Branding – Do You Really Need It?

When it comes to branding, there are two types of clients agencies usually encounter – one who understands its weight, value and ROI and is happy to go through the journey of discovering the brand’s ‘why’ with you, and the other who asks, “how much do you charge for a logo?” Though there are a number blogs, talks or videos branding experts publish explaining how a brand is not a logo, there are still those who will think otherwise.

While branding is a term so widely used in today’s world whether by those who understand what it means or those who don’t look beyond a logo. Before branding agencies were established, “branding” was already in existence in different parts of the world. In primarily – before the agencies, the branding experts, and the modern tools and strategies – to stand out from other livestock in the farm, ranchers of 2000 BC would ‘brand’ their cattle with their names, allowing them to distinguish one ranch’s cattle from another’s Over time, branding has evolved and now, companies use it to market themselves and connect with their target audience.

After many decades of witnessing a number of brands earn the limelight through great branding, industry experts have gathered key take outs and now have a good grasp of the benefits companies can get out of it.

Benefits of branding:

Enhanced customer trust and loyalty:
A strong brand is like a gift that keeps on giving. You invest in it once and you’ll reap the rewards for years to come – that includes your customers’ trust and loyalty. An example would, be such as having an e-commerce website that has a bad design and horrible navigation. It will make your customers think twice about making a purchase because it doesn’t look credible.

On the other hand, an e-commerce website with intuitive design, user-friendly navigation and great product options will make your customers want to buy and after a great experience, make another purchase and maybe even tell their friends about it. Just by providing a great brand experience, you’ve earned a brand ambassador, who will not only keep coming back to your website but will share their experience with friends and family, garnering you further customers.

Higher cost tolerance from customers:
One of the greatest things about having a trusted brand is that your customers will feel comfortable give you their money in exchange for your products. Your products might not be the best and there’s likely another brand that offers same quality as you do for a lower price, however your customers will still choose you (through thick and thin – wallets!)

Starbucks, for example, has such a big customer base despite their product prices being higher than other cafés where you can get a good cup of coffee without spending the extra bucks for a cuppa and that is because having a Starbucks cup in your hand on your way to work gives you a label which tells people around you that you belong to a certain socio-economic group. That cup is a status symbol. In essence, people sometimes pay for the brand name, not necessarily the product themselves.

Memorability and recognition:
Great brands are hard to forget and easy to recognize. Can you imagine a world that wouldn’t know what Coca-Cola is? Do you know anyone who doesn’t know what the McDonalds logo looks like and what colors it uses? Highly unlikely. That’s the power of branding. If your target audience doesn’t know who you are and what you look like, something has got to change.

In some parts of the world, certain brands are too memorable and recognizable that consumers use the brand name as a product category. For example, any toothpaste is called Colgate and any photocopying machine is called a Xerox machine. How did these companies manage to do that? Through great branding, which overtime has lead to brand recognition allowing brands not even needing their names mentioned and people knowing who they are – colours, logos, fonts, and icons do all the talking!

Faster internal decision making:

Not only does branding benefit the company as a whole, there is one specific department that reaps a lot of benefits – the marketing team. If your company’s branding has been created correctly, there’s a good chance your marketing team won’t have to spend countless hours deciding whether this tone of voice is better than that for a digital campaign or if a shade of blue, red or green is a little too dark for a brochure.

These things would have already been decided and finalized during the branding process and written in your brand guidelines. After all, when it comes to your brand’s communications, your marketing team’s job is not to create for the brand, but to create according to the brand.

So, is branding really necessary? The answer is both yes and no. It is necessary if you want your business to grow, realize its potential, and have a competitive edge in an ever-changing market. However, if you’re the kind of business owner who is content with earning little to no customer loyalty and having a weak market presence, then you probably don’t need it. If that changes (and we do hope it does), give us a call – we’re all ears.

What’s in a brand? – a look at what Branding Comprises

The Swoosh. The Golden Arches. The Apple. Without even saying the name of the brand you already know which brands are being mentioned – Nike, McDonalds, Macintosh respectively. These brands are so deeply incorporated in our daily lives, that we no longer need to be told what the brand is; we just know. That is the power of strong branding and marketing. One creates an impressionable identity and the other leads to these identities becoming such a prominent part of our lives that mere symbols, colours, patterns, or tagline can help us define which brand is being talked about. Over time these brands are more than just a shop, a restaurant, a make up company, they have become a part of us and we use these as our identifiers and they are the external elements we use to express ourselves and our beliefs, values, and in a way are an unspoken ode to what we stand for in society. The question arises, are these brands our persona or through usage we encompass the persona of these brands? That, of course, is subjective, but no matter what it is, the power of a brand cannot go unnoticed.

