21 Mar

In case you missed the YehBaby Social Club Launch Event

Entrepreneurs, business owners and even a few celebrities attended the official launch of the YB Social Club launch event on Thursday, 21 February 2018. The launch, held at Kikka Boulevard in Paarl, included a talk on personal branding by TV Presenter and media personality Ivor Price, as well as a short description of what the Social Club is and why it is relevant in today’s online world.

read more

05 Jun

Entrepreneur success story: how local business people inspired a community to build a ‘miracle school’

Take a few local entrepreneurs with a vision of a better future and unshakable faith and passion. Add the backing of a community, united as never before. What you get is an unusual entrepreneur success story. This success story made the prestigious Jakes Gerwel Technical High School (JGT) rise in record time on the threshold of a poor neighbourhood in the Western Cape town of Bonnievale.

read more

06 May

A BIG voice for small brands

One of the great things about social media is that entrepreneurs and medium businesses can be equally as visible and effective there as the big guys with the big budgets.

In fact, the smaller players often use social media much more effectively because they have more genuine and compelling stories to tell.

YehBaby tells the stories of a number of medium-sized companies and entrepreneurs in South Africa on social media, operating as an outsourced content marketing, community management and social care agency.

Sometimes the depth of audience involvement with our brands move us, and sometimes we are amazed at how far these platforms allow the brands’ messages to travel.

This graphic shows the reach and quantity of interactions we had on behalf our brands during the past month. The quality of the interactions are harder to depict, but doing that will be our challenge for next month!

YehBaby Digital Creatives: A small agency using social media to give a BIG voice to clients

25 Oct

How the social media explosion turned us all into brands.

Social Media platforms added a new dimension to our worlds – a kind of 5th dimension where people can now read your thoughts.

If ever you have dreamt of becoming a celebrity it has just become 100% easier. You do not have to book a theatre, commit to a new career or be an entrepreneur.  All you need is a Twitter / Facebook account and great ideas.

What is a brand?
A brand is essentially a promise. A promise of value you will receive when visiting or buying or embracing that brand. Woolworths promises you quality, BMW promises excellence, Levi’s promises individuality and quality and Reach for a Dream that you can help people make their dreams come true.

 

You are a brand

So how can people be brands if they’re not selling anything?
But they ARE! Everyone stands for something.

 

Let’s take a well-known example from our bosom. Nelson Mandela was selling South Africans the concept of a better world, a rainbow nation. Because he was seen to be consistent in his promise and how he acted on it, his personal brand has remained strong and is likely to stand the test of history.

If you think that you are not a brand, reconsider. You might be an obscure brand or one who hasn’t realised its potential, but that’s a different matter.

We all want to be perceived in a certain way, be it as a professional, a good parent, an outdoorsy person or whichever way you would like to portray yourself.

Of course, you don’t HAVE to bother about your personal brand. It is mostly invented for you in the minds of others, anyway. But why not seize the opportunity and the tools that are now widely available to make your brand work for you?

What do you look for in a brand?

A promise kept, consistency and trust.

Trust doesn’t mean that you want to put your life in this ‘persona’s’ hands. It means that you can trust that they will deliver what they promise, whether it is to make you cool, laugh or feel nostalgic. And that they will do so consistently.

Look at Stephen Fry (@stephenfry). He is consistently funny, but also consistently intelligent and entertaining. Can you imagine what would happen if he suddenly turns into a bore, spouting uninformed opinions? Who would follow him? Who would believe his ‘brand’. Without an audience your brand is powerless.

So, whether you are a person or a product, here are five questions to help you get to grips with the essence of your brand and how you present it.

YOUR BRAND ESSENCE

  1. What does your brand promise?
  2. What do you need to do to always be delivering on that promise?
  3. What visual representation would best help others understand my promise?
  4. How should I communicate to ensure others really understand my brand promise.
  5. Who else has a similar promise, and what makes my promise different to theirs?
27 Jul

Do you know what sets you apart?

Imagine your brand as a person. What would his hairstyle be? Which type of clothes would she wear and how would she outshine the rest? Would this image fit with what you’re trying to sell? Would you take this person home to meet your mother?Brand blog graphic

The answer to all these questions lays in you brand. The brand is the most important asset a business can own, from a sole proprietor all the way up the scale to a multi-national corporation. The brand is the heart and soul of any product. It is the essence and personality that will set it apart from the competitors that are similar or even identical in function. It can even help you beat competitors who are of superior quality!

Listen to this story:

Peter (one of a set of identical twins) is a regular in the local pub.  Beer in hand he walks up to Susan. He’s had an eye on her for a while now.

He starts talking to her about his job, his car, rugby and everything else that interests him. He regards himself as a very attractive guy. He definitely has everything a man should have.

Even though he has been careful to flatter her, she still avoids eyes contact and keeps her body slightly turned away. He notices this and starts speaking louder, trying to get her full attention. Now she is not only bored, but also embarrassed to be seen in his company.

He excuses himself to go to the loo and she escapes to a different chair. What a relief!

Just then she spots Peter approaching again, but he sees her before she can duck. Oh no!

Only when he starts talking to her she realizes that it’s not Peter at all, but his twin, Mark. Mark is very interested in this beautiful girl and asks her about herself. He gives her honest compliments and talks about what interests her. In no time he gets her to laugh and she also asks him about his likes and dislikes.

It did not take them very long to get married and have five beautiful children.

And Peter? He is still at the pub twice a week and believes that he has everything a guy should have. Except a beautiful girlfriend,that is.

Is your brand acting like Peter or Mark? What do you need to do to get the girl?

If you’re not sure what your brand is, you will never know why people dislike (or like) it. And if you don’t know how to talk to your target market you will not be able to convince them to like your brand.

Here are a few hints for small business owners and managers to give their brand space to develop:

  1. Your brand is distinct from you and your business. Entrepreneurs and small business owners often confuse the two. Be systematic in your analysis of what your brand can mean for your target market. Then decide which aspects of the brand to emphasize to maximize its value as a business asset.
  2. If you don’t pro-actively influence the content of your brand, you’re leaving it entirely up to consumers to shape through their perceptions and uncontrolled brand experiences. The perception of your brand is made up by the total of all your clients’ impressions from all their interactions with you and your product. Everything leaves an impression: from encounters with sales and reception staff to the brand name or the context in which the logo is seen.
  3. Remember your brand is targeted at your clientele and is not for your own consumption. You are not necessarily representative of your target audience. Put your own preferences aside when judging the brand applications and imagery. Get to know the preferences of your target market as well as you can.
  4. Stick to the strategic brand decisions you’ve made. Once you’ve decided on a direction for the brand, follow that unapologetically and without second-guessing. If your plan for the brand is based on solid research and market insights, trust it!
  5. Be consistent and align all the channels, suppliers and stakeholders with your brand plan. If the one hand is unaware of what the other is doing for and with the brand, this can lead to clashing brand experiences. This, in turn, will undermine the integrity perception of the brand and damage consumers’ brand trust.

* An Afrikaans version of this post can be read here.