the journey, tweaking the process as you go. The more time you spend as an entrepreneur thinking is the more time you miss out on productive acts. Over time, you end up stressed for achieving nothing.

Remember the simple trick; focus on the to-dos, the goals will fall into place along the way and the burnout from mental stress will be reduced.

As Jas Bagniewski puts it “don’t get distracted. Never tell yourself that you need to be the biggest brand in the whole world. Start by working on what you need at the present moment and then what you need to do tomorrow. So, set yourself manageable targets.” 

2. Set boundaries and ensure balance: remember when I mentioned in the beginning that entrepreneurs tend to work 60-80 hours. Now that equates to 12- 16 hours of work daily, out of 24 hours in a day. Some even work during weekends. At this rate, burnout is bound to come up since the little time they have apart from working is geared towards resting.

If you fall into this category, believe me, the burnout will most likely be the short term effect of your schedule. As time goes on, you might develop terminal diseases from the unhealthy lifestyle you’ve embraced. At the end of the day, you end up with a lonely and boring life with its own consequences. The point is that since the life of an entrepreneur is demanding, create a balance because therein lies your full success.

Taking up a hobby, joining an association of friends is a good way to go. Also, embracing technology and using the tools as much as you can help make life easy.

Another way to create a balance is by going on a Workcation. It’s simply a type of vacation which also involves you working. The benefit here is the change of environment which can do amazing things to your mental state of health. You can even take your team along with you. This way, you all get to work in a relaxing atmosphere.

3. Learn through the failures: this can be your past adventures or from that of others. Just ensure you use previous experiences as a blueprint to fight your fear of failure and get through to the next stage. The mistakes you made when starting or the ones other entrepreneurs make, are not things you should repeat. Having repetitive failures is enough to demoralize you and make you burnout. Understandably, some things are beyond control but the ones you can control, ensure you control them.

4. Delegate: set up a system for getting results. There’s a reason why startups hire the best talents to accelerate their growth. There’s also a reason big companies can employ a large size of workers who can all work towards achieving a common goal.

Reduce stress, delegate, functional, business, data, work

Here is the secret to delegating:

– if another person can get 80% of the work done, hand it over 

– delegating is effective when there’s a system in place. An easy way to set up a system is by documenting those practices that worked in the past for you. This way the idea and processes can easily be passed down. So to the extent that you can delegate certain tasks, and still get the job done, do that. You might be an entrepreneur, but you are still a human being. Constantly unusually pushing your human limits will lead to a breakdown.

5. Know when to give up: uhhh, this sounds weird right? I mean, entrepreneurship involves risks and staying put till the end right. Yup, this point doesn’t invalidate all that. Giving up here means not engaging in a wild goose chase. So, there’s a particular area you’re exploring for your business and you are not making headway, giving up might just be the solution.

Oh, wait, giving up sounds too final. Consider this a way of you putting a hold on certain aspects or closing the chapter on an aspect of your business. But if we’re being sincere, giving up is the best way to avoid pursuing a dead end. When you can identify the point in your life as an entrepreneur that your idea stops being viable or a plan is not going to work out, then kill it already. What’s the need passing through that mental and physical exhaustion for that flimsy reason stopping you from drawing the curtain.

Is this me discouraging you from chasing your dream? Yes, but just in the instance, the dream is obviously useless.

Remember, that as long as you can:

1. Avoid over planning and focus on the to-dos

2. Set boundaries and ensure balance  

3. Learn through the failures 

4. Delegate: set up a system for getting the result

5. Know when to give up

Your chances of burning out as an entrepreneur will be greatly reduced. 

We’ll like to hear from you. Write back to us via the comment section with your opinion on this.

Written by Blessing Onyegbula

finances, cryptocurrencies, business, tech, money.


Over time, people’s needs and wants have proven to be insatiable as there is always a desire to know and do more, hence the birth of CRYPTOCURRENCY.
In 2009 someone (or a group of people) that goes by the pseudonym, Satoshi Nakamoto created Bitcoin, a cryptocurrency. It was created in the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis as a way for people to control their money themselves, without having to rely on companies, banks, or governments and their fees and controls.

Cryptocurrency uses cryptographic protocols or extremely complex code systems that encrypt sensitive data transfers, to secure their units of exchange.

We have over 6000 types of cryptocurrency and unlike the regular currencies like USD, Euros, Pounds, Naira, Rupees tied to authority, cryptocurrency is not controlled by an economy. The currencies controlled by an economy can lose their value due to the rise in inflation but cryptocurrency which is moved by demand and supply through its exchange and tradings cannot lose its value. Unlike banks which require a middle man, cryptocurrency supply and values are controlled by the activities of their user and complex protocol built into their governing codes.