It takes time and effort to build a strong brand, but, in turn, a strong brand massively increases the value of a company. A strong brand brings with a sense of direction, motivation, and belonging is the North Star for both the employees and its customers. A strong brand is an influencer and can determine or dictate new trends, new possibilities, and new future for the industry it is a part of.

How to create a brand? – the foundations on which we build

But what does it mean “to brand”? Does that mean to have a name and a logo? Does it mean you decide what your brand colours are? A font that becomes synonymous with your brand? These are all superficial factors – the dressage – of a brand that help make it distinguishable, but what truly defines a brand is its core: the strategy. The Brand Strategy looks at a brand’s values, mission, vision, its future hopes, its position in the market, the right tone of voice needed to communicate with its target audience, and the persona that brand encompasses which shines from its inside out which is reflected to customers. A brand is more than what we see externally, but rather, this strategy not only allows the brand to reach to its right audience, externally (ie: customers), but also internally (ie: employees). What we dont realize is when we choose to associate with a certain brand, company, product, etc, we do so because subconsciously we are agreeing with what they stand for. Our beliefs align with theirs. We value the same kind of things. We view the world through the same looking glass. All of these elements are determined when we create a brand, This not only helps build a strong persona, but helps us bring closer to the right people – thats not to say as a brand evolves the “right people” it is looking to target will stay the same, as much like us people who change with time, so do brands, their mindsets, and their people do too. This strategy is also used to derive the creative (logo, brand colour, brand font, brand patterns, 5th elements, etc.), the tone of voice (friendly, inviting, conversational, informative, informal), and the means of communication (outdoor/indoor advertising, digital platforms, broadcast media, print media). The Brand Strategy is the essence of the brand; it is the core which determines each and every facet of the brand from idea to birth. It is the DNA which gives each brand its defining characteristics. It is part of the brand story that people want to hear and will share with others and essentially become part of your legacy.

How does a brand develop this DNA? That is a common question as it seems like an overwhelming amount of information needs to be determined before we even create the brands at all. This is all done through a meticulous exercise which is known as the Branding Workshop. In this workshop a series of questions are asked to the client which cover various areas of brand development and help the experts put together a structure which is used to create the strategy. This comprehensive document is then used to determine the external and internal elements of how the brand is going to behave, believe in, and communicate. Once the strategy is finalized, it is sent across to clients for approval so that they have a firm understanding of what the outcome is going to be before proceeding towards design.

How can a word-heavy file be converted into a creative outcome? Thats what the experts are there for! The creative team should ideally have a firm grasp of branding and how to decipher a strategy document, which they will study, be inspired from, and fully understand before they start doing their research. Research is the most crucial part of any creative work at all, and with the aid of the strategy document they embark on a journey which starts to bring the brand to life. It is from there a brand persona is determined, fonts, use of colour, patterns, and inspirations are all put together in a melting pot to deliver the “face” of the brand.

While the results of the branding workshop are being converted into an actual image, its essence is being practiced internally and thus when the brand is finally delivered and ready to be launched, the internal and external parts of the brand come together harmoniously and form an unbreakable synergy which results in an incredibly strong brand. It has a striking image, it is impressionable from the get-go, while also having a strong set of values, communication strategy and sense of direction making it an attractive brand to associate it from a customer and corporate point of view.

A strong brand invests in the careers and success of its people, which keeps its customers and employees engaged, and overall, creating a strong brand is difficult but is crucial for businesses to brand not only for survival but to help stick out from the noise of all the others in the market waiting to be heard. Branding is necessary, but building a strong brand is vital for survival.

^Perpetual Group collaborates with Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Culture ahead of the launch of Riyadh International Book Fair 2021

^Perpetual Group worked alongside Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Culture ahead of their much-anticipated annual event, the Riyadh International Book Fair, to develop an interactive website for visitors, authors, and exhibitors to participate in this prestigious event which saw visitors and participants from across the globe from October 1st – 10th 2021.

The book fair, which is part of the Ministry of Culture’s 2030 Vision initiative to increase the quality and quantity of the cultural activities within the Kingdom, is held at the Riyadh Front and welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. The aim of this book fair is to enhance and stimulate the culture and history of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and is a major event in the cultural scene.

