Trinidad and Tobago has a GDP per capita income of approximately $15,0001. There is a lot of opportunity on the island nation for businesses to grow. Consumers in Trinidad and Tobago, like anywhere else in the world, are more likely to buy from brands they trust and find interesting. This is why a good branding strategy is essential whether you are an established business or whether you are just starting out.
What is branding
When most people think of branding they think of logos and colours, but branding is so much more than that. According to Phillip Kotler, “Branding is endowing products and services with the power of a brand”. Which begs the question, what is a brand? According to Investopedia, “A brand is an intangible marketing or business concept that helps people identify a company, product, or individual.”
For example, the Geico gecko is strongly associated with the Geico brand. Even though a gecko has very little to do with automobile insurance, it has become a trusted mascot of the company. For a long time, Blackberry was associated with its messaging service, BBN. Customers perceived Blackberry in a higher value because of its messaging service, even though other phone companies had similar services. Branding extends beyond logos, colours and packaging. Through brand strategy development, a business can make itself stand out and get a higher customer share.
Types of Brand Strategies
1) Personal Branding
As the term suggests this type of brand development strategy focuses on an individual instead of a business. Often this type of strategy is used by politicians, athletes, and thought leaders, however, it can be effective for businesses as well. For example, Steve Jobs’ personal brand helped strengthen the brand of Apple. Particularly in the early iPod years, people came back to Apple in part because of the persona Steve Jobs had cultivated around him. Martha Stewart is another great example of personal branding being used to create business value.
If you have a restaurant, an advisory firm, or a salon, you can use a personal branding strategy to great effect. Ensure the chefs and stylists are known for their skills. Customers will come to the business not for its brand but for the people they know are working there.
The upside of a personal branding strategy is that it is conducive to trust. It is easier to get customers to trust a person than a business. The downside is that all the brand value is then tied to said person. If that person is no longer associated with the business or if their personal brand suffers then this will have a negative impact on the whole business.
2) Corporate Branding
A corporate branding strategy focuses on creating a personality around a brand. This is done through the business’s public stance on current events, its external communications, the charities it supports and the personalities it partners with. A good example of a corporate branding strategy is Wendy’s. Wendy’s has a very active Twitter account that has come to be known for its sarcastic, sharp, and witty humor. This personality has become part of Wendy’s brand. Another company that does corporate branding very well is Apple. Apple has come to be known for having high-quality products that focus on innovation. It is a cool brand among its competitors.
If you are starting a business or have an established company, you should consider your brand. What are your business’s core values? What do you want people to think of when they think of your business? Once you have clarity regarding that, you can decide how to communicate this to your audience and create your public image.
3) Online Branding
This type of branding is ideal for companies that want to reach their customers via online channels. The internet has become a powerful medium for marketing and an important mode of conducting business. However, it is important to understand that the use of online channels for marketing efforts does not equal online branding. Thoughtfully created digital marketing strategies are essential for effective online branding.
This form of branding is especially valuable to online businesses. If you have an online business where you sell products or provide services via an online marketplace, you should invest in digital marketing solutions. Working with a digital marketing agency that has the knowledge of brand development and positioning is a great way to establish and start growing your brand online.
There are a lot of brand development agencies in Trinidad but only a few provide end-to-end services that include web design and development, online marketing and brand strategy development. Contact WebFX, a full-service digital marketing company in Trinidad with a decade of experience helping businesses with brand positioning and creating brand character via digital and traditional marketing mediums. Contact us to learn more.
- Sep. 2021, “Trinidad and Tobago – Country Commercial Guide”, International Trade Administration, [available online], available from: https://www.trade.gov/country-commercial-guides/trinidad-and-tobago-market-opportunities [accessed July 2022]