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  • Viknesh Kastor

Successful Businesses Build Their Brands

Bringing absolute clarity on branding as a launch pad to effective marketing and sales activities.


Let’s dive straight into the haystack in search of the needle.


Last week, I guest wrote a section in an article by an insightful content marketer, Alfred Chung on “why niching down positions you as the go to expert?” I mentioned in that article that even a goliath such as Apple actually has segmented its audiences and effectively marketed to them, allowing for the exponentiation of its impact. Interacting with niche audiences does not necessarily mean you are ‘selling’ to a small segment; you are effectively harnessing the power of a small collective to speak for you. We all know by now the word of mouth marketing (or WOMM, if you prefer acronyms to sound ‘intelligent’) is a powerful form of marketing, which itself is dependent on the ability to deliver on its promise and to tell a story. Most companies wrestle with how they can harness this power, often trying to find the next thing that will be shared on social media like a wildfire. In the hands of executives out of touch with their customers’ sentiments and missing cultural contexts, going viral becomes an unfocused desperate attempt to relate to audiences. I would make the case that such companies, did not brand themselves to begin with. They are desperately trying to find a needle in the haystack, to stay relevant to every single one of the 7.4 billion people on earth (or 5.54 million in Singapore).



Don’t put the Cart before the Horse.


Let’s clear this hot mess; even global giants have made such mistakes.  Giants that thought they were big enough to introduce a product that will be loved by their target markets without understanding or interacting with them. Smaller companies would not be able to survive such blunders financially, and failure to brand both the company and its products is a sign for the slow death of a business. The age of information hasn’t stopped businesses from embarking on ill-conceived marketing activities and hiring (and firing) platoons of sales reps doomed to lose customers to a strong, strategically branded competitor.  With 189,000 (2014) enterprises in Singapore, It’s an all-out war with competitors eyeing for a larger share within your target market that you’ve failed to capture. Branding is a key activity in determining your target market and the channels needed to reach them. Marketing before knowing your brand direction is akin to walking without knowing your destination, and it’s an absolute certainty that valuable resources will be spent frivolously to the point of desperation in trying to stay afloat thereafter. A business cannot thrive when it’s struggling to survive, and it’s the survival of the lovable in today’s world of ideas and values.



Successful, long term businesses are Brands.


There’s a saying in The Action Plan, ‘Build a Brand, and your legacy will follow’. More than being just a catchy statement, it has proven time and again that Branding has been the key ingredient in building a successful long term business. Every successful business has a strong brand that speaks to their audiences; going from strength to strength each year through relationships they build by satisfying the needs and wants of their customers. Where late adopters struggle, early adopters are able to make sense of valuable information from their brand building efforts and being ahead of everyone in the market. It’s essential to know your brand personality, your target customers and your competitors well enough for you to craft and manage an effective brand strategy, allowing you to weather bad market conditions and stand the test of time.

© The Action Plan


Sources:

Berry, T. (n.d.). Product and brand failures: a marketing perspective. Retrieved from: http://www.mplans.com/articles/product-and-brand-failures-a-marketing-perspective/

Brand Personality. (n.d.). Retrieved from: http://www.investopedia.com/terms/b/brand-personality.asp

Chung, A. (2016. February 21). Why niching down helps you stand out, builds your authority and wins you more high quality clients?. Retrieved from: http://www.toyourtribescontent.com/niching-down/

Department of Statistics Singapore. (2015, September 30). Singapore Population.Retrieved from: http://www.singstat.gov.sg/docs/default-source/default-document-library/statistics/visualising_data/singapore-population30092015.pdf

Department Of Statistics Singapore. (2014). Profile Of Enterprises in Singapore. Retrieved from: https://www.singstat.gov.sg/docs/default-source/default-document-library/statistics/visualising_data/profile-of-enterprises-2014.pdf

Johnson, E. (2010, January 31). Brands to Last: Building a Winning and Enduring Brand. Retrieved from: http://www.success.com/article/brands-to-last-building-a-winning-and-enduring-brand

Lake, L. (n.d.). Why is Branding Important When it Comes to Your Marketing?. Retrieved from: http://marketing.about.com/cs/brandmktg/a/whatisbranding.htm

The Power Of Word Of Mouth Marketing. (n.d.). Retrieved from: https://www.shuttlerock.com/articles/power-word-mouth-marketing/

Worldometers. (n.d.). Retrieved from: http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/

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