CORPORATE LOGO ON EMPLOYEE’S MASKS AS A BRANDING STRATEGY

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“The more you market your brand, the more you are popular among the public”.

This very strategy is being used in this covid era, where masks have become a

new normal. Covid-19[1] has brought a new era of branding where every employee is a brand

ambassador of the company now. A mask showcasing the brand name of the

company is a new dress code of all the employees at workplaces. Field-staffs of

the marketers are using masks carrying the name of their brands, opening a new

door of marketing. People through the masks get to know about the brands, even

when they are not having popular presence in the market.

WHAT IS A CORPORATE LOGO[2]

A corporate logo is a prominent marketing weapon that has its appearance on all

of the promotional materials of the company, such as letterheads, business cards,

product/service, advertisements as well as social media. This logo helps the

company to make the imprint of it on the minds of the people to identify the

product and brand. The logo is a mark by which a company is recognised in the

market by the new and existing customers as well as in the industry.

There are 3 main categories of logos- images, words and combinations. The

types of logos which fit into these categories are given below:-

  •  Monogram:- These logos are also known as the letter marks which consists of the letters, generally the initials of the brand for marketing purpose.

       Example:- IBM, CNN etc.

  • Wordmarks:– These logos have the business name alone.

      Example:- Coca Cola, Visa etc.

  • Pictorial marks:- These are the icons or graphics-based logos. These are the images which will immediately strike your mind when you think of a particular brand.

      Example:- Apple logo, The bird of the Twitter etc.

  • Abstract logo:– These logos are a type of pictorial representation of logos only, but these are specific ones. This logo is an abstract form which is representative of a business.

      Example:- Separated circle of Pepsi, the Nike symbol etc.

  • Letterforms:- These are similar as the monograms. These logos are one-letter ones. The well known example of this type is McDonalds, Yahoo etc.
  • Mascots:– These logos portray the illustrated character, These are generally the cartoons or some colourful characters. This logo is a great way to create the brand spokesperson of the company. KFC, Kellogg’s are the few brands which went ahead with this.
  • Combination Mark Logos:- These are the combination of images and words. The letterform can be combined with the mascot in it, a monogram with an abstract image etc. This totally depends upon the choice of the company. The combinations can be of any type.
  • Emblem Logos:-  These logos consist of a typeface that stays within a border, generally a seal or a crest. Ex:- Starbucks.
  • Dynamic marks:- This logo type adapts itself into the context where it is being used, which is not the case with other types of logos. Ex:- Whatsapp.

BRAND STRATEGY IN MARKETING

The brand strategy emphasizes on the brand’s unique characteristics, values as well as attributes and features. This also sets up the position that how differently the product of one company stands out in the market where competition has been rising every single day and this sets up the platform as well that why a customer should choose a particular brand over the other when there is a race of brands in the market, trying to show themselves superior from the other ones.

When it comes to the strategies related to branding, there are multiple dimensions of it and  not a single strategy can work for all in this case. It differs from business to business and with the change in business, the strategy related to branding also changes and a new one can pop up for the other. In branding, there is also not the case that what worked for one, would work for others as well.  As stated above, it changes with business to business, but it also changes from one company to the other company dealing in the same business.  Therefore, choosing similar kind of branding strategy sometimes do not work and sometimes choosing very different strategy from the others dealing in the same business gives the way beyond the expectations.

It is to be noted that the products or services must be branded with a strategy that align with the values of a business and resonates with its customers. While taking different dimensions into mind, one strategy to be created for a particular company.

