The Preferred Brand

Why Brand Preference matters?

You always think of your competition and most companies position their resources to battle competition. If your Brand was Preferred and Relevant, competition won’t matter, your Brand will matter

Your company will focus its resources on how to serve the customers better, innovate and became more preferred as well as relevant

For example, Facebook is preferred for time spent with family and friends to share stories. Facebook is relevant as a Brand for creating the subcategory of instant messaging, in fact, Facebook is the most relevant Brand on mobile to reach family and friends through messages

Today the world knows that Facebook owns WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger apps. Both have become ‘must haves’ on mobiles/smartphones. This acquisition has made the Brand more relevant by owning the subcategory of Mobile Messaging

Snickers the candy bar, is preferred when you need a quick meal to hold up your hunger, it’s relevant because it shares two great attributes: Chocolate and Energy

The more you focus on your target audience, the better you perform. Keeping an eye on your competition will drain your resources and your Brand will become irrelevant

Example: Every time we think of the best Airlines in the region we think of Emirates, we think of the service, we think of the luxury and innovative experience. On the same token, as much as Qatar Airways invests in and claims its ‘5 Star’ airline status, the Brand is still irrelevant to a category owned by Emirates

On the other hand, Etihad Airways is focusing more into Premium Luxury Travel, they just introduced ‘The Residence’ for their first class. Now Etihad has created a category and has become the preferred and relevant Brand to High Net-worth individuals traveling first class which Emirates enjoyed having on their Airbus A380s and lost

Said Baaghil is the ‘Unconventional’ Branding and Marketing Adviser to reputable companies in the Middle East, author of many reputable books including the ‘The Power of Belonging’ and a Speaker. Baaghil appeared in books published by America’s experts on Branding and Marketing such as Dan Hill and Libby Gill. Most recently Baaghil was interviewed by world renown Brand Consultancy firm Siegel+Gale on Branding in the Middle East

He can be reached on AskBaaghil.com

The article was first published on Linkedin Pulse on 7th February, 2015

SPECIALTY: One of the Laws of ‘The Power of Belonging’

The above image is of Brand names that sell Makeup

  • Sephora is SPECIALIZED in Beauty Products
  • Macy’s is SPECIALIZED in Up-Scale Fashion Retail
  • Sephora is a Destination offering first hand experience for beauty products
  • Macy’s is a Destination for retail fashion (i.e. beauty products could be third or fourth priority in the minds of the customers during their experience)

Specialty is one of the 10 Laws for Brands to succeed in generating/maintaining ‘The Power of Belonging’

What happens when you create a product or service and you want to sell everything? You end up selling nothing! The saying might be old, but it’s true to this day: Jack of all trades, master of none. Focus on your specialty. Be the master of one thing. You can’t be the master of millions

Starbucks specialized in upscale coffee and coffee drinks. If it sold other things, it was because those things (from mugs to music) go well with coffee. It’s all about the coffee experience. Successful Brand Pros are able to let their audiences know they stand for something, rather than for many things, or for whatever they think they might be able to sell. Remember the number 7? That’s a magic number in many cultures, perhaps because that’s about how far our memories go. For some reason we can relate to things in sevens. 7 wonders of the world, 7 Chakras, 7 Heavens, among many others. How much diversity in your Brand your audience can cope with isn’t up to you; it’s up to the audience’s brains. Think in terms of the ‘Rule of 7’ with regards to your Brand as being the outside limit of how far your family of products and messages can extend

Let your Brand stand for something, specialize like Starbucks for Coffee, Lipton for Tea, Xerox for Copy, Al Baik for Fried Chicken with Special Garlic sauce (not burger or seafood), Apple for Digital Lifestyle, Facebook for Social Networking (worth pointing: Linkedin is between Business Networking and Recruiting, so it needs to specialize)

Said Baaghil is the ‘Unconventional’ Branding and Marketing Adviser to reputable companies in the Middle East, author of many reputable books including the ‘The Power of Belonging’ and a Speaker. Baaghil appeared in books published by America’s experts on Branding and Marketing such as Dan Hill and Libby Gill. Most recently Baaghil was interviewed by world renown Brand Consultancy firm Siegel+Gale on Branding in the Middle East

He can be reached on AskBaaghil.com

The article was first published on Linkedin Pulse on 22nd February, 2015

My Mind Predicts…

Within the next 10 years Facebook messaging will take over Emails. Furthermore, the number of social media users will most likely equal the population of the entire Asian continent. Facebook will maintain its position as the largest outlet of Social Media and instantaneous communication

Social Media’s interactiveness, one on one and channeling will be the number one source of reference and trust for consumers to relate their Brands with. Public Relations, as an industry, will flourish thanks to Twitter, while traditional Advertising, as an industry, could hit the slumber, but what will top them all is The Power of Belonging on Social Media.  The Middle Eastern social media users will grow in numbers and might even reach to 50% of the regional population in areas such as North Africa and the Levant, also witnessing steady growth are the Gulf States. The leading saleable industry from the Middle East on social media will be companies that root their marketing in Social responsibilities due to the current changes and public demands. On the global front, the following industries will flourish enormously on social media: Education, Apparel, FMCGs and Entertainment

