Branding has been an essential part of doing business since ancient times. People used to and still brand their livestock to indicate ownership and assure a level of quality. In the 1990s, companies began to grasp the value of brands as assets and started managing corporate brands at senior levels in their organizations. Then the concept of brands and brand management migrated from products and companies to virtually everything – universities, museums, hospitals, musical groups, restaurants, trade associations, and governmental institutions.
In Africa, the acknowledgement of the importance of building a brand is gradually gaining ground amongst African entrepreneurs. Consequently, we have seen some businesses build their brands to impressive standards. Companies such as True Fond, Caveman Watches, Basecamp Initiative, Talkative Mom amongst many others are leading examples of how important it is to build a solid brand. But, what changed in the African business atmosphere, and why are many entrepreneurs now focused on building brands for their businesses?
Changes in consumer preference
Over the last decade, the African customer has changed from being a passive customer to a more active one. This change has been fueled by the advancement of technology and social media. The narrative of a brand now depends on what the customers perceive a business to be. Customers now buy depending on how they can relate to your brand. As a result, there is a need for businesses to create a shared sense of identity with their customers. One of the best ways to express what your company values are to your audience is by building your brand through content creation and in some instances, partnering with influencers.
2. Intense competition with Multinationals.
Africa was named as the fastest growing world economy right after China. With growing countries such as Ghana, Nigeria, Ethiopia, and South Africa, a lot of multinational companies are looking to capture the market in these countries. This has led to an increase in competition for both local businesses and multinationals.
In this current competitive environment, companies can’t afford to be complacent about their brands. The use of dynamic branding, Influencers, and content curated by customers are all becoming increasingly popular as marketing tactics. They have become the digital versions of word-of-mouth and they work. The strongest brands are those that evolve and adapt. They are flexible yet stay true to their core values.
3. Understanding the value of branding
Branding your business is no longer an option, but a necessity. This is because branding not only creates loyal customers but also creates loyal employees. A quality brand gives people something to believe in and something to stand behind. It helps employees understand the purpose of the organization they work for. This highlights the feeling of being a part of something significant and not just a cog in a wheel. A good brand will have no trouble drumming up referral business. Strong branding generally means there is a positive impression of the company amongst consumers. This means that they are likely to do business with you because of the familiarity and assumed dependability of using a name they can trust. Once a brand has been well-established, word of mouth will be the company’s best and most effective advertising technique.
The most profitable companies, small and large, have a single thing in common. They have established themselves as a leader in their particular industry by building a strong brand, starting with a strong logo. It’s simple, Brand Your Business Or Get Left Behind. Welcome to the new African Business Atmosphere.
Workspace Global offers a free brand discovery session for both small and large businesses. Talk to us and begin your journey on building a world-class brand for your business.