Working closely on this project, Ministry of Culture’s ‘Literature, Publishing & Translation Commission’, Communications Department, and IT Team collaborated with ^Perpetual Group as their website development agency to deliver a website which would enhance the user experience for online registration, gaining access to information about the activities and workshops, book signing, and more to allow a comprehensive insight into what to expect from Riyadh International Book Fair 2021.

The collaborative effort has resulted in not in a successfully developed website which allowed a seamless user experience from the first click, but also allowed the two entities to create strong relations between ^Perpetual Agency and the Saudi Ministry of Culture. The website’s completion ahead of the project allowed thousands of visitors at a time to book their preferred activities, cultural programs, and organize meeting with their faved authors for a book signing session.

It is worth noting, Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Culture plays a key role in the three main strategic pillars of KSA’s Vision 2030, which is to help create a vibrant society, thriving economy and ambitious nation.

What brand identity distinguishes you from your competitors? Advice from the ^Perpetual experts

When we cross the road on foot or even by car, we see several () belonging to many shops from different industries such as libraries, restaurants, tailors, groceries, etc… but why do only a few remain in our minds?

This is definitely due to the brand identity and its types!

In this article, we will explain the two most important levels of brand identity design.

Brand identity design is divided into several levels and types according to its strategic return on investment (ROI), the most important of which are:

Basic brand identity:
It is the identity that we are accustomed to seeing around us and is repeated with most projects, focusing on shape and color, but its impact is superficial, short-term, and often misses the story behind the creation of the logo and the rest of the identity components. It is often created in a hurry with no attention to detail, the project, or its background.

Elaborate brand identity:
It is an identity that is based on scientific and psychological foundations to create a special story and an influential case, targeting the feelings and needs of the target group. Its impact is deep and long-term and prioritizes the story and the impression more than shapes or forms and requires knowledge of all the details of the project and its owner.

Therefore, when choosing the design of your brand identity for your project, always make sure that you choose a reliable company that informs you of all the details of designing the identity, and uses psychological and scientific meanings instead of superficial, momentary goals to keep your brand identity memorable in the minds of your consumers.

3 successful and unconventional Ecommerce Ideas – Exclusive Ideas from the ^Perpetual Team

The many changes that have occurred in the markets indicate an imminent end to the popularity of traditional stores and the revival of electronic stores! The latest statistics published on ecommerce in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia shows that ecommerce revenues are expected to reach more than 8 billion US dollars. We must all take advantage of this opportunity to enter the world of ecommerce and create a distinctive online store with an unconventional idea, and this is exactly what we will present to you in this article by reviewing 3 ideas for electronic stores free from sharp competition.

Unconventional online store ideas:
1) An online store idea to sell educational literature
There are many specialists, researchers, and readers who have recipes and steps for life or educational matters, but they lack a proper platform that can publish and organize the sale of such information. So, the idea of selling educational literature that does not exceed twenty pages is a smart idea which does not require much effort to be applied and implemented. All you have to do is design an attractive and integrated online store, arrange the topics covered by the literature, communicate with identified and selected specialists and start this successful project.

2) An online store idea to sell supporting videos
There are many online stores that specialize in selling videos that reflect specific situations such as (sports, breakfast, anger, fights, studies…) and others, but there are no Arabic-focused websites with this idea. And since there are currently many talented Arab youths, you can harness the capabilities of these Arab photographers to prepare videos with Arabic content and sell it through your online store.

3) An online store idea to sell gift ideas and dedications
You may think that it is a crazy idea, but it is a creative idea that is applicable and competitive as most of us feel confused when we want to buy a gift for a loved one. This online store idea will solve this problem by suggesting various gift ideas according to age, taste, gender, and social status of the recipient while writing special and thoughtful words to accompany the gift. You can also provide an additional service which recommends shops that provide and sell the suggested gift idea, thus doubling the income from the consumer and the advertiser.

These ideas are not the only ones that may succeed, and our advice to you is to select an idea that you like, start immediately without procrastination, and seize the opportunity by designing your online store and start selling online.

^Perpetual Group signs an agreement with Tamkeen Technologies

^Perpetual Group signed a cooperation and alliance agreement with Tamkeen Technologies, aiming to advance the digital transformation services provided to the company’s clients.