There are a few branding strategies given below which are used by the companies:-

  1. Multi-brand strategy[3] :-  This strategy involves the marketing of many similar products by a company as competitors and each product carrying their individual brand names. Here the company sells two or more brands in a segment of same products. This gives the edge to the company as they have different options available of different brands in a particular product under a same roof.
  • Company name branding[4]:-  A brand is the lasting impression on the customers by a company, the people might forget what did they buy from your brand, but they would never forget the brand name if it has provided the expected results. Brand makes a company, that’s why brand name is trademarked, so that other does not use the goodwill a company earned. Therefore, choosing a name for your company which fits in the minds of the people and they do not have to recall it with so much of discomfort is required and that’s why the companies try to advertise as much as possible, so that their brand name gets imprinted in the minds of the people.
  • Individual branding[5]:-  This is a branding strategy which gives rise to the new product with market of its own, not borrowed from the market of its parent brand. In individual branding, a parent brand means a brand which is already established in the market brings a new product in the market and gives it a new identity of its own, a unique brand name and also give him the allowance to function independently in the market. It helps the new product build an image in the market and strengthens the position of the parent brand as well. Though, the new product grows independently and has its own market, but eventually leads to the promotion of its parent brand as well. It contributes to the brand’s positioning over its competitors in the market and makes its reputation to flourish more and more.
  • Brand Extension Branding[6]:- When a company uses the names of one of its established brands on anew product to show a relationship between the two and to help launch its new product, this method is known as brand extension or sometimes brand stretching. This is like taking the benefit of the already established brands of a company to bring a new product so that its reputation since day one gets established in the market.
  • Private Label Branding[7]:-  These are the ones where the products which are generally manufactured by one company, but then labeled with the brand of another company.   The Private label branding as the name says, it is private, there is no relation of the product manufacturing company with the brand it is carrying.
  • Derived Branding Strategy[8]:- As the name states, it is the branding which is derived, not of its own. In this case, some of the suppliers of  key components of a product wish to guarantee their position in the market by branding their components as a brand of their own in the market.
  • Geographical branding[9]:- This is basically the branding related to tourism industry. Here, one region tries to show its uniqueness which is different from others to attract the customers or you can say, the travellers to visit their tourist centers rather than going for other places.
  • Personal branding[10]:-  This strategy of branding is the intentional effort of the company to create and influence the perceptions of the public regarding an individual by positioning them as an authority in the industry related to the company and also by giving efforts to elevate the credibility of the person, and by differentiating themselves from the competition, to eventually bring an advancement in their career, to enhance their circle etc.

HOW THE MASKS ARE BEING USED IN THIS REGARD

The masks are not being used only for corporate logo only, they are also being used for displaying the catchphrases associated with the company.The strategy being used in this way is to attract the eyeballs of the public as well as togenerate the interest of passerby in the brands.The very example which is popular for branding its product or company isWoosh detergents which are in the market with the sporting masks embossing

‘Woosh’ and also the catchphrase ‘Woosh kare khoosh’. The salesperson of

Woosh are also distributing these masks to the retailers.

 While earlier, it was pens, calenders which were in market for the branding of

the company, but now it is mask which is joining the lot and much more visible

to everyone in the public to catch the eyeballs. A mask is used to conceal the

face and if that mask is carrying the name of the brand, it gets a good recall and

the impact of it comes out good for the brand.

Nowadays mask is a prominent place to showcase the brand. There might be a

possibility that people may miss out the brand name on the T-shirts or sleeves,

but the brand name on the masks cannot be missed.

VIRAL MARKETING

Using the employee’s mask space to push brands and also making the extra

copies of the masks for distribution among retailers and even shop assistants are

catching the branding strategy of the companies. Visibility is high on the masks

as it is at the eye level, therefore, it cannot be missed by the shoppers on

retailers masks. This idea has also been proven as the conversation starter

between two people about the product or the service and other details related to

it.

There are four advantages which are found in this strategy:-

  1. Brand recognition;
  2. Recalling of the brand in the retail market;
  3. Safety and hygiene;
  4. It also enhances the self-esteem of the salesperson.

All these tasks get fulfilled by the branded masks. This strategy has also been adopted by those companies which are planning to launch a new product or campaign. The mask strategy is being used as the below-the-line activity of the companies. This strategy of marketing through masks has provided an edge to the companies and resulted in the growth of the business as well. Therefore, this methodology is being accepted widely amid covid times.