You see, considering how much the world is growing to be digital, cryptocurrency might take over online transactions. Let me tell you how it works. Each crypto is stored in its database called BLOCKCHAIN. If money is sent to the wrong wallet, it is almost impossible to get it back so it takes extra carefulness to operate a cryptocurrency account. Regardless, your money appreciates in return if left for a long period of time.

Just as the world is moving from petrol and diesel to electric cars like Tesla, Cryptocurrency is gradually taking over online transactions as multiple sites offer cryptocurrency as a mode of payment. Also, most people don’t feel safe entering their bank details on a site so cryptocurrency breaches that gap. It takes minutes to send huge amounts of money anywhere in the world via cryptocurrency.

Cryptocurrency ranges from Bitcoins, Litecoins, Ethereum, ripple, stellar and so many others. It is safe, reliable, and trustworthy.

Written by Oluwatosin Omolale

Information Technology, Aristrat, Brand Marketing, Business

How IT has Improved Brand Marketing

Let’s start by painting an ugly picture. One that doesn’t involve ink, paint, or pencil but simply your mind as the canvas and thoughts of a world devoid of information technology (IT). Pretty ugly right?

You see that’s how comfortable the world has gotten with IT and its functions that imagining a world without it is seen as distasteful. Now as an individual, the best knowledge you might have about IT is one that borders on laptops, media, and knowledge acquisition. That’s enough to fascinate us and leave us ever grateful for the beauty of IT.

That shows you how even at the surface level, our use of IT produces fascinating results. It gets better when you consider it on a grander scale. Like how businesses use it in their day to day operations which produces great results, but sadly leaves us with fear for the future of work for humans.

Now that’s not the focus of this post, there are enough resources on the internet talking about different ways IT will disrupt the workforce. So, let’s consider this an appreciation post to IT. Here you’ll see the brilliant ways brands use IT for their own good beyond the benefits you’re used to and even learn one or two things you can imitate on your own level.

What we’ll be discussing will center on IT for brand marketing, especially for consumers. So guys, here are 3 ways IT has helped brand marketing:

– Content Marketing: Since we’re discussing this in the context of brands, one prominent tool used in branding especially when it comes to scaling up has got to be Content Marketing. Little wonder why despite the still growing functionalities of the IT world, content marketing has definitely been affected in ways that have proven to be effective. In recent times, brands have been known to exploit and even modify the power of IT in ways that suit them and this has given birth to more functions.

For instance, we now have AI-generated content and even AI-generated copy. By creating algorithms that match brand needs especially in the aspect of customers, it’s now easier for brands to push out as much content as possible. This means more customer-centric content and in a short time too. Of course, there’s the argument of content like this lacking the human feel and not exactly touching the emotional needs of the audience. But then, this is just the beginning, there are lots of years for brands to work on their IT functions and ensure the pros surpass the cons.

Apart from AI-generated content, there are now chatbots that are more like robotic customer service. In this case, it feels so real as conversations are held in real-time and with the bots actually understanding the human needs and attending to them as best as the algorithm allows.

The problem with all these though is the need for more data to really meet individuals at their right pain points and solve the problems well. But then, we’re being positive here so we won’t be going further on those cons.

– Personalised end-user experience: Away from content, IT has definitely eased up operations within a business especially when it comes to presenting data and findings. For instance, augmented reality and virtual reality are gradually finding a place in our world. Though we might be tempted to just view it from the aspect of gaming, which might just be our first encounter with it, VR and AR are way beyond that. Brands have increasingly used them to deepen relationships with consumers by creating hyper-realistic interactions.

Content marketing, ads, personalized end user experience, campaigns, Information technology, IT, Brand Marketing

With this digitization has come the birth of a personalized customer experience. By knowing how to tweak the algorithms of a website or adapting it to business functions, customer interactions have taken a better turn.

– Ads and Campaigns: From Pepsi’s 2014 AR campaign to Heineken’s LED interactive bottle, to eBay’s Virtual reality shop, IT has found some innovative uses in the marketing world. Sadly, in 2020, brands that have tried to harness the benefits of IT and replicate on their platforms are just scratching the surface. More like still stuck in the 2010 era and adventures in tech. The integration of cookies and personalized ads are all products of IT.

Another benefit of IT in general is its ease of use and cost management. This is also seen in the way brands use it to save resources. Imagine using tools like HubSpot’s basic marketing plan at about $230 for your brand monthly, a function that can be shared amongst 2/3 employees at a rate definitely higher. Therefore, it’s definitely at the benefit of businesses to find ways to up their game in the use of technology.

You know, the thing about IT is the way it just made the business world get more competitive. Now you don’t just talk about using tech to scale up as a way of marking register, you have to be up to date with the tech operations. Not forgetting to stick to the ethical part as this is also an important part of IT.

This is not to limit the influence of IT in marketing to just content marketing, better end-user experience, and campaigns, but it’s a good place to start.

