Some time ago, I had the opportunity to sit across the table, at a conference, with a man who turned around a 3 million company (Rediff DY&R) into a 100 million powerhouse, almost overnight.
Sporting a ponytail, and alive with experience, Mr. Sandeep Goyal, Chairman, Dentsu Advertising (the biggest agency in the world — holds the official account for Toyota, Honda, all major sporting events of the world, including the Olympics and much much more…), is a veteran of the advertising world. He’s gone from the A-list to jobless, and back, in one roller-coster ride.
What made this encounter interesting and heuristic was the fact that Mr. Goyal’s journey began from Chandigarh (I went to college and started a company here) — a small town boy who’s dream was to reach the moon. And, the fact that he shared, with us, his theory of ‘The Big Game Mentality,’ which separates small businesses from larger ones.
Simply put, it’s about how a batsman can go into a stadium, packed with thousands of fans, remain focused on the ball and hit a sixer.
He also talked about how most individuals overlook the very basics. These would include business cards (which is for immediate representation), being punctual, putting in that extra bit, rewarding your team visibly and building an online presence (simply because people want to Google you).
This brings me to an argument of: 1. Why branding yourself is important, 2. How developing an online presence can help one generate more business and come across as a company of today and, 3. Why staying focused and planning for the long term can keep you sailing higher.
Branding is one of the most underrated industry today (didn’t add too much context there but on especially holds true for Digital Product space). Usually, business plans revolve around infrastructure, people and annual projections etc. — leaving the idea of creating a professional looking identity far behind. And, in most cases, businesses hire unprofessional folks to design their logo (in a hurry, and with peanut budgets), and later tend to stagnate, simply because they lack in presentation.
Because your brand identity is not just visual designs but answering the strategic why we exist (and not the what and how), impact intended and defining True North (Read products with an opinion). Branding is going to leave an impression on your customer/user, I suggest you give it the due importance it deserves — involving a brand strategist in the initial conversation can make all the difference.
In today’s date, we’re littered with technology i.e. handhelds that access your mail, broadband internet and — primarily because of these — the advent of social media, we’re expected to be Google ready. People are constantly accessing this new media for all sorts of information. Lets not leave behind the large corporates that access the Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter accounts of prospective and existing employees. By building an online profile, you get the benefits of being available to the whole world and also access networks of like-minded people.
And lastly, staying focused on a long term goal is one of the most difficult as well as essential requirements of growth (think thirsty crow, one pebble at a time). With a clear strategy in mind, all the activities undertaken lead and build towards one single point — increasing the chances of hitting the target. Therefore, in conclusion, grow your brand like a seed — with its roots deep-seated in the ground, and with a single-minded proposition.