• Diksha Khanolkar

How to build your BRAND?

Imagine your favourite things in the whole wide world. Imagine your favourite ice cream, your favourite car, your favourite rum. What do you see? Do you picture some homogenous product or are you holding a Starbucks, driving a Mercedes and sipping on some Old Monk?  That’s the really cool thing about brand; get it right and you have the world at your fingertips. Get it wrong… and wait, who are you again?

What is brand? 

The dictionary typically defines 'brand' as a product like ‘toothpaste’ or a service like ‘playlists’ made or offered by companies like Colgate, Tilt etc. under a particular name. But, if brand was restricted only to products and services, why do so many people scramble for 'personal' brand? What even does that mean? And more importantly, should YOU be working toward it? To accurately unravel brand, we're going to leave the jargon at home and peer through a new lens. 

I hope you're ready; IT'S STORY-TIME!

To gain a practical and in-depth understanding of 'brand', we go no further than Amazon Founder, Jeff Bezos; now the richest man alive (Net Worth: 107.3 Billion as on 16th March 2020). To him, 'brand' is what other people say about you when you're not in the room. In other words, your brand is nothing but your reputation in the eyes of your peers, colleagues, competitors and customers. Let's look at it this way; suppose you want to get fitter but don't exactly know how to go about it, who would you first call? Someone who knows what they're talking about, right? For now let's call this person Mr Panda and the reason you want to speak with him over anyone else, his reputation. If multiple people trust Mr Panda's reputation enough to give him money; well then Mr Panda got some brand on his side. 

A core element that adds the immense value (financial including) to 'brand' is the 'trust' factor involved. We as consumers are often willing to let go of that extra money (the premium) because of the faith we have in the relevant brand to solve our problem. The element of trust in 'brand' is so critical that very often in my own line of business the negotiation often boils down to our confidence in getting the project done. The moment we as Tilt (Tilt is a multifaceted company branched into various fields where I handle strategy, direction and marketing) give our word, the deal is closed and the experience… ON!!! 

Even though the term 'brand' is often associated with the bigger things in life, the key to gaining lots of it unsurprisingly lies in the little things. It's like they say, the devil is in the details.

How does one build a strong brand?

It's simple, grow the following:

- Dependability 

No one likes anyone who lets them down. And in business, people literally PAY YOU to not let them down. How about we let that sink in. 

- Competence

Can you consistently keep up and then improve the quality of your product/service? The nation demands to know!

- Value Add

Look at it any way you want, at the end of the day you get paid to solve a problem. Your customer is always going to be looking at the extent to which you bring value to the table and very often will pay you accordingly. Struggling to increase your income? Forget the multiple projects, increase your value instead.

Fun Fact: In 2020, the Nike brand was valued at approximately 34.8 billion U.S. dollars, an increase of over two billion U.S. dollars from 2019.

Better the brand -> Better the work -> Better the paycheck. A total win.

Whether you like it or not, brand building makes you money. And that begs the questions,

'Who should practice brand building?' and most importantly, 'Should YOU?'

My opinion on the matter is simple; if you're someone who has even an iota of ambition, if you want to move up in the world, if you dream of that crème work with those crème figures, jump on that brand train IMMEDIATELY. Whether you're an employee, an employer, a freelancer or an artist, you must have 'brand' as someone who best solves a particular problem. The exact problem and solution, I leave to your expert choosing. 

Pro-tip: At the end of the day we are nothing but a product of our past experiences and future ambitions. This adds a unique element to us, gifting us all with our very own personalised flavour. Every flavour is unique, special and incomparable to the next. So forget about everyone else and focus on you. You'd be surprised by how much value you bring to the table and the brands you get known for. YOU WERE BORN SPECIAL! Now just go out and try.

"I knew that if I failed I wouldn't regret that, but I knew the one thing I might regret is not trying." Jeff Bezos.

Article by: Kaelyn Dsouza

Strategic Consultant

Cofounder at Tilt - The Land of Opportunities

Founder of Alphaholics Anonymous - A Home for all looking to unleash themselves.

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Diksha Khanolkar

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