Finally, in recent times, one big benefit of IT in the business world is Blockchain technology. Makes sense since Fintech is the way now, right? Perhaps we’ll explore this some other time.

But for now, share with us. How have you used IT in your business for good and what new way do you intend to explore it?

Your comments are needed. Till next time, stay digitized.

Written by Blessing Onyegbula.

fintech, strategy, aristrat, business, success,


The advancement of technology keeps disrupting many industries and the financial industry is not exempted. The word “Fintech” is a combination of “Finance” and “technology”. The financial industry before now was majorly traditional. The introduction of digital technology, mobile platforms, analytics, and many more have been proven to be more effective in the long run.

     Asides from the media buzz and the ‘youthfulness’ in FinTech, Fintech has also proven to be faster, easier, and more accessible. Even at this, a significant percentage of consumers are still very skeptical about trusting providers to manage deposits, investments, loans, and even retirement plans. This is a challenge most Fintech organizations go through.

Whether we accept all that FinTech is, the many innovations surrounding it would not be stopping anytime soon. Fintech has also managed to place its ground on segments neglected by traditional banking. It originally offers a solution to consumers who want a certain thing but cannot get it. For example, Loans. They also provide personal finance management( the likes of Cowrywise, Piggyvest, and ALAT).


The future of FinTech poses a threat to traditional banking and with the introduction of blockchain, cognitive computing, digital currencies, and the likes, traditional banking might have to go through a lot of ‘assurance’ to stay sane. One thing you should know is, no matter how skeptical a person is about Fintech, it is sure to take over the finance industry in the coming years.

If you ever need to consider a career in the financial industry, you might have to look for a problem in consumer banking and think of a way to solve it digitally.

Written by Oluwatosin Omolale.

monopoly, aristrat, business strategy

3 Things You can Learn about Business Strategy from the Game of Monopoly

Everyone starts with the same income and follows the same path but not everyone ends the same way.

Monopoly is a board game that tests your ability to strategically invest in places of high returns. Here are monopoly strategies to help you navigate through your business;

1. Investment and savings: Let’s create an Illustration here.

Mr. Chidi and Mr. Ben decide to play a friendly game. Mr. Chidi had great income and equally great properties. Mr. Ben was not down on properties either but his cash flow was not moving as expected. He has more expenditures than revenue but somehow, he learned to manage it well. Mr. Ben knew the interest and weaknesses of Mr. Chidi so he (Mr. Ben) took a smart risk on his properties that had high mortgage value and acted as “liabilities.” He mortgaged those properties and used the money he got to buy more properties (at strategic places). Mr. Chidi started landing on his properties (Mr. Ben’s) and gradually, Mr. Ben started earning well. This enabled him to pay his debts, save, and re-invest. At the end of the game, Mr. Ben had 40% more than Mr. Chidi. What went wrong?

  • Mr. Chidi didn’t monitor his cash flow. He thought cash at hand meant having it figured out.
  • Mr. Chidi invested but he didn’t do so wisely. He didn’t think long term.
  • Mr. Ben saved and invested in properties while Mr. Chidi had just little investments that gave him income.

2. Power of decision making: In monopoly, every decision counts. Understanding that your properties are your assets, brings you to the point of healthy decision making. To make good decisions especially in an auction, you have to consider the interests and weaknesses of your other player and the effect it would have on you in the long run. Does he want to win the auction to stop you from building or does he want to win because he needs it to build and boost his income?

 Either way, you have to think long term.

“Auctioning” in business could be re-branding or making a big shift. To achieve the best result, you have to strategically put your customer’s interests and weaknesses into consideration. “Your big shift” shouldn’t just be inspired by your ideas alone, it should be a combination of the lasting effects on your customers and also, your business.

3. The importance of cash flow: It is important to strike a balance on cash revenue and expenditures because it would tell on your business in the long run.  In monopoly and even in businesses, it is safe to invest to have a good cash flow statement. If you do not manage your cash flow well in a game, you might end up mortgaging your properties and if not managed well too, bankruptcy might come crawling.

Robert T. Kiyosaki in Rich dad’s conspiracy of the rich (8 rules of money) said “know how to spend money wisely rather than save wisely”. He simply meant “Know how to take wise risks, rather than avoid taking them.”

 Moral lesson?  Figure yours out!

Written by Oluwatosin Omolale.

Branding, Strategy, Consumer Product, Aristrat, Brand, Colour Psychology, Psychology, Planning, Business, Company

Finding It Hard to Come Up with a Brand Strategy? Check out this Easy Guide.

Another talk about branding, right? Yes! The truth is as businesses keep coming up and trying to grow themselves, there’ll always be need for branding.

You see, branding is very key to the growth of your business and this goes beyond perception, it affects your marketing, thus bringing in sales as well. But then, let’s slow down a bit and analyze all these carefully.

