Building Brands – the unseen aspects

Today, with the ease of designing logos and registering trademarks; new brands are popping up by the minute. Despite the presence of an overwhelming number of brands, only a handful manage to impress you. Since most brands these days overtly rely upon the ability of design and merchandise to deliver experience rather than the product or service itself, in most cases from conceptualisation to delivery, the essence fades away. For instance, most cafés have tissues with printed logos but only some have excellent signature dishes; and guess which ones earn higher brand capital.

While starting a brand, one should realise that the logo itself is of miniscule value. In addition to the positioning, the consumer experience builds brand value. For instance, imagine Starbucks without the coffee and ambiance, or Hyatt without the luxury and pampering. Apart from the experience, it is also about the quality; the ability of the brand to deliver upon its commitment. For instance, while flying Ryannair you do not expect food but you expect a seat. Failure to allocate seat due to overbooking will be counter-productive to their brand value of cheap and hassle free travel.

Following the adage ‘Rome was not built in a day’ an entrepreneur should ‘hold his horses’. Building brands involves intensive planning and well-coordinated efforts at multiple fronts including the product or service, consumer experience and finances. Although there are other aspects like supply chain, manufacturing, marketing, segmentation and positioning; since we are discussing the managerial aspects we shall limit the discussion to product, experience and finances. Also, to help you understand better, the next part explains the aspects in context to the food retail business.

Starting with the product or service; in food retail, one should understand their primary product whether it is the food, ambiance or convenience. Understanding your product maybe subject to context; for instance, if you have real estate at the hustling bustling CBD (Central Business District), your product can be about convenience (door delivery or quick cooking). Whereas, if you are located in the suburbs; you may be more focused on food and ambiance. This can also be reverse; for instance, with a chef on your team, a certain cuisine can become the USP (Unique Selling Proposition) and you can look forth to an upscale bistro in the suburbs.

Moving up to experience; presence of branded merchandise is the tiny part. Nobody will remember your logo on the tissue that they used to wipe their dirty hands. It is more about memory cues throughout the experience; go to hooters and the audacity will never let you forget anything. The key is to include subtle cues such as the polite valet who cools the car before bringing it to the foyer, the attendant who gives free candies to kids, or the chef making rounds of the floor to personally interact with the guests or a screaming Chef Ramsay suddenly appearing out of the kitchen.

Arriving at the most crucial aspect of finance; being in a competitive market with new concepts popping up by the week, as much as it is necessary to have an appealing concept, it is important to model your finances and understand the viability and risk. Whether the margin is sufficient to pay for your operations, capital and profits. This also helps you understand and conclude other factors; such as, your viability modelling will help with pricing which will conclude your market segmentation, deriving the required sales volume will help you conclude on the number of tables; and so on.

Now armed with the understanding of building brands, we hope that you do an absolutely amazing job with your new venture. And if you require assistance at reasonable cost, feel free to email us at

You can also check out this presentation on branded environment to understand more:

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