6 Amazingly Awesome Insights on how to Build a Brand Legacy in the Age of Now

We recently caught up with Yuriy. As the head of marketing communications at Kyivstar in Ukraine, he has some great insights about creating a sustainable brand. He’ll also convince you that diving is the greatest activity in the world (which it actually is!).

Anyway, let’s cover Yuriy’s ideas on building an awesome brand. Here are his 6 insights:

1. You don’t have flying unicorns to sell

Sure, your brand can make dreams come true. But you’re not going to deliver a genie that can grant any wish. Instead of trying to sell a flying unicorn, which you don’t have unless you’re someone seriously magical, understand your product and all the benefits it brings.

Yuriy’s marketing career has spanned across numerous industries. And it’s taught him the importance of understanding the product.

“I’ve been a brand manager for a beer company, which is quite different from telco. Beer is a fixed product. You have a solid idea of what it is and the experience it creates — and you sell that. In telco, there are so many more experiences customers can have. For marketing in telco, you have a big white canvas. There’s more room for imagination,” states Yuriy.

Now, that’s solid analysis from Yuriy. To be great at building a brand, you have to really grasp how to present the product or service to customers.

“To create a brand, you first have to love the brand. Second, you must be creative about how you convey the product and be open-minded about what can be done with the brand. Third, you have to know how a brand is structured — there must a comprehensive strategy that has purpose, consistency, emotion, and more,” notes Yuriy.

So, here’s the first key to building an awesome brand: Know — and love — what you’re selling, and have the right mix of creativity and structure when building campaigns.

2. A brand campaign is kind of like a train ride

What’s cool is that campaign and train rhyme. But let’s get back to the point: Before you brainstorm, know what you want out of a campaign. This way, your creative ideas will align with your strategy.

Yuriy recently led a campaign for Kyivstar that had tremendous success. It all started with concrete goals.

“When we were planning the campaign, we first clarified our goals. We wanted to show Kyivstar as an emotional, family-oriented brand. We also wanted to display pride in Ukraine as a country and how we’re a part of modern society here. And we needed to show the power of our services — the cellular coverage,” states Yuriy.

So, how could all this be combined nicely into one concept? For Yuriy and the team, that meant thinking outside the box. That’s how Tsipa came into existence.

The Kyivstar campaign created around Tsipa, a stuffed toy bird, tells the story of a family on a train ride in Ukraine. During the ride, the young girl can’t find Tsipa. Soon, the toy is located elsewhere and begins its journey back to the family. From her phone, the young girl watches Tsipa’s incredible adventure throughout Ukraine. At the end, Tsipa knocks on the door, and the family embraces the toy.

It’s truly an emotional, uplifting story.

By having clear goals for the campaign, Yuriy and the team at Kyivstar were able to direct their creativity in positive ways for the brand. The train ride reached a better destination than originally imagined.

Meet Tsipa

3. There’s only one Tsipa

For each brand campaign, Yuriy and the team aim to differentiate Kyivstar from others. Tsipa helped Kyivstar become more unique — and touch the hearts of customers.

Original Sketches of Tsipa
“Tsipa’s story just captivated the audience in amazing ways. Afterward, we had parents on Facebook asking for Tsipa for their children. We now have Tsipa giveaways and offer the toy as a bonus gift with in-store phone and plan purchases,” says Yuriy.

Clearly, there is incredible value in being able to separate your brand from the pack. Thanks to innovative brand campaigns like the one with Tsipa, Kyivstar has gained meaningful and lasting connections with customers.

We’ve connected emotionally to our customers, and it’s helped us translate online engagement into offline interaction,” explains Yuriy.

The journey continues with more differentiation as Yuriy’s team has been rolling out an Augmented Reality and Virtual reality extension of the campaign. Using their mobile and the VR glasses, customers can unlock sepcial content and promotions and bring a VR & AR version of Tsipa to life.

VR and AR + Tsipa= Love:)

4. You can’t do much with your eyes shut

Dr. Seuss once said, “You’ll miss the best things if you keep your eyes shut.”

Now, this may seem obvious. But it’s worth restating — especially if you hope to achieve more with your brand. After all, you can’t come up with brilliant ideas if you don’t open your eyes and mind. Yuriy’s career path proves this.

Yuriy has worked in a variety of roles in sales, marketing, production, and brand management. He’s worked in numerous industries, including consumer goods, film, and telecom. Along the way, he’s been learning constantly. That’s because he’s kept his eyes open.

“All of the challenges I’ve encountered along the way have helped me not just improve my skills and knowledge, but also learn how to adapt and apply creativity,” says Yuriy.

That ability to adapt and be creative is something Yuriy values highly. That’s why he’s implemented “Creative Fridays” at Kyivstar.

“Creative Fridays are about having a platform for utilizing our imaginations. We spend time working with agencies, reading books and materials, exchanging ideas, and more,” explains Yuriy. “We want a dialogue and this helps to generate realistic ideas for our brand.”

Now, Creative Fridays sound like something where a lot gets accomplished. That’s nice — because then Yuriy and the team at Kyivstar can go into the weekend on a high note.

5. You wouldn’t go skydiving without a parachute

Well, you wouldn’t go skydiving without a parachute unless you were Luke Aikins. The man jumped from 7,620 meters and landed safely without a parachute.

Wait a second. That’s amazing. But how does this apply to building a brand? The lesson here is that you have certain tools to assist you (like a parachute). Using them will aid you greatly in getting to where you need to go successfully.

At Kyivstar, Yuriy doesn’t see things like big data and analytics as inhibiting creativity. Rather, these new technologies are guides for brand campaigns to effectively put creative ideas into action.

“For instance, data is a key resource we have for finding insights, coming up with ideas, and measuring the success of our campaigns,” attests Yuriy. “We absolutely must take advantage of all our tools.”

It’s not just data that can be a partner in brand campaigns. User-generated content can be an important asset as well. After all, user-generated content is considered more credible than other content types.

“Not only does user-generated content enable us to reach more folks, it also provides insights on the experiences we’re expected to deliver at Kyivstar,” posits Yuriy.

To make your brand big, be sure to use all your resources. If that involves sponsoring someone who’s planning to jump out of a plane without a parachute, do it (well, only do it if that person knows what they’re doing).

6. Play the piano, go diving, and just live

Don’t forget to take time for yourself. That rest and relaxation will make you better at building your brand when you get back to work.

“For me, diving is the greatest thing. Diving means freedom. When you’re under the water, all that matters is the moment in front of you,” exclaims Yuriy.

When Yuriy’s outside the office, you’ll also find him making music. Or perhaps he’ll be listening to his favorite composer, Yiruma.

“You should check out Yiruma’s greatest hits,” says Yuriy.

Your brand can shine

You probably want to go diving now, right? Before you do, take these tips to heart. Then, you’ll be ready to build an unstoppable brand. And, at the end of the day, the only thing left to do will be to go diving.

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