The Branding Conversation…
Every time I hear (well actually, when I get invited to) of an event for Creatives that wants to discuss how we can all become better and grow the creative economy, a hint of “hmmm, do I really want to go for this?” always hits me. Now don’t get me wrong, I love the chance to learn and grow as much as the next Creative but that kavoice in my head always pops up when I see an invite for such events.
Why you might ask? Okay, let me take it back a few to help you make sense of this. When I took the leap into being a full time Creative (read when I realized I am more comfortable wearing jeans and not a suit to work), I was ever fascinated with the many talks/workshops and all that offered an opportunity to learn about how to be a better Creative, well I say better Creative but I mean, how to make money. So a few of the workshops in and I thought okay, the conversation is the same: Create a unique product, Brand yourself, Learn how to market your product and you will make it… Seems easy enough right? Now don’t get me wrong, I value the opportunity to learn but I couldn’t help but ask myself, how do I do this? So, long story short, the events give me a good idea on what I should do but never how to do it.
So, to shush that kavoice in my head, I thought to myself, why not try and understand how to do this… While I am not yet a pro at it, I figure let me share what I know so far and see how we can all grow together.
So, let’s start with branding…
The simplest definition I stumbled upon: A brand is a promise. Okay, so far so good but a promise of what? Digging deeper, I came to understand that the promise is what the brand says it will do.
If you’re anything like me, then you will resonate with a practical example… So if I was to use mathrees/javs/matatus as a product, we can broadly speaking classify them into two. The manyanga (Think music, crazy graffiti and all) type ones and the kawaida (Think KBS type buses) ones.
As a brand, the manyanga type mathrees offer music, cool graffiti and artwork and of course, quick delivery of you from point A to point B. Now if you find yourself in such a mathree and you don’t get music or speed then that is a brand that has broken its promise to you!
Bringing this analogy home, as a creative, your brand is the promise you make to anyone who consumes your work. The moment you break this promise, the market loses faith in you. As you think through your product, think through your promise. What is it that your consumer will always trust for you to deliver?
Written by Sammy Wanyoike