It was a term associated with a company's name, slogan, design, or a combination of these elements, that helped distinguish one business from another.
Today, in the age of influencers and huge names like the Kardashians and Africa's Aliko Dangote, branding has become a lot more important.
Explaining the importance of having a brand either for yourself or your business in 2020, Tolulope Adedeji tells Business Insider sub-Saharan Africa (BISSA): "A brand is the ‘what’ that differentiates similar goods and services from several sellers. This applies to both online and offline products. Brands are mostly intangible yet extremely measurable and valuable."
Continuing, she adds, "Whether you play in the beverages, detergents, banking, content creation, technology, childcare, beauty, education, construction, government or babycare sector, there are thousands and maybe millions offering your kind of product or service globally and branding is what carves a niche per product to attract a scalable constant source of income. In 2020 and beyond, being a strong personal brand can only help especially towards commercial goals."
On building a recognisable brand from scratch in 2020
Now, that we have established the need for a brand, Adedeji (a Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing) shares her top tips from years of managing brands and businesses.
- Start by identifying a problem and how you can solve it
In her words, "the first step to building a strong personal brand is to actually identify a need and meet it credibly."
- Next, become an expert in your field
"Build expertise in areas that your brand plays and find ways to scale up as soon as possible to monetize," the branding expert says. "For example, as a coach, there is a limit to how many people you can coach one on one but once you establish the reputation as an excellent coach, it is time to scale. Online classes, webinars, youtube channels, books, paid public speaking are just a few examples to commercialize."
For people looking to become social media influencers and celebrities, Adedeji says, "your personal brand can be commercialized easily through endorsements, partnerships with corporates, personal product launches named after self are easy tips to maximize personal brands."
"For a business brand, driving distribution broadly and driving trials with more consumers globally is a sure way to scale and monetise," the Nigerian branding expert recommends.
- Final say for both personal and business brands
Adedeji closes with this: "Building Personal Brands is not exactly the same as building brands for businesses though similar principles apply. At the heart of it all, it is all about identifying consumer needs, meeting them better than the competition and at a profit.
"For both (personal and business brands), a deep understanding of your consumers is the bedrock. Both also require a clear definition of what the brand stands. The biggest difference lies in the distribution model. For personal brands, the commercialization is mostly diverse in terms of distribution versus business brands that typically have a consistent wide distribution model."