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  • Writer's pictureAICREATIVV

Branding and Marketing 101: 4 Key Lessons for Business Owners

We taught branding and marketing to new business owners at Darussalam Enterprise’s Accelerate Bootcamp; here are 4 of the key points we wanted them to take home.


AICREATIVV teaches branding and marketing at DARe Accelerate Bootcamp

Startup owners are always looking for a way to bring their business venture to the next level. Darussalam Enterprise (DARe) was offering startup owners in Brunei this opportunity with their Accelerate Bootcamp, where they provide opportunities for investment, sustainable growth, and mentorship. Angie Ang, an advocate for entrepreneurship among Bruneian youth, was looking for somebody to teach a course on Branding and Marketing to the Bootcamp participants and approached us to do the job.


Having supported AICREATIVV’s growth since the beginning of their journey, Angie believed that Imamull and Amal’s experiences building a creative agency from the ground up would be motivational for new business owners today to hear. So, Imamull, Amal, Najihah, and Iman gathered all their knowledge and experience, organised it into 8 hours of course material about branding and marketing, and shared it with a group of around 15 startup owners eager to improve their business. Here’s what one of the participants had to say about our mini-course:


“The session was quite insightful for us to start to learn and understand basic branding for our startup. Thank you for making it easy for us to learn and understand more.”

If you missed the Bootcamp, don’t fret! Here, we reiterate 4 points that we taught in the course, that we believe every startup owner should know when it comes to branding and marketing your business.


Lesson #1: A Brand is Not a Logo


Amal Osmera of AICREATIVV teaching branding to participants are DARe Accelerate Bootcamp
Amal Osmera teaching branding to startup owners at DARe's Accelerate Bootcamp.

Amal is our Creative Director and Brand Strategist, and is also a co-founder of AICREATIVV. At DARe’s Accelerate Bootcamp, she explained how important branding is if you want your company to stand out in an over-saturated industry, and one of the first things that Amal emphasised was the definition of a brand.


There is a common misconception that a company’s brand boils down to its visual elements: the logo, the signature colours, or maybe a mascot. Actually, the visual brand is only one piece of the puzzle, and a brand is made up of many complex yet important interlocking pieces. Creating a brand is almost like creating a whole person: every person has a face, but there is only so much you can tell from a face alone. The personality underneath can only begin to show itself when you talk to the person and give them a platform to express themselves. By this logic, a logo is like a person’s face, while a brand is the personality underneath.


Amal felt that business owners needed to realise that a brand is more than a logo because she wanted them to understand what they’re getting into when they say, “I want to brand my company.” Whether they want to begin the process independently or outsource an agency to develop a brand for them, it will give them peace of mind to know what they should be getting out of a branding project.


Lesson #2: Craft a Brand Voice for a Competitive Edge


Najihah Osmera of AICREATIVV teaching verbal branding to participants are DARe Accelerate Bootcamp
Najihah Osmera speaks about crafting a brand voice at DARe's Accelerate Bootcamp.

Najihah is our Lead Creative Copywriter, and at DARe, she shared some basic principles of verbal branding and how you can find your brand voice. In her opinion, she believes that business owners should understand the four main reasons why verbal branding is important in the first place.


This is because, during her time as a copywriter, Najihah realised that verbal branding is often overlooked, partly due to the misconception that visual branding makes up a large part of the process. But because business owners tend to neglect developing the way they want to sound like to the world, they end up following trends or familiar marketing language, causing many local businesses to sound similar.


In reality, infusing a personality into your messaging is one of the best ways to market your business well. It not only sets you apart from others in the industry, but by choosing a verbal brand that resonates with your target audience, you also become more relatable and memorable to them, making them more likely to come back to you.


So, the four main reasons that verbal branding is important are:


  • Characterisation - to infuse your brand’s personality into your content and copy

  • Connection - to form a strong emotional connection with your target audience

  • Consistency - to be consistent across all your communication platforms

  • Competition - to set your brand apart from your competitors


Lesson #3: Every Visual Brand Includes 5 Basic Components


Iman Shamsuddin of AICREATIVV teaching visual branding to participants are DARe Accelerate Bootcamp
Iman Shamsuddin talks about visual branding to the participants of DARe Accelerate Bootcamp.

