The art of building a world-class product. 

Branding for Builders

“Products are made in the factory, but brands are created in the mind.”

~Walter Landor

Branding is not only one of the ways in which your business is recognized but is also a promise you make to your customers. Committing to the customers and making sure that your product wins a place in their minds is no easy task. The brand sets you apart, is vital in securing your business, and hence, getting the concept right is important for all of us entrepreneurs. 

Headstart invited Mr. Gibson Biddle, former VP/CPO of Netflix and Chegg to talk to us about Branding and its importance. Gibson is solely responsible for increasing users at Netflix from 3 million to 12 million. We had along with him, Ms. Sweta Patel a former advisor at Plug and Play Center. The duo together made the evening not only informative but also extremely interactive. 

Undoubtedly, all our definitions of the term ‘brand’ may vary, but something all of us can agree upon is that it is a reflection of how customers see themselves. The components that remain the same all across businesses include – positioning, benefit, personality, aspiration, and emotion.

Caring about your brand image is the first step to creating a brand that will stand out from others in the market. While reasons for caring may differ from business to business, some fundamentals always remain. Delighting the customers and using strategies that are hard to copy is always a boon that comes through branding. The best way to brand your product is through innovation and using various margin enhancing ways. 

Out of the two models of branding, one of them is known as Positioning, and it deals with the description, benefits, and personality of the product. It is important to be highly descriptive about the product so it occupies a place in the consumers’ minds. The service should be such that it is relatable to the users and benefits them in one way or the other. Finally, it should not only offer a solution but should also improve the lives of people through value creation. 

The second model, known as The Brand Pyramid deals with emotions and behavior. Ask yourself – how do you want to make your consumer feel? This model includes the product attributes, product benefits, emotional benefits, and finally the zeal to create something bigger and impactful. It is important to also have long term plans, keeping in mind how you want to change the world through revolutionary innovation. 

Gibson Branding Pyramid

Ongoing Innovation should be adopted as a virtue by every business. Consumer science is not only difficult but also extremely time taking. Businesses need to constantly test and experiment using various methods like surveys, reviews, feedback, etc. Gain control of your end term goal and use variations to attract consumers. Keep evolving and make sure you provide adequate information to the users at all times. 

Consumer Behaviour is tricky but equally essential to crack. What consumers say and how they behave is different. They love exploring and they do get influenced by the preferences of their friends and family. Deliver a ton of value and make sure your brand communication is up to the mark. Sometimes, users do not want to dig around and hence the simpler version works best. 

Gibson also imparted his expertise to all the seed stage companies and aspiring entrepreneurs present at the session. He motivated them to experiment wildly and figure out how to create overwhelming value. It is absolutely normal to start with horrible ideas but what matters is trying stuff out and figuring out what works best for your business. 

Ensuring retention and increasing your user base should be a constant goal of your business. For this purpose, don’t stop experimenting and satisfying the people around you. A successful business is not only determined by the smiles on the users’ faces but also the employees, stakeholders, etc. Use personalization, be original, and make work easier for your target audience. 

Dealing with competitors is only natural and can be pretty overwhelming at times. To avoid challenges, do not focus on your competitors and try to play your own unique game. Simply just provide value and build trust, creating your own community. Be confident in what you are building but at the same time also understand that users may engage with other services.

Gibson Brand Building Netflix

To put it all into perspective, the only hack is to balance all aspects of a business and not rush into any decision. Keep trying and the results will follow.  Branding is a vast term and has numerous implications., However, here is what you should work towards and have in place as an entrepreneur – 

  • Define Positioning and Brand – Use through research, data, facts, and figures.
  • Evaluate if your ideas are qualitative talk to customers and get inside their minds. 
  • Test your product use various metrics that suit your business type.
  • Evolve your product and the brand hand in hand the ultimate key to success.

The session was extremely insightful and gave the audience a chance to get their queries cleared. Gibson shared his personal experience and key learnings. He also gave the viewers a chance to put their opinions out in the open. It can be assured that as a result of this webinar, the ones who attended got a fair idea on how to build a brand and get a jumpstart onto the road of success! 


Contributed By:

Anoushka Chopra

A volunteer at Headstart.

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