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My thoughts on branding and promotion

By October 10, 2020No Comments
Beyond Critical Thinking

This is not a blog. It’s a codex – raw, unpolished and brutally frank.

I’m using this codex post to document my perspective on all things promotion and branding, for the benefit of Future Me as well as future team members at SANPRAM.

In my view, capturing attention for an idea is about three critical things:

  1. Being remarkable: It needs to stand out, plain and simple. Something people haven’t seen before, or at least not so frequently that they can gloss it over. It needs to disrupt their regular pattern so that they notice, remember and tell others about it.
  2. Being trustworthy: If people don’t trust it, they won’t buy it. And people pay extra all the time for things that they already trust, when a cheaper/better alternative may be available.
  3. Delivering 4x the value: 4 is not a completely arbitrary number, it simply means that the new solution ideally should be so much better than whatever they have right now, that they can never look back again. Ideas have to be at least that much better, or they won’t get on like fire. People switch to things that they perceive as much better because marginally better is often not worth the adventure.


I firmly believe that SANPRAM’s product fulfills #3 with flying colors – our course is 10x better than any other alternative. No question about it. What we need to work on, is #1 and #2.

As for being remarkable, I’m still working on it. Our ideas are definitely unique and our product/service is unique, but it hasn’t made a ruckus yet. With time, I’m sure it will.

And then, being trustworthy is a lifelong endeavor – trust is hard to gain and easy to lose. If that baby ever makes a mess, we better clean it up immediately. So far I don’t believe we have managed to break it.

What “brand” means

I think a “brand” is the ideas, beliefs and feelings that people associate you with. An example is, could you imagine what it would look like if McDonald’s opened a shoe store? What’s the first feeling that comes to your mind, and why?

Similarly, try to imagine Nike opening a restaurant. Does the first thing in your mind look like a McDonald’s? Why?

Through this thought exercise, you can grasp the idea of what “brand” means. The key to branding is the consistent projection of the same personality in how you conduct yourself. It is your character.

Where does this leave SANPRAM’s brand?

Honestly, I don’t want to put a branding slogan on SANPRAM. It also honestly doesn’t matter what I say. It is something fluid, that you can’t put into words.

Everything from the name and the logo, to the way we write our emails, to the kind of humour we use reflects our brand.

But as an education company, there are definitely some crucial components that our brand must evoke; the non-negotiables.

  1. We have our students’ very best interests at heart.
  2. We are the experts at what we do. Nobody on the planet can do our job better than we can.
  3. We are fun to be with.

Okay, that’s all for my musings today.


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