Branding in simple terms refers to the way your customers perceive your business and equally how they relate to it. It has to do with the personality as well as the visual aspect. Of course, your business is inanimate but believe me it has a personality which covers its tone and voice hence the need for a brand strategy.

Now, a common and clear definition of brand strategy is a long-term plan for the development of a successful brand in order to achieve specific goals. A well-defined and executed brand strategy affects all aspects of a business and is directly connected to consumer needs, emotions, and competitive environments. Now you see how encompassing branding is and how it affects the entirety of your business.

Sadly, many people miss out on this and when they slap colors on a template to create a logo or run a few ads that always end with catchy taglines, they feel that branding is complete. However, that’s not how it works. Even Nike that is looked at nowadays as the King of branding with their catchy tagline of Just do it didn’t start today. They’ve come a long way and the consistency over the years is made possible through a well-thought-out brand strategy. Now you see why the strategy should be in place before the branding starts right.

So, here are 4 things to put in place when coming up with a brand strategy:

1. Set a goal: as with any thing you want to achieve, the first thing you should consider is your brand goal(s). Do you just want to create brand awareness, introduce a new product or service, or gain a chunk of the market from your competitors? Your answer to these questions determines the pace and way your brand strategy should go. Now you may be wondering how branding could have different goals yet a business remains consistent through it all. Let’s see how this works in the second point.

2. Be open to change: yes, you read right! Change is constant and as with your offering, marketing and sales strategy, your brand goal is sure to change over time. This in turn affects your brand strategy. But here’s the catch, in the midst of this, there should be some features that will always be associated with your brand. So even if at some point, you want to just boost your positioning and hold in the market, you don’t necessarily have to change the entire face of your brand. All you have to do is to tweak those parts that have a role to play in the market.

Let’s say, you as Brand A has a product that Brand B offers, but you want to dominate the market for that product. You don’t have to change your brand name, or the other things your business does (if it’s more than one). You should just run a campaign strictly for that product.  Rebrand that product, highlight its features, tie it to the overall goal of your business. This way, you remain consistent with your business goals, tone and the perception of your business grows through it but just that a single product is highlighted.

3. Get your brand message set: now this is where the whole brand perception thing comes into play. Here, you analyze your business, know your offerings, and target audience. You can then use this to build your brand personality. Your brand personality as mentioned before covers your brand tone, voice, the taglines (though your focus may not be on this entirely at the beginning) and the value proposition.

For instance, if your target audience are babies and their mothers, you don’t have to go for a serious personality, you should come off as playful and excited, things that mirror the qualities of your audience. However, if you’re a B2B brand, you might have to present a cool and professional personality. Now doing all this builds the image of your brand in the mind of your audience. Overtime, you will always be associated with all these qualities.

Now getting your value proposition and brand message out there is perhaps more important than the fancy aesthetics most people do in the name of branding. They should be concise, (perhaps can be communicated in one sentence) and simple.

Truth is, humans have low attention span so once you start going over the top with your messaging, you lose the attention. Now, this is the part I chip in something about taglines. Your tagline is simply your advertising slogan. Sometimes people confuse it for the motto of the business but that’s not it. So, Nike’s Just do it is their tagline.

The problem here is that naturally, when you hear that phrase, your head won’t go to an Athleisure brand. But since overtime, they’ve put in the work and shown how it relates to their brand philosophy, they are good to go. However, if you as an upcoming brand or a newbie in the business focuses on things like that, you most likely will come up with something abstract that won’t exactly say anything about your business. This won’t help your branding effort in any way as your audience will just be left clueless.

4. Build the visual perception: notice how this comes later, it’s because it should not be the first thing to consider is building your brand strategy. Now when it comes to logo and other imagery, it should align with your brand goal and personality. Experts in consumer psychology have shown how certain colors affects your brand perception and the chart below explains it well :

In building a logo, it should be a reflection of your brand. Consider the Unilever logo, a single U right. But on closer examination and with recent case studies carried out, we see how that U is made up of elements that make up the Unilever brand.

You see, it all adds up to the big picture. So, don’t allow your graphic designer to be in a haste to display his/her design skills, it must communicate your brand message, goals and personality effectively.

I promised to make this an easy guide and at this point, I believe you’re good to go.

Just a little addition. If you’re a small brand, probably a one-man establishment, always have this at the back of your mind – the best brand strategy you should have is a good product/service and a remarkable customer experience. Going for something really grand will end up eating your little funds which should be channeled into marketing in other to keep the sales coming in.

Remember, when you have a good brand strategy in place, your branding campaigns fall into place because you have a blueprint to follow. No haphazard work or skipping of details.

If you try this out, believe me you have gotten a fair percentage of the work done with branding for your business.

Feel free to share your branding stories too!

Written by Blessing Onyegbula.