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What we can all learn from BTS’ Branding Strategy

In part 1, we covered why BTS mastered the art of personal branding to build a cult following of fans known as ARMY. In this article, let’s unpack what we can start doing to build a stronger brand for your company.

Like BTS, your business started from a bigger purpose beyond the direct problem you wanted to solve. In your journey to brand yourself for prospective customers, you must remember the values that you stand for.

Differentiate your brand through the “why” in the Golden Circle

Why do you do what you do?

Before you go about thinking about how to brand yourself, you must have clarity on the values that you stand for. The Golden Circle is a model created by Simon Sinek, which helps leaders suss out how they can inspire change by bringing the focus back to the “why”.

For us at Hatch, we have our “why” too — to empower every individual with carefully designed programmes, regardless of one’s paper qualifications.

If you want to develop a more distinctive value proposition for your brand, here is a step-by-step crash course on how you can conduct the exercise. Sit your team down for this — it’s important to get everyone on the same page.

Here are some guiding questions to think about to set the grounds right:

  • What are my values and purpose that drives me to want to sell my service and product?
  • Why only these values and purpose in particular out of many other possibilities?
  • Who am I targeting my services/products to and how should it impact them?

If you’re confident, go ahead and try conducting a full brand sprint to iron the nitty-gritty details of everything that makes your company sustainable and competitive.

Use this template to conduct timed exercises and find out what your employees think of the company’s growth and direction — you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the insights you can get. Remember, it’s the people that can take the company further.

Branding success does not happen overnight.

In your journey, you will face turbulence in the moments of doubts, difficulties and complexities which may not be easy to reconcile.

Stay committed and persevere by reminding yourself of why you do what you do.

Even as you start to reap the fruits of your labour, check yourself frequently. Does every action taken reinforce those values?

Wrapping up: Finding your Brand’s Purpose

BTS have achieved many impossible-s by building one heck of a brand. But really, there’s not much of a secret to it. If they can do it, so can you. Beneath all the glam and glory, it’s really just about understanding who you are and what you stand for. When you know your brand’s purpose and everything you do is a testament to the values you stand for, consumers will recognise your authenticity and doors will open.

The biggest lesson of all is to know what matters. Revenue is one thing but knowing your purpose is another.

Happy 9th Anniversary BTS!

Author’s note (Brand strategist taking a backseat, ARMY hopping in)

As an ARMY myself, I started listening to BTS’s music in 2014. Their music always featured themes that were relatable to me. It was as though someone was listening to my uncensored thoughts and worries buried deep within me, and I found serenity in being able to count BTS as a safe space to be vulnerable.

It’s definitely an amazing journey to see how far they have come. With the change in genres, the stunning successes, and most importantly, the seven members who stayed true to themselves throughout as loving and hardworking individuals, very much like you and I.

Of course, being a fan means your pockets will suffer a huge time (I am getting broke). The merchandise they release, the albums that they drop (that I bought even though I do not have a CD player), the concerts themselves… All of them were expenses that I was more than willing to part with because it felt right to do so. I remember I would push myself to save up my daily allowances and work part-time in order to save up and get tickets to their concerts.

Eventually, when I got to attend one in Singapore back in 2019, I truly had the best time ever. I had front-row seats to the sincerity and love they had for their fans, giving all of their energy to amazing performances and engaging with us to the best of their capabilities in English. They even tried to lead a massive Kallang wave from the entire stadium just like how you would see in football matches.

I will continue to support them as I have done so since 2014, because they are the best artists who have been there for me when I most needed them, and they deserve the best.

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Hatch is an impact-driven business with the mission to make digital and design opportunities accessible for all.