From a business, a brand is bornA massive part of building a business is building a brand and a culture. Think Starbucks, Nike and Cadbury – massive brands that are instantly recognisable by consumers. However, they certainly didn’t start this way, first came the business idea and then came building the brand. This is ultimately where Team Vitality fell down this week – Helen Woollams may be the brains behind her line and her business, but she certainly isn’t the brand itself. When consumers or retailers purchase lines from “Hellavagirl”, they look for the designer dress or coat that is representative of the brand, not of Helen Woollams.
With a brand comes valuesThe robot task and last week’s food task shared similar branding issues. From a clear inconsistency between the product (Jeffrii) and branding (Siimon) in the robot task, to failure in aligning brand values (Gourmet Crusaders) with the product itself in last week’s food task. Ultimately, if you’re building a brand with particular values, your product or service should deliver on them too. For example, Marks and Spencers is conventionally perceived as a more ‘upmarket’ quality brand, which is clearly represented in their produce and their price point – demonstrated particularly well in their food lines.
Branding leads to marketingBranding and marketing come hand in hand – where knowing what your brand represents and who your target audience is forms the basis of your marketing strategy. I am in no doubt each and every candidate on this year’s The Apprentice understands this, but it still seems to be an issue week in and week out. Why? I think the major problem stems from the fact the PM and sub-team have been divided when working on building a brand and marketing – suggesting tight timeframes and little communication are probably more to blame here, than a lack of competence. What will be interesting, however, is how the candidates create and utilise branding in the final – as, ultimately, this is a significant part of the task, the pitch and business presentation. Watch this space… Mark Wright is director of Climb Online and winner of The Apprentice 2014 – he’ll be back next week with lessons of the latest episode Image source: BBC
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