Branding and entrepreneurs

There is an inseparable relationship between entrepreneurs and branding. Without entrepreneurs, the necessity of branding may not have raised. The entrepreneurs, doing their business outside their comfort zone. So, the marketers and brand professionals get a chance to promote the entrepreneurs’ products and companies. In this topic, I will discuss the following two aspects.

  1. How entrepreneurs see their brands
  2. The facilities a brand manager gets from entrepreneurs and what they should do

First, let’s discuss the point-of-view of the entrepreneurs towards their brands: Most of the entrepreneurs always orbits around profit-oriented thinking. They give importance over profit & loss and operational expansion. Quite often we see entrepreneurs don’t hold the view that a brand helps to create long-term profit by occupying the mind of the customer. Only a handful of visionary entrepreneurs hold such view ‘and they hold that view from the beginning. But, we can’t judge the whole industry by these few entrepreneurs.

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Let’s analyze the mind of our entrepreneurs from the bottom. They take “Brand Management” as a cost sector. A marketer creates a perfect ground for salespeople and that salesperson performs on that ground. An entrepreneur most of the time doesn’t recognize such activities. The consider sales as the most important sector and give attention to salespeople. The marketing people always work behind the curtain. Their works most of the time can’t be evaluated by monetary value, especially the work of brand management.

In these cases, most of the time the entrepreneurs recognize the short-term marketing activities, but as they can’t evaluate long-term branding activities quite often, they fail to recognize those work. Product quality, pricing, and network fall in marketing activities, this is not limited to promotion and communication. The term “Brand” is not only about promotion and communication. “Brand” is about the image, about trust, about goodwill, about confidence, etc. All of these can be achieved through brand and through these you can achieve more mileage for your business, the entrepreneurs should hold this thought within their thinking. Say, for example, there are many Indian and Chinese brands, spread worldwide. Because they have realized from the beginning that they will fail to expand their business if they don’t make the brand productive and take the specific positioning and space within the mindset of the people. The entrepreneurs of those companies hold these basic philosophies in their practice as well, as a result, those companies have become successful to expand their business in the global arena for their visionary entrepreneurs who are not aiming for short-term profit but for establishing their business over a longer period of time.

Now, let’s discuss the views of brand professionals towards typical entrepreneurs. The brand professionals have to be aware that their sector is a cost sector and the success will come in the long-run. That’s why the brand people need to understand why the entrepreneurs hold a negative view of them. Often, the entrepreneurs don’t get confidence in brand professionals for disbursing budget on some activities, or sometimes, they fail to understand why the flag bearer and custodian of their Brands (the brand managers) are using their budget on various activities. They might have uncertainty within their mind, firstly the fear of misusing budget and secondly, whether the desired result will come in the future. For these reasons, a communication gap has been raised between these two parts and parcel of growing ventures.

In this case, most of the brand professionals change their philosophy. They focus on some funky activities without focusing on the basic sector. They fail to show the long-term result by compiling long-term planning. And also, they fail to show some results for attracting the entrepreneurs for long-term planning. There are lots of factors working here. Let’s talk about how to do to work in a mutually understanding environment with the entrepreneurs.

The first priority is to close the gap between the understanding of entrepreneurs and brand professionals. Many of the orthodox entrepreneurs think brand management is an unnecessary cost sector. On the other hand, brand professionals think that they should not go for any impactful long-term planning rather they should play safe. In this scenario, my advice is- The brand professionals should create awareness among the entrepreneurs by focusing on the activities that the entrepreneurs like. The brand professionals have to infuse the brand awareness within the entrepreneurs through any format of awareness and trust-building. For example, many entrepreneurs don’t understand the importance of digital marketing, the brand professionals should plan digital marketing activities in such a way, that the entrepreneurs understand the importance of brand management and result from the oriented campaign through this comparatively newer aspect of communication and branding.

Another way of closing the gap is to arrange some national events by brand professionals, where the association or alliance brand professionals can propose some visionary plans to the entrepreneurs through a mutually participative event or a grand gala night which lies on their strength part to acknowledge the scopes that have been provided by the entrepreneurs to nurture the brand professionals creative mind and passions. The brand professionals should share some global or local magazines focusing on brand management, to create awareness among the entrepreneurs.

Brand professionals should work with entrepreneurs on a regular basis. They should take some specific period to deliver according to commitments and hence bringing results which will help out all to enhance the brand managers’ worth to all stakeholders. They should provide data to the entrepreneurs about the business result of a specific period of time and how its different from the result of the previous year of that specific time.  They can create an awareness video with the customers’ thoughts- what they are thinking about the brand and what they used to think previously. These type of activities bring out the real picture of the market in front of the entrepreneurs.

The brand professionals can do such activities to build a bridge between them and entrepreneurs. We hope the brand professionals and entrepreneurs will work as a complementary force of one another. And of course, the bonding between brand professionals and entrepreneurs is the basic prerequisite of building a successful brand.

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Salehin Chowdhury

Salehin Chowdhury is an expert on Global Brand Communications. He has exposure to branding local products and services and has versatile experience on all segments of ATL and BTL Communications, along with B2B and B2C background in terms of Product, Service and Social Branding. Salehin has specialised skills on Startup Ventures Brand Formulation with cost-effectiveness and high integrity. Throughout his career, he has an enriched experience on Brand Communication and Marketing and worked with Brands like OTOBI, RUNNER, The City Bank Limited, Premier Bank, BanglaCAT, Abdul Monem Limited, Bengal Foundation, Jamuna Group, Lubnan Trade Consortium, Canadian University of Bangladesh etc. Currently, he is a Research fellow doing his MPhil in the topic "Globalization strategies of Local brands" at Bangladesh University of Professionals (BUP).
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