Branding is not merely about a logo, the name of your organization, or its website. It encapsulates the impression that crystallizes in the public's psyche when they discuss your company—how they perceive and feel about you.

Through my writings, I want to unravel complex subjects, presenting them in a straightforward, easily comprehensible manner, accessible to all, not just experts. This installment marks the second part of our exploration into devising a branding strategy and building a reputation. As the saying goes, "However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results." Establishing a strategy for branding and reputation must hinge on your organization's goals and vision rather than plans with no clear objectives and outcomes. Without a plan, efforts will always conclude with unsatisfactory results.

Therefore, it's crucial to plan early and set strong foundations as the key to effective branding and building a good reputation. The basis of branding lies in three essential questions: how, why, and when. These questions are well-known to marketing and promotion experts and are vital for constructing any strategic plan.

How: Refers to the tools and methods you intend to use to achieve your goal.

Why: Defines the objectives you aim to achieve with your plan.

When: Determines the duration of your strategy, whether it's five years, two years, etc. Understanding these elements simplifies the strategy-building process.

However, these are just the rules, not the content—there's much more to do. For illustration, certain crucial steps need to be followed: Link your branding and reputation to related business activities. For example, Apple is known for its designs, but this isn't directly stated in its logo or advertisements.

Over time, innovative design has become synonymous with Apple products. Maintain consistency in your messaging. Avoid changing your branding elements so frequently that your audience can't remember you. For example, don't use a child's picture on your Facebook page if your company provides industrial equipment rental services!

Connect with your audience through ads that make them feel a part of your product, not just a commodity for profit. For instance, Harley Davidson's ads don’t just sell motorcycles; they sell the experience of riding on the open road. Differentiate your audience and customers by acknowledging and appreciating them, offering coupons or gifts to thank them for their engagement.

This approach significantly boosts reputation, as seen with a car company that increased its Facebook followers by rewarding its most active followers on social media. Implement performance measurement tools. Don’t just launch an ad campaign; monitor its reach and how the audience interacts with it.

Written by Ramzan Rashid Al Naimi, founder of BeCreative Brand Studio and Innovation Cafe 

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