Let’s face it, no brand is ever meant for everyone.
Some brands are portrayed as for youths, some for fitness freaks, for the common man, for the elitist, and so on. Even if a brand has a mass appeal, it will be more popular in certain target markets.
Brands today want the most number of people to love them. Certain companies aim at making a “common man’s brand”, or a “people’s brand”. Where the common man likes and trusts it. Reason being, the common man is a large part of their target market.
Let’s consider the example of Kenza TMT Steel bars, a brand that manufactures and sells steel bars in Kerala. It got a much-needed revamp, to give it a ‘people’s brand’ appeal and reinforce its reputation.
For the common man to connect with your brand identity, it must be simple. They must know your brand, and understand what it is all about. But you don’t have to be everything for everyone. Create a distinct feeling and use it to shape every aspect of your brand.
For example – If your product is somehow related to strength or power, bring that into your brand identity. Perhaps with a powerful-looking logo. Choose your brand colors wisely and accordingly. Your is the most recognizable part of your brand. It appears in every brand collateral. Have a cohesive and simplified identity for better brand recognition and recall.
And remember: If in your marketing, you make claims about how good your product is, your brand also needs to look like it will live up to those claims. Only then, will the target audience to believe you.
If you want people to like you and trust you, they must be able to relate to you. Relatability is what makes them accept your brand, and acceptance is key to becoming a common man’s brand.
An important aspect here, is how you portray your ambassador – if your brand has one. Kenza’s celebrity brand ambassador was earlier shown to be sort of an elitist. Well-dressed in formal clothing, he was talking about the product. But their target audience had simple, practical, money-conscious individuals. They could not relate to that character one bit.
So we created a character one would often see in Kerala. He spoke in the local dialect and was a figure most people of the target market could relate to. A campaign was thoroughly planned before its execution by a production house. They followed up on our idea and created 4 relatable characters from 4 different locations of the state. This kindled a renewed sense of acceptance for the brand. It now identifies as being a people’s brand that is practical and justly priced.
Your product/service could be great, but do consumers really need it? It may have a range of good elements, but can the consumers really gain from them? If yes, are you communicating it in the right way?
The market cares a great deal about what your brand can do for it. So find out what your consumers need, what their pain points are, and what they are hoping for. Focus on how buying your brand will solve a particular issue for them.
If you knew that your house is built with steel bars certified as Corrosion Resistant Steel (CRS), you would probably feel safer in it. Especially during the monsoon showers. Here, CRS is the feature, and you feeling safe is the benefit. This is what we mean by translating product features into user benefits. So that your brand gets a good amount of functional base.
If you want people to take your brand seriously, it needs to be consistent. The common man is quick to notice differences. If he likes what he gets, he can be very loyal. But if he does not, he may never come back – he is spoilt for choice, after all. So give him consistency and uniformity, and let him see that you are here to stay.
Your messaging and brand identity need to be “on-brand” across all platforms. The feeling they get from your product, your logo, your advertising – needs to be consistent. This will help you establish credibility among your competitors. And also, gain the trust of your customers.
The best way to instill consistency is by planning and making a brand guideline manual. And seeing that all collaterals are in sync with it. From vehicle branding, letterheads, T-shirts to the way the advertisements are designed. This will enable better brand recognition and recall too.
Zig Zaglar once said that if they like you, they will listen to you; but if they trust you, they will do business with you. So when building a “people’s brand”, focus on becoming a trust-worthy brand. And minding the promises you make. Lastly, as the famous dialogue line goes, “Don’t underestimate the power of a common man!”.