Friday, March 29, 2019

Do you sit down and whine?


“I don’t have money like the big brands.” is a common whiny statement from smaller businesses. This statement is often told to us consultants as part of a negotiating strategy for cheaper fees and at other times because these marketer’s are lazy to think.

Of course we know that your resources are lower than the big brands. But this history is filled with David versus Goliath stories. Take inspiration from that. So perhaps start with - what differentiates you? Or be more focused on a certain target or a certain product. Aim small miss small. Or what is your story? People buy stories behind the brand. Do you have a good story to tell? Look for the segment that your story resonates with and tell them that.

Do you do something about it?
 

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Where have all the customers gone?


It’s interesting when you hear some business people discuss how the internet has disrupted their business. Apparently, they don’t know where all the customers have gone.

But even before the advent of the internet or online businesses, customers have always been gravitated to your competitors anyway. It was always the business person’s job to figure out where his customers have gone and why did the customer leave? The questions and the diagnosis of the problem have not changed. Since the first cave man laid out the first hunted wild game for trade, keeping that customer and getting new customers have always been a crucial part of the game.

Don’t let your thinking be disrupted. Stay focused. The mediums and modes may have changed. But how to retain and gain the customers will always be about “what is in it for them to still do business with you?”

What is in it for them?
 

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Why are you nervous?

 
Never let sexy words give you anxiety. Big data is just a phrase. Businesses have always collected data. It’s just that now data is easier to collect, faster and in real time. It’s something to be happy about. Not give you anxiety.

How are the numbers?
 

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

What does success feel like?


Wherever you want your business to be there are enablers and there are experts. These people can help you. But you must first know your destination. Knowing where you want to be, work backwards and work out the key milestones. Then find the help you need to get you there.


Monday, March 25, 2019

Have you buttoned down the basics?


We do brand and marketing audits for businesses all the time. You will be surprised how many small and medium businesses do not have a proper website much less a digital strategy. With technology on steroids now, it is a matter of time before they are left behind.

Standing still now means you are falling backwards as everyone dashes forward. You cannot afford to jog or run now. You have to sprint and you better ensure that whoever is running the business has the endurance to do this.

How is your stamina?
 

Friday, March 22, 2019

What would you do?


A friend asked me the other day, if he were to start a small business tomorrow and needed to do branding what would I advise? I was not supposed to think about it and rattle off quickly.

Here is what I came up:

Start early and start right. Get your brand name right and do it in the right process. Most small business owners think a name, a logo and its colours is branding. Understand that branding is more than that.

Be prepared to fail. But because you started early and you start as correctly as possible, the risk is mitigated in that you can restart if you fail and you have done your research to know what you don’t know.

Listen, learn and action. Listen to the right counsel. You don’t listen to your nephew’s friend who is a hair dresser advice you on your health, so too your mom’s mahjong club members should not advice you on your brand. Learn from players in your category and parallel categories. Then it’s time to take action. Don’t just keep going in circles of listening and learning. Action takes you forward.

How would you do it?
 

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Do you have a base?


In The Romance of The Three Kingdoms, Zhuge Liang famously advised Liu Bei to borrow the city of Jing as a base for him to build his kingdom. While as a brand you cannot borrow users and consumers, you can gain these. If you are a start-up or SME brand, ask yourself, where can you build your base. Who is going to be your loyal customer? Your fan-base. Your evangelist. Whatever sexy name you want to give this group of customers.

Of course, your ‘base’ doesn’t just have to be consumers. What is your flagship SKU? Your flagship product that has the potential to be the biggest winner is your product base. Start there. Spend on it. Make it a hero. Make it the base where you will launch future successes.

Where will your success start from?