Let’s take the Banking industry as an example. It will change its image from Conservative to Liberal specifically on their spending outlooks. The change will also be on products and services, which would include the fall of the ‘Grand Pa Joe’ as a logo. If the CEO is a social media addict and smart to follow the trends then consider seeing pictures of more relatable logos on several funds. The Credit card market will witness astonishing growth in the Middle East, while the ecommerce industry will witness substantial growth. The regional Financial industry such as Investment Banking will suffer to capture the new generation of audience unless they follow the current trends and believe in Marketing

The cell phone users on Data packages will double in numbers and we will witness an enormous decline on landlines, but the question still remains: would the landline become extinct? All regional newspapers and magazine will head online and print copies will be at minimal, some might even just disappear with the wind. I might sound ‘off the wall’ to you right now, but reality will demonstrate what I just said, so catch the drift before it’s too late

Oh, one more thing, PayPal is now fully operational in Saudi. Our foresightedness will change the region and a new generation of proactive minds will lead our Brands to be consumed by global audience. I’m lovin’ it!

Said Baaghil is the ‘Unconventional’ Branding and Marketing Adviser to reputable companies in the Middle East, author of many reputable books including the ‘The Power of Belonging’ and a Speaker. Baaghil appeared in books published by America’s experts on Branding and Marketing such as Dan Hill and Libby Gill. Most recently Baaghil was interviewed by world renown Branding Consultancy firm Siegel+Gale on Branding in the Middle East

He can be reached on AskBaaghil.com

The Social Media plug

Do you remember when you set up your first Hotmail account? Did you imagine then that it would become nearly impossible to do business without email? Social Networking has now stolen the spotlight, requiring us to closely examine the role it plays in brand recognition across the globe. Does it offer Brand Experience online? Yes

Let’s take a look at how this works. Of the hundreds of social media outlets competing for your attention, there are 3 that stand apart: Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Each can be used in different ways to communicate your message. Each of platform is a leader within their categories, how would you use them right is the question you should ask

  • Facebook (a Right-brainer Brand) is the matriarch of all social networking sites. It has evolved into a completely new category by incorporating Entertainment and Group applications to its platform. As a conversational tool, it can be used to promote events, provide news and information or interact with your client base – all of which can be focused on your Brand. Facebook is filled with closely-held personal information which makes it distinctly different from Twitter and LinkedIn. Privacy is the rule of thumb when seeking to captivate Facebook audiences with your messageFacebook operates the emotional driven category: Social entertainment! (applicable to sectors such as FMCG, Retail, lifestyle, Health etc.)

    Code: The Multiplicity Brand

  • LinkedIn (right in the center) is a pioneer in online Business Networking.  Create a profile and extend your reach to include 85 million networkers. Adding to the overwhelming popularity of its inter-network email and network-building functions, many users take advantage of opportunities to establish rapport with colleagues and clients through LinkedIn Groups and use LinkedIn Jobs to locate and recruit the best candidates. Because of constant innovation in response to demand, LinkedIn has maintained a stronghold on the category since it emerged. Most LinkedIn users in the region log on to check mail/In-Mail, who added them, group status and messages or update their profileIt operates the Business Professionals Category (an instant reaction, in and out, more functional)

    Code: Beneficiary Brand

  • Twitter (a Left-brainer Brand) addicts know it as a 24-hour link to the world.  Whether tweets are in the form of Breaking News headlines or casual personal commentaries, Twitter provides brief updates that often include live web links to in-depth information.  It is undoubtedly the vehicle of choice for creating top-of-mind presence. Frequent punch-line tweets are most likely to be re-tweeted, expanding your reach and establishing your brand as a preferential sourceThe Constant  Status category (loved by most PR firms, Banks, Capital houses, News Media organizations etc.)

    Code: The Reporter Brand

It is my sincere opinion that these platforms, which represent the new hub of online marketing, are so important that failing to employ them will hinder future Brand success. With social networking audiences expanding by the second, it is imperative that you cast aside the standard ad banners if you intend to take your Brand to the next level

Said Aghil Baaghil can be reached at www.askbaaghil.com

P.S. I’m a right brainer and I do spend a lot more time on Facebook than on any other Social Network

Said Baaghil is the ‘Unconventional’ Branding and Marketing Adviser to reputable companies in the Middle East, author of many reputable books including the ‘The Power of Belonging’ and a Speaker. Baaghil appeared in books published by America’s experts on Branding and Marketing such as Dan Hill and Libby Gill. Most recently Baaghil was interviewed by world renown Branding Consultancy firm Siegel+Gale on Branding in the Middle East

He can be reached on AskBaaghil.com