BRANDING – Part 3

To stand out, one must differentiate. You might have a great product but not a perfect one. The cherry on top is down to 5 key things, and the department store Harrods has this on lock. In the marketing context, these 5 key things are known as the 5 senses. 

I have worked for Harrods three times during my studies, and each time was a blessing. But the last time I worked at Harrods, I was also doing my masters and paying my tuition fees at the same time. Till this day, I have never achieved what I achieved then, it was so stressful yet super rewarding when I graduated. God is great!

During my studies I decided to base my Dissertation thesis on Harrods, with the question, “How does Harrods use Experiential Branding to enhance Consumer experience?” to conclude:

Harrods = BLISS:

B – British … heritage meets cutting edge

L – Luxury … is the new premium, it’s not always expensive

I – Innovation … is always at the forefront of retail trends

S – Sensational … the greatest store on earth

S – Service … to make every customer feel special           

BRANDING – Part 2

The first step to branding is engraving belief. If you don’t believe the potential your brand has, then who will? You see, the destiny of a brand should be affection and that begins with you. You have to be the first person who will love your brand, as love is a brands best friend. The quest of a brand is love, whilst destiny – affection, I said it once and I’ll say it again. However, an idea is simply just an idea, but then you must garden your brand until it blossoms. 

For a brand to flourish, it must indulge and act upon customer feedback. On another note, a brand that is nostalgic will always thrive. Remember, persistence is instrumental to a great vision and it’s down to you to carry your vision forward. The road to a successful brand is differentiation. To enjoy the cream, you must satisfy your customer, it’s that simple. Things will get tough, however a brand must find its silver lining. The most successful brands are fluent in loyalty, as the bounty of your brand is customer loyalty. To enhance your brand, you must protect customer loyalty, it’s the core of your brand value. The ultimate fortune for a brand is brand loyalty. Your brand should be centred with love and coated with loyalty. 

A brand will only blossom when its purpose is sincere, so you cannot make things up. You must be original and genuine. A vital part of branding is emotional branding, how consumers become emotionally attached to products or services – such as apple. Your brand must have the ability of changing peoples’ lives. Story, purpose and love are the perfect ingredients to stir an affectionate brand. Note, brands have feelings too – they need love just like flowers need the sun. 

To conclude, your brand should be modest in expectation and honest in strategy. Whereas employees must harvest your secrets for brand longevity. Every brand must carry a scent of creativity. Ideas ignite brands, but only critical action makes dreams come true. Words can be just words but they can also be a melody to your brand, so take the above advice however you want it, but just remember emotional branding, google it at least … it certainly changed my life.

WORK

They say good things come to those who wait, I say “Good things come to those who Work.” Yes, we should hope and dream, but we must not sit and wait. If you have a dream, an ambition, a business plan – that’s just step 1 my friend. You see, everything creative starts with an idea, then come all the critical steps in achieving them.

Success is not a straight line, along the way there will be sacrifices. There will be many hurdles you must jump, but the finish line can only be reached if you carry on running – so don’t give up. Even if you have to work a boring 9 to 5, by all means do so. It would be great to have a mentor, but if you cannot find one, read books – autobiographies specifically. 

Carry on the good fight by continuously reminding yourself of where you want to be, be positive, and paint happiness. Paint happiness is a term I’ve coined, it simply means creating a picture in your everyday life, with each person you encounter daily being a unique colour. By using people as positive colours, you create this aura of optimism and thus your day will blossom. 

To conclude, I leave you with a short story from a man who managed the Spice Girls, David Beckham, Lewis Hamilton, Andy Murray and many more. I was working in Harrods and this man casually dressed walked up to me and asked where the Paul Smith section was? I replied and said, “are you Simon Fuller” amazed he said, “how did you know.” I told him that I had seen only one picture on the internet and had read his autobiography. Anyway he purchased the shoes, and eager to get advice, I asked – What’s the key to success. He said, “don’t talk about, don’t even think about it – just do it!” 

Dreamers vs Realists

I was 10 years old, and prior to arriving in London from war torn Kosovo, my dad (a music teacher) taught me how to play a melody no longer than 40 seconds. I thought I’d enter the primary school talent show, and to my surprise – I won! Walking home, I felt proud and couldn’t wait to tell my parents. 

This story resonates with two kinds of people in this world – Dreamers & Realists, of which I’ve been in both sides of the spectrum. You see, there are those who dream, the artists, the actors, the painters, the ones that cannot follow the rules and create their own rules. Then there are the Realists, the critical ones, who work hard, are critical towards dreams and hopes as their primary aim is to work, always do the right thing – which to an extent I do not disagree with. 

Being part of the music industry in my late teens up to my mid 20s – I was a creative dreamer and wanted to be the next record label guru, the next number 1 producer – you name it – I thought about it. The problem with this mentality is ego – you see, you start to forget your loved ones and only care about yourself and that next number 1 hit. So I gave it all up, and instead got my masters in Marketing. 

University life taught me to be critical, however it also taught me that you can channel your creative energy elsewhere in other forms of art – such as writing, creating brands, consulting and much more. The Arabs have a proverb – it goes like this, “music is food for the soul” however I tweaked it to, “patience is food for the soul” which was in sync with what I was going through. Not only was I studying, but I was also working at the most stressful but highly rewarding department store – Harrods. 

If I can rewind time and give my young self advice, it would be this – the key to success is balance. Hence why I live by my quote, “be Creative … act Critical”

DOTS

Steve Jobs said you must connect the dots backwards to go forward, and this is our ethos. You must be the action to pollinate dreams, however it takes collaboration of talented individuals whom each posses key strengths in their desired field. We do not see the World in black and white, what if we live a life where each person is a unique colour, and each colour is used to create a beautiful picture. Yes, this is the aim. You see, when talent is woven with collaboration you are sure to infuse each project with synergy, creativity, and make a positive impact.

Ideas move Mountains, however then come the critical steps. That is why I always say, “be Creative … act Critical.” If every talent is an ingredient, then together by collaborating we can create irresistible projects. We are Art driven, because we believe it is potent to life. Crazy people changed the World, shaped culture, impacted design, technology, or sport … and we belong to that circle.

I’m simply an instrument to improve Humanity, are you?

GIVING BACK

I was always a quiet child, but a very emotional one. They say the most emotional people are the most creative & that is what I’m doing … giving back. 

My mother is a special woman and the majority will say the same about theirs alive (or sadly not at present) but remember, one day you will have kids of your own. 

Coming from a humble beginning to becoming a masters graduate is not my accomplishment, but Hers. To conclude, this website is a gift to her … for all the care, struggle & endless Love. 

This is 4umum.com

STORIES

An irresistible brand contains a variety of ingredients, the main being its story. Some stories are timeless, others are nostalgic, whilst few are exceptional. In the very first page I wrote the following, “we believe that each brand has a story, if it doesn’t then this is a marketing crime,” so yes, I am very serious! One could say, a brands story is the melody to growth – a bold reminder of the past, influencing the present and its hope of the future.

We all know that without words there is no story, however without creativity there is no interest. Stories must also be simple to understand, so that they can be remembered and retold. In relation to branding, the message must be fundamental to the brands roots, defining its purpose and appeal to the masses. The challenge as a marketer arises when there is no story, much is the case with clients that have start ups. This is when creativity is tested, but there is always a seed to be found if you truly question the dots, then connect them to create a picture – mindfully.

To conclude, the human mind loves stories – from books, films, music, or real life experiences, everything has a story. Ever since we were old enough, stories have had an impact on us because we all have our own. That is the special thing and this also true with branding.