In a competitive market like Singapore, many businesses are struggling to market their products or services among others. With a limited budget, many business owners might perceive branding as a good-to-have or only for companies that are cash rich.
On another perspective, majority of the people whom I’ve talked to always think that Branding is all about having a nice logo design, savvy brochures, stunning advertisements or an interactive website.
Contrary to common belief, branding is not only about a nicely done logo or big budget spending. It is as simple as having a compelling Brand Story.
A friend of mine brought me to an ordinary coffee shop two months ago to try this stall selling Bak Kut Teh (a Chinese soup popularly served in Singapore and Malaysia). This stall is quite ordinary looking but my friend told me that the boss actually stumbled upon this Bak Kut Teh in Malaysia and had loved it ever since.
After much consideration, he had decided to not only spend a considerable sum of money to buy the recipe over, but also many months there to learn the skill before setting up the stall here in Singapore. From that point onwards, I will always remember the story behind this Bak Kut Teh stall, among so many others in Singapore.
This helped raise a virtual “flag” within my mind about this particular Bak Kut Teh stall in which it’ll always “pop up” whenever I wanted to eat or introduce one. After all, this is exactly the same reason why this friend of mine had bothered to introduce me.
Using this day-to-day example, we can tell just how simple yet powerful a story can help any businesses to make a brand established. Most importantly, you don’t have to spend any money to craft your own Brand Story. Here is how to start crafting your own:
1. Know the difference between a Unique Selling Point and an Emotional Selling Point
Many people got this wrong. Shouting the benefits of a product or how the product functions does not engage people emotionally. To tell a good brand story, you have to touch people emotionally and get them to “feel” your brand.
Apple did this point perfectly, by claiming their iPad "... invisible, where your conscious focused only on what you're doing, not the device you're doing it with..." – Watch Official Apple (New) iPad Trailer.
2. Be Positive
People react more effectively to a positive story. Instead of saying the hardship and problems you’ve been through before the product is developed, focus on what you’ve gained from the challenges and issues you’ve encountered that makes your product at its best.
3. Ask your employee or client
If you’re already established, the most straightforward way of writing a brand story is to ask those who know your business. Ask them how they feel about your products/services and why they chose you. You’ll be amazed at the variety of opinions gathered, which might collectively help you in building a powerful Brand Story crafted by people who depend on it.
4. Check on your competitors
Nevertheless, you should check how your competitors are telling their stories. The worst scenario is to craft a brand story similar to your competitors.
5. Craft an attitude and belief
Having a unique attitude to life or a strong belief makes any person stand out. Same goes to any brand. Be it a belief in social responsibilities or an uncompromising attitude towards quality, it adds another level of depth in portraying your brand.
Last but not least, creating a brand story that you're proud to tell is vital. A brand story will form the very foundation of any branding development or strategy you may have down the road. So go ahead, start telling everyone your story today.
The views expressed in this column are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect this publication's view, and this article is not edited by Singapore Business Review. The author was not remunerated for this article.
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Johnny Koh is an account manager at AdBox Advertising. He helps clients, both B2C and B2B, look pass today’s complex and ever-changing communication channels, and focus on meaningful engagement with their customers using 1to1 marketing technique.