Iman is our Lead Creative Designer, and went into a lot of technical detail about visual branding at DARe’s Accelerate Bootcamp. She believes that every startup owner who wants to develop their visual brand should - at the least! - be aware of the basic components, which are:


  • The logo

  • The signature colours

  • The typography

  • The supporting elements (which include illustrations, photography, videography, etc.)

  • A brand guideline


Iman feels that this is important to know because ideally, branding comes first, and marketing comes after. While the process doesn’t necessarily have to follow this sequence, it’s always a good idea to finalise your brand from the beginning so that your marketing efforts appear consistent and on-brand every time.


If you know the basics, then you’ll also know what needs to be in your guideline for a fully comprehensive visual brand. Plus, being aware of your options allows you to explore and experiment on the different ways your visual brand could look, so that you could discover the aesthetic that suits your company best.


Lesson #4: Know Your Target Audience to be Heard


Imamull Qhaeer of AICREATIVV teaching marketing to participants are DARe Accelerate Bootcamp
Imamull Qhaeer shares insight on business marketing at DARe Accelerate Bootcamp.

Imamull, our General Manager and the second co-founder of AICREATIVV, poured his three years of experience running the company into his presentation, sharing the things he’s learned throughout his journey that have been carrying him forward.


He covered many points during the bootcamp: how to build a user persona that describes your ideal customer, how to form messaging that sticks, or how to present yourself as an expert in your industry, to name a few. However, one lesson that he repeatedly came back to in every topic was to understand who you are marketing to. To form your user persona is to know the types of people that your product or service is catered to; to craft the perfect message is to know what sorts of things your target audience will most likely listen to or resonate with; to present yourself as an expert is to know what struggles your target audience is going through to find value in the things you say.


Your target audience even has a say in your overall brand, because how the public perceives your brand is just as, or even more important than how you want your brand to be perceived. For example, you might design your logo with specific meanings for the shapes or images that you use. But if the meanings are not obvious at first glance, the public will perceive your logo at face value, and assign meaning as they see fit. It doesn’t matter what you want them to perceive; the voice of public opinion will drown out your own.


So remember - in every decision that you make in your company, your target audience should always be at the forefront of your decision-making process.


4 Lessons Closer to a Stronger Brand


The team at AICREATIVV knows how important it is to brand and market your company well to achieve impressive business growth. If you are a business owner and want to implement effective branding and marketing strategies, but don’t know where to start, here are 4 key lessons that our team believes are essential for every business owner to know:


  • A brand is more complex than its visual elements

  • The four reasons to develop a verbal brand are characterisation, connection, consistency, and competition

  • The five basic components of a visual brand are the logo, colours, typography, supporting elements, and a brand guideline

  • Your target audience is an important factor in many business aspects


AICREATIVV too began as a small business three years ago, run by two people who wanted to make their mark in the creative agency, and who understand firsthand that having a startup comes with its fair share of challenges. We were honoured and excited to be given the opportunity to share what we’ve learned with people who are in the same position we were in three years ago. We hope that the participants of DARe’s Accelerate Bootcamp found something of value in our course, and that it’ll help boost their business towards success.


We would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to Angie Ang for giving us this opportunity to grow with new experiences while helping others grow as well. We have always admired Angie for her continuous support for entrepreneurs and startup owners in Brunei, and we’re thrilled to be a part of her advocacy. We would also like to thank Fariz Julaihi and his team for capturing every moment of the course as our photographer and videographer.


If you would like to learn more about our experience at Darussalam Enterprise’s Accelerate Bootcamp, let’s start a conversation at hi@aicreativv.com. Our emails are always open.


Let’s make the magic happen together!


AICREATIVV team and DARe participants at the end of the Branding and Marketing course for the Accelerate Bootcamp.
Thank you to the team at DARe - we had a blast!

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