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What makes a brand stand out in the digital age – Interview with entrepreneur Navin Ramharak

© Navin Ramharak

Having started his first business venture at just the age of 16, Canadian entrepreneur Navin Ramharak has been helping startups and brands stand out for over a decade. After running two successful startups, he founded his own agency, Nimbus Creative with 3 friends. Following on from his early adventures in business, he then became a freelance consultant and now works with businesses in a variety of industries to help them expand their client base around the world.

After moving to Los Angeles, Navin started building a new global basketball brand called In The Lab that is set to take on the sporting giants including the likes of Nike and Adidas. Creating content that captivates audiences across social media and conceptualizing a brand’s aesthetic has been the key to his success. With his background in marketing, e-commerce and branding, Navin’s next project is already building a loyal client base in the U.S., China, India and countries across Europe.

Discover what makes a brand stand out, and what entrepreneurs and business owners need to do to make sure they capitalize on opportunities in the current digital landscape.

In discussion with Navin Ramharak

How can brands stand out from the crowd?

Navin: The easiest way is to invest heavily into producing better content and improving your messaging. While it seems like everyone is producing content these days, the reality is that most people are struggling to hold their audience’s attention – mostly due to poor content quality. By spending time learning your audience and crafting a message that’s compelling to them, you’ll stand head and shoulders above your competition – raising the tide on everything else you’re doing to grow your brand in the meantime.

What would you say are some of the opportunities that brands should be capitalizing on in the digital economy?

Navin: One of the main opportunities that brands need to capitalize on is partnering with influencers to expand their reach. This is advantageous for many reasons. By partnering with influencers, you can double, triple, or quadruple your warm traffic almost overnight…something that is much harder to do with other forms of marketing. By partnering with influencers, you can also gain an advantage in your cash flow by agreeing to pay influencers a commission on the traffic/sales they drive. As a final note, using influencers in your paid and organic advertising campaigns brings an element of social proof to your brand, which is a powerful persuasion tool to drive sales. 

What can branding do to help companies make more sales? What do you find is essential?

Navin: Branding can mean the difference between growth at breakneck speed or painfully slow progress. Branding gets neglected so much because people have become focused on the instant gratification that is (sometimes) achievable with paid advertising and gimmicky marketing. A strong core message and supporting visual assets are the essentials when it comes to branding. Work with a designer or brand strategist to nail this down in the beginning, and watch as you start to stand out from the crowd in the eyes of your target audience.

© Navin Ramharak

When developing content, what should brands consider to get the most out of social media?

Navin: It’s important to make a decision on where you’re going to get the most ROI first. If I’m in the B2B space, I’d focus heavily on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter (in that order) to get started. If I’m in the B2C space, I’d focus heavily on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook and Twitter (in that order). By focusing on high-impact platforms first, you’ll see results more quickly and meet your audience where they’re at. At the same time, it’s important to create a great user experience when it comes to consuming your content. Using high-quality photos and videos is a great place to get started, but implementing things like vertical videos, carousels, and captions on your Instagram posts are great ways to improve your content’s quality as an example.

Can you share some insights into any recent projects you’ve been working on? What were some of the challenges?

Navin: The fun part of building a brand in the digital age, is that there is always something new to learn and conquer. Whether it’s the constantly changing algorithms, the addition of new platforms, or the constant need to reinvent and create better content.

What I want to share with everyone is the challenge and importance of building a community. The brands that will succeed the best long term are those that are cultivating an amazing community. They are taking their customers/fans and engaging with them, running events, contests, giveaways and more to ensure they feel wanted and important. The big challenge I see right now with brands I consult with is that they have no idea about building a community and they aren’t prioritizing it.

You need to utilize platforms like Discord & Geneva, they are becoming more and more mainstream. This will allow you to start building your community and engage with them daily, once you put your customers truly first you will see how important this is long term.

For entrepreneurs and small businesses thinking about building an online presence, what would you say are some good strategies to get started?

Navin: If you’re just getting started, the key is to lean into your branding and marketing, don’t run away from it. If you invest the time upfront to learn the craft of content creation, marketing, and advertising, it’ll pay huge dividends in the long run. At the same time, don’t stretch yourself too thin…be as efficient with your energy and time as possible when it comes to those early growth stages.

Lastly, what are some of the emerging trends you can see that will impact how entrepreneurs and businesses approach their content in the future?

Navin: Those who invest in their content and messaging now will win big in the future. It’s something that people are starting to realize now, but the whole idea hasn’t become super mainstream yet because it’s very “un-sexy”. The sooner you get started, the more easily you’ll be able to adapt to all of the future’s newest trends and content-creation hacks.