The signing of this agreement comes within the framework of the joint vision between ^Perpetual Group and Tamkeen to implement the best services for clients from the Saudi Arabian Government sector in line with the quality of the executed output as per the vision 2030 of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

This agreement came out of Tamkeen technologies’ desire to adopt pioneering technical capabilities and benefit from strategic partnership to enable and enhance the digital endeavors of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, develop digital marketing services and the rest of the services provided to its client base related to brand identity & digital transformation.

On this occasion, Mr. Ahmed Al-Massari, Founder and CEO of ^Perpetual Group, congratulated Tamkeen Technologies for signing the cooperation agreement, considering this agreement an excellent step forward that will continue to contribute to achieving the Group’s strategy to improve the quality of services provided in digital marketing and other areas and broaden the range of its client base in the Kingdom while empowering the national youth.

It is noteworthy that Tamkeen Technologies is a Saudi semi-government multi ISO certified company with a Saudization rate of 88%. It provides services to more than 6 million users. It specializes in providing innovative solutions by attracting and developing the elite of Saudi talent and implementing digital transformation endeavors in the Kingdom.

Through innovation, creativity and with an “out of the box” idea; ^Perpetual announces signing a contract with the Al-Kholi Group

^Perpetual announced its pride in signing a contract to redesign the brand identity of the Al-Kholi Group and develop a distinctive strategy for its identity and enhance its internal and external communications for the following companies: Saudi Building Technic Maintenance Co. Ltd. & Saudi Building Technic Elevators, Arabian Maintenance Operations Services Co. Ltd, United Projects Maintenance & Operations Co. Ltd, and Hamza Al-Kholi Trading Company.

This step comes from ^Perpetual’s belief that extending bridges of trust, sharing experiences with Saudi companies and expanding geographically with customers throughout the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is part of the journey to achieve the Kingdom’s 2030 vision.

Commenting on this news, Mr. Ahmed Al-Massari, Founder and CEO of ^Perpetual, commented: “We are all proud of ^Perpetual for expanding the scope of our customers and the fruitful cooperation with the Kholi Group. We are delighted to welcome our new ally and to show them the true power of ^Perpetual”
The Al-Kholi Group was established in 1978 and includes more than 3000 employees and experts under the umbrella of companies, and one of its companies, “Saudi Building Technic”, is the leading company in the field of contracting and maintenance.

Perpetual launches the new Lifestyle Marketing Content service, the first of its kind in the Middle East.

After the tremendous success achieved by the experimental launch of the Lifestyle Marketing Content service that took place in ^Perpetual, the company announced the official launch of the service to provide corporate clients wishing to enrich their social media platforms with this type of content.

The founder and CEO of ^Perpetual, Mr. Ahmed Al-Massari, confirmed that this step came after in-depth study, the use of specialized statistics and a dedicated work team to launch it off the ground. He added: “The need for natural, inexpensive images and videos has become urgent, and the public no longer accepts exaggerated content. It is true that content creation service already exists in the market, but the service for this specific type of lifestyle content does not exist.”

“Happiness allowance” Perpetual creates a financial allowance for its employees

In a first-of-its-kind precedent, the ^Perpetual company announced the addition of a new allowance for its employees, which will be called “happiness allowance”, which expresses the company’s desire to make all its employees happy and spend enjoyable, comfortable, and happy times around the workplace, and the allowance will be in a variable amount proportional to the salary of every employee.

He added: “Building a strong work team is one of the basics for the success of any company and our investment in human resources is a strong point that we will never be satisfied with and our attainment of the Bahrainization ratio of 65% is a distinguished step towards supporting Bahraini youth and supporting the excellence of the company’s outputs.”

By the end of 2020, Perpetual achieved a growth rate of 78% and an increase in the number of employees by 100%

Mr. Ahmed Al-Massari, Executive Director of the ^Perpetual Holding Company, stated that at the end of the last quarter of 2020, the ^Perpetual Group achieved a growth rate of 78%, achieving a record, especially during the current crisis that the world is going through. We were able to move forward to achieve this growth and expansion that we worked hard for, as the rate of increase in employment for this year reached 100% of the most efficient Bahraini and international talents, especially after the company turned into a holding company that fully owned investments and stakes in other businesses.
It is noteworthy that the company ^Perpetual and its investments are distributed in most of the Gulf, namely in the Kingdom of Bahrain, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Sultanate of Oman and its investments vary between finance, marketing, skin care, mobile accessories, restaurants, and remote training.

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