Humanise your brand to stay relevant – brand strategist urges businesses

The positive impact of ‘Expert Status’ – Authority leveraging
Bernard Kelvin CLIVE   

Brand Strategist, Bernard Kelvin Clive, has advised that businesses must consider humanising their brands to remain relevant. He explained that when businesses start to critically give equal attention to consumers just as they do with products, quality will be assured – and that could expand their market-base.

“To stay relevant, be human; let what you do from your products to services come from the heart. When you care about people, regardless of the angle the economy moves to, you will give them something worth their time, worth their value, worth exchanging their money for. Humanise your brand at every stage. With or without crisis, always care about your consumers,” he said, reiterating that it is expedient in this current dispensation – especially with the constant change in consumer behaviour.

He was speaking on the topic Influencers rising: The art and science of personal branding in a digital world’, at the maiden edition of the B&FT-organised Brand-CON Africa held under the theme ‘Celebrating Versatility and Innovation in the Midst of a Pandemic’.

He stressed the need for businesses, likewise individuals, to intentionally invest in their brands to portray the right image they want.

“If you believe in your business, you should be your first brand ambassador; there is no one who knows your brand better than you. For your organisation to grow, if you don’t deliberately invest to grow, you will fade out. I always use this example: why does Coca-Cola keep on advertising? You have to desire to reach the masses, to be the first that comes to mind when people think about a product you deal with.

“There is a lot of noise so you have to find ways to stand out, stay relevant by paying attention to all that you do. In every aspect of your promotional marketing, intentionally and consistently put your brand out there or you will soon be forgotten,” he said.

In an era when the power of individual brands are becoming more powerful compared to institutional brands, he advised social media influencers that beyond the number of followers they have, there’s a need to invest in themselves content-wise to establish their authority as an influencer.

Also, because social media has made personal branding more attractive in recent times compared to corporate branding – making the voices of influencers very powerful in shaping the perception of customers, he urged organisations and businesses to adopt the strategy of using influencers that have a similar niche to their outfit’s objective for marketing their products and services.

“We are in an age that I call the ‘me age’, when people believe in more individuals than brands. And this has caused the rise of influencers, people who can sway decision in certain directions whether digitally online or offline. It is very critical because if someone you trust says something is good, then it must be good.”

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