MMW CEO Azlan Ahmad attending to a mentee during a one-to-one session. Image: Waqiuddin Rajak

Businesses should consider branding exercise seriously if they want to properly push their products to the wider segments of the market.

More than visual identities, branding could actually help companies associate themselves with good qualities that give clients the confidence to keep using their products and services.

Branding, however, is not as simple as it sounds – as businesses would have to spend time understanding the concept of their business and formulate proper studies on markets to appeal to.

Drawing from his more than a decade of experience of being in the branding market, MMW CEO Azlan Ahmad shared his thoughts about the importance of branding to businesses, especially to startups looking to break through into the market.

Getting it ‘right’ with branding

Branding exercise include a lot of things. It has a huge scope, Azlan said, adding it usually expands from formulating logos and taglines to defining company’s vision and mission.

But one common question people should ask is whether or not they could do their branding ‘right’, the CEO said.

“By asking on ‘how to start right’ will allow you to go back to the drawing board so you could plan your steps properly,”

“There is a framework that you have to put together such as deciding how you want to portray yourself to your clients, the kind of adjectives that suits your business moves and the imageries that go right with it,”

“All of these are important. Say, you want to start a company that appeals to younger people; you have to choose taglines, colors and images that may appear vibrant and fun to them,” he added.

Likewise, companies who want to run their marketing aggressively should also gauge their march and select their imageries appropriately.

“The key here is to get them to remember you and what you do for your imagery, once all that is done, the rest will fall follow suit,” Azlan said.

Common branding mistakes among businesses

Common branding mistakes for businesses particularly startups include taking specificities lightly and being too impatient in pushing their products out.

Besides looking closely into company objectives, Azlan urged firms to understand the true nature of their business operations before deciding on adjectives or imageries they want to be associated with.

Examples he gave include companies who named themselves after specific colours.

If they have ‘red’ then their corporate color should also be red – or at least something that could strongly be associated to that otherwise it would not make any sense to clients,” he said.

File photo: Air Asia’s color scheme is red which also spoke well for its aggressive marketing campaign that strives to make flight travels more accessible to people. Image: Shutterstock

The concept behind the company, the CEO said, should also be in the helping manner. Logos should be appropriately chosen to really portray what the company is all about.

Colors in corporate images, said Azlan, should also be consistently portrayed in every marketing material.

“What businesses usually failed to understand is the need to make sure using the same colours across every material available,”

“Each color, like yellow or red, has different variations. Showing inconsistency in this sense may also mean that you are not doing your business seriously, how can you expect clients to be confident in you?”

“It is all about putting together yourself out there with a strong message of which you are, what you do and what your service is all about,” Azlan added.

Proper branding saves cost

If you do your branding exercise right, you could save a lot of cost, Azlan said.

“Branding your business right at the go means that you do not have to undergo trials and errors, which may cause you to spend more than you actually needed,” he said.

“For us at MMW, we always know companies want to plan their branding in a cost-effective manner, that is why our services could extend to long thoughts and hours to ensure that we get it right the minute we decide to execute,” he added.

Without proper planning, businesses may have to deal with constant re-branding due to failure at their earlier attempts – they may get it right eventually but by the time, they might have already spent a fortune that would be effectively spent on other aspects of their business.

Standard Chartered Bank’s banner which clearly shows its corporate colors and logo. Image: The Bruneian

MMW, said Azlan, has accumulated more than 10 years of experience in the branding market – with a number of successful projects including Standard Chartered Bank, Brunei Economic Development Board and Darussalam Enterprise.

Looking at the success of each of these projects, Azlan urged businesses to really consider branding exercise seriously, as it helps them position themselves in the market better.

“Of course every business wants to save cost while at the same time put them out there. If they don’t really know how to, my advice is for them to consult the right experts or agencies,” he said.

“For MMW, we are more than happy to welcome you into our arms,” he added.

The Bruneian | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

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