How your brand is perceived by others is not about strategy, but basic human emotions. Let’s do a simple exercise. Very quickly, say out or jot down the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the following names – Apple, Tesla, The Oberoi Hotels, Toyota, Google, Tata, Microsoft, Accenture, Godrej, Sony. I can wager that almost everything you wrote down had to do with an emotion you associate these brands with (such as admiration, amazement, delight, satisfaction or love), or a value system that brand signifies for you (such as quality, ethics, environment friendly, philanthropy or trust).
Don’t take me wrong, for any successful money making business strategy, tactics, board rooms, video conferencing and off-sites all play a part. And if you haven’t got a good product yet, better focus on that before thinking of your brand.
But when you do think about how you want your brand to be perceived, think from the heart. What is it that you do? Does it impact any part of our world negatively? How do you go about doing what you do? Is your method ethical? Does your process prioritise quality? Do your people always keep their word? The answers to these questions will only come out right if you really like what you do and where you work. Because if you do, you will care about how things are done, what the end product looks like, and what your customers say about it.
That is the start of building a brand. To care. About what you do and all that you impact.
About the author
Saacketh Chawla, Deputy Managing Director, Colliers International India has close to 17 years of experience in the real estate & construction industry, across the globe. He has been involved with Architectural firms and Real Estate Consultancy firms, with whom he has worked in London, New York & India, across sectors.
Pawan Maini, Managing Director, Ramboll Engineering Centre and Ramboll India, says, "Saacketh Chawla, while you are surely right in saying that one needs to think about how the brand is perceived, I must admit that the words that came to my mind when thinking about the brands you wrote were more focused on their products or the quality of service provided. Having said that, I do fully agree that you will persevere only if you care about how you do business and not only what business you do. This got me thinking for example about how we at Ramboll do business in India in the most ethical manner - and how others recognise and respect us for the same; just as Tata is a revered brand.
Ranjan Biswas, Associate Director - Project Management Consultancy, Knight Frank, says, "Well said Saket. But I also feel that the single most important facet of a brand is the people behind it. The CEO, salespeople, support personnel and interns all wield enormous power to shape the truth and perception of a brand. Logos, names and campaigns are merely vessels that need to be filled with meaning. It’s the people who bring meaning, passion and value to these expressions."