On 6 June I had the pleasure of addressing an array of Women in Business members on the Importance of Branding at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Belfast. The opportunity to present to such a prestigious gathering of female entrepreneurs and businesswomen was fantastic. With nearly 30 delegates in attendance at the Cottonwood Suite, Crowne Plaza we were ready to begin the master class. With the help of Lynsay and Alex from the Kaizen Brand Evolution studio we had prepared the room accordingly before I started the proceedings, providing a number of branded materials, interactive worksheets and ambient KBE graphics to set the scene.
As an introduction the first segment of the Importance of Branding Masterclass presentation asked the question ‘what is a brand.’ We may think we know what a brand is but I thought it was important to highlight the different stems of what a brand can be, from its origins in cattle branding to the modern day phenomena of celebrity branding and corporate brand experiences. As well as identifying what a brand can become I delved into some definitions of brand, from the late great Wally Olins to the CEO of Amazon – Jeff Bezos. All definitions of what a brand is are as important as each other when trying to understand the importance of branding. Wally Olins fantastically describes a brand as a tribe, a religion that we can feel a belonging, while Jeff Bezos’ famous quote ‘your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room’ rang true with some of our female delegates and got them thinking. At this stage in the Masterclass I asked each attendee to pass their business card to the person on their left. One the person next to them had their business card I asked them to tell the business card owner how they felt their brand was communicating. This exercise opened up conversation on how the business card was selling their business, when they were not in the room to sell the brand.
With the idea of a how a brand can sell your business for you, without you being there to do so firmly instilled in the room I was ready to move onto the next segment of the presentation – the Kaizen brand Evolution process. I discussed a branding project we carried out for Ireland’s largest media company Mirror Media. I discussed the steps we took in order to achieve such a strong brand identity as well as strategy. From research and development to creating a narrative for the business that confidently explains their unique selling points. Following these stages I then moved into the actual design process, highlighting that design doesn’t actually take place for a while, showing how we build a foundation of research and narrative before putting pen to paper.
Next in the branding master class I wanted the attendees to start thinking like their target audience. This interactive exercise is an adaption of the process that we at Kaizen Brand Evolution perform with all of our branding projects. The process begins with setting customer profiles, giving them a name, age and illustration. For this character we then explore 4 assets of their profile that will help us correctly target them on their level. We explored in this exercise how a 19-year-old girl, 65-year-old man and a 45-year-old mother of two who are looking to purchase a used car would think, feel, talks and importantly where they go. With all of this information in hand we are able to identify the target audience on their level. Some interesting results indeed, but all relevant and useful information.
The branding master class was an absolute pleasure to be involved in and meeting the delegates after, it was very rewarding hearing the positive feedback.
We will be featuring the video of the entire master class on our website and social channels if you would like to see more.