    BENEFITS OF THESE FACE MASKS

  • WALKING BILLBOARDS:- Face masks are in real sense walking billboards. You do not have to buy the area for your billboards advertisement on a stagnant place. These masks would work for you in today’s time. Everyone is aware that how masks have become the centre of attraction for all of us. It is the masks whose uniqueness catch our eyes at first. So, if the companies give their masks to their employees, they are investing their money on walking billboards, which will work for their marketing and will result in increase in their customers.
  • SAFETY OF CUSTOMERS:-  Branded masks make it quite apparent to the customers that their safety is the top priority of the company. By taking that extra measure of providing your employees with the customized face masks having logo of the company is a quite visible evidence for your customers to know that the company is taking every step to provide its customers the safe services and ensuring their safety and that’s their utmost agenda at the moment.
  • GIVEAWAYS:- The face masks with the logo of the company are the great giveaways at this moment, considering the level of pandemic whole world is facing, where the kit for survival includes the masks. So, gifting someone masks in this time of covid is not less than giving someone a life boon. Therefore, the face masks with branded logo can be great giveaways to the customers to make them feel valued and this in a way be a source of marketing as well for the company as the people who are not aware about the company will get to know about it when they will see someone known wearing the masks.
  • PROTECTION:- The most important element of the face masks being given by the company with their branded logo is the safety of the staffs and in turn the customers. Masks are meant for your protection as well as the protection of others and providing a mask will be a great step of the companies towards its contributions to the society in this time of pandemic.

 PROBLEMS ATTACHED WITH IT

 Despite masks being the great branding technique for the companies, but there have been found the availability of problems attached with it as well:-

  • Remaining accessible to all:-   One of the  most consequential problems attached with the masks strategy is figuring out a way to use masks in the branding strategy while being accessible as well for all. Most of the communications is visual, but when a branded mask is covering the face of the salesperson or the employee, this poses a restriction on a pivotal chance of the company to be inclusive.
  •  It is always in favor of the clients to rely on the provider’s face:-  Everyone is aware about the importance of the facial expression, how critical it is to see the clients’ reactions during a presentation, how important is to read the facial expressions of the team during a session. It is always advisable to know the comfortability of the clients, their requirements etc to be a better service provider and to build a trusting relationship. Therefore, the facial expression makes and experience less intimidating and most relied upon if the clients can see the face of the provider.
  • Miscommunications:-  When traditional masks are used, there is a high chance of miscommunication with people who generally rely on the visual communications, like deaf and the individuals who have problem in hearing. It is a known fact that someone who is hearing impaired, they rely on reading lips and facial expressions and if that is covered due to the branded masks, it brings the frequent chance of miscommunication.

These all are the reasons because of which few companies are preferring fully transparent masks as well for branding strategy to be inclusive of all.

CONCLUSION

Coming up with innovative branding or marketing strategies were always a preferred choice of the companies to attract the customers and the retailers towards their brands. The methods had been continuously changing to catch the customers from the market in their branding strategy. Though, covid time has brought many ups and downs for the companies economically, but this only opened an opportunity for the brands to strengthen their marketing strategies in form of the most attractive and relied method. And the success of many brands through this strategy, itself showing the power of this methodology.

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[1] It is the pandemic devastating the lives of the people all over the World.

[2] The logo of the company

[3] Nestle, L’Oreal, Unilever are the few examples of multiple branding.

[4]  Kleenex, Q-Tips are few in it.

[5] Procter & Gamble is one such example of it.

[6] Starbucks, Frappuccino, Snickers Ice Cream bars etc.

[7] Nike is one such example.

[8] Intel comes in this category.

[9] Mineral water resorts are most phenomenal examples of it.

[10] Elon Musk, Gary Vaynerchuk are most renowned in it.

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