Monday, November 30, 2009

Sales before branding?

To many times, I've commonly seen this problem happening with would be business entrepreneurs. The echo is always about getting in the sales first before embarking on any sort of marketing activities. What is the best way to get sales? Throw a promotion they say...

I have to say, in my experience both are VERY important and you can't put one before the other. Why? Glad you asked... if you're to concerned with sales and only push promotions with your business, what happens to your brand? You'll soon be known only for cheap products or services. Let's face it, the point of all promotions is to ultimately build sales. In the long run, you quickly see diminishing profits and no brand at all.

On the flip side, being too concerned with branding alone can be difficult as a lot of branding activities usually require a fair amount of budget and time. Without any sales = profits, can you really carry out much branding activities. I have to say, there are only so many cheap and low cost brand building ideas.

Thus, the smart brand knows how to walk the fine line between the two.

I'll be back soon to teach you how to start thinking about great promotions to build sales whilst also creating a brand presence for your products and services.

Talk to ya soon. T

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

The end of Advertising as we know it

This post is rather an echo of Seth Godin's post on 24th Sept 2009. You can read the full post here

The point I find rather interesting is that this post is remarkably accurate to what I see as the sunset of mass advertising. In the continuous drive to digitise our lives, company's of the future will probably not be willing to spend so easily on advertising which is unmeasurable (i.e. billboards, newspapers, etc).

I believe that companies of the future will want to know exactly where their advertising spend is going to as well as how well it is working. Thus arbitrary figures such as "we reach 1 million people" will no longer cut it!

Companies want to know exactly how many people are receiving / reading / seeing their advertisements as well as how effective are the promotions which they are running.

So I see an end it sight, question is do the owners of traditional media see it coming?

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

OCBC's big marketing Flaw

A funny thing just happened to me, I just received a call from OCBC Bank. They asked if I had a home loan and when I mentioned I did not they proceeded to tell me if I was ever to consider getting a home loan I should consider OCBC bank. DONE. End of conversation which took less than 2 minutes.

2 things come to mind immediately, first off why would I bother getting an OCBC loan when I have had no prior contact with them. Do they seriously assume that from one single 2 minute call I would be interested to get a home loan from them?

Second, this lack of engagement or even relationship building on OCBC's part only confirms that they (i.e. OCBC) are only interested in selling to me.

As per my previous post, I mentioned that brands need to engage their customers. That goes for everything. Contact in any form must strive to build some kind of relationship with the potential or existing customer.

So, did OCBC make a huge marketing mistake - YES. Was their marketing technique time and money wasting - YES again! Two wrongs don't make a right.

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Communicating your brand

Brands need to communicate more with their consumers. That is the gist of great branding today.

Here's an excerpt of an article found from The edge - a malaysian based newspaper. You can find the whole article here

(There is also a clear trend towards proactive consumers (prosumers). These are consumers who actively generate content for sites, communicate with brands, and network online. In Malaysia, this group is dominated by Malaysian youth aged 20-24, according to the Synovate Media Atlas Malaysia Q3 2007-Q2 2008.
“Communication between brands and the consumer used to be one way. Now, it is a lot more interactive,” says Murphy. “The best brands, such as Nike and Coca Cola, invite consumers to interact, to provide ideas and feedback in exchange for rewards.")

A brand today has got to be more personal and more human. So how do you go about communicating your brand?

Well, one can start from the many fold places in the big 'ol world wide web, whether its a simple linked-in or even a facebook account. But whilst managing your on-line profile, don't forget about your other communication methods such as your consumers who have a mobile phones.

In Asia, the proliferation of data plans such as 3G is still relatively low, thus many phone holders still communicate via sms. For those of us in Asia not able to use accounts such as Twitter then they are in luck for I came across a service called Hailer

Companies such as Hailer and Twitter exist to help brands communicate. Hailer, for example allows its clients to communicate with mobile phone users who do not have data plans such as 3G thus giving potential brands the ability to communicate with millions of mobile users.

The great thing about this is, Hailer is set up on a platform which allow brands to create channels where mobile users can subscribe to. This type of setup forces brands to communicate responsibly where if a brands starts spamming its subscribers these subscribers can choose to unsubscribe to the brands channel.

Thus the ability to communicate goes both ways. Brands can now interact with its customers but in a responsible manner and consumers can now tell brands their thoughts and feelings. Gone I believe are the days where brands can be faceless and corporate.

In conclusion, the need for brands to communicate today is even more pressing then before. With the bountiful ways with which a brand can now communicate itself whether on-line or via mobile, I'm sure many will be interested to get in on the situation. So, grab your mouses and warm up your laptops and click away...

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Principles for Sale

It seems these days; everything is for sale whether its opinions, integrity or principles. The idea is... throw enough money at anyone and you'll be able to buy their point of view.

To successfully build brands, I believe there needs to be integrity in the way companies or organisations go about their business. Without it, all that's left is a rotting foundation of lies.

So, the question is, are you brave enough to do what you say or is it the other way round?

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

5 things to consider before embarking on Store Branding

Hey there,

Its been a while since I've last updated but I wanted to share with you a contributor on my blog which is Ms. Pamy Wong. She is a retail specialist in Retail Architecture and she was recently a guest on the toolkit segment of the BFM radio show.

She was speaking on 5 Things to consider before embarking on store branding and attached is the excerpt of the interview.

1) Name: It defines the type of business you are in.

2) Product / Service: Knowing your product / service in detail will help you to identify the correct target market you should focus your marketing activities and brand towards.

3) Target Market: Identifying your target market will let you know the kind of customers who would want your product/service. There is no such thing as a product / service which is catered to everyone.

4) Place: When choosing a place, it is important to identify the following criteria:
- Traffic movement of the area
- Visibility of your store
- Suitability of the place to match the target market you are going for

5) Concept: Your concept store concept should be act like a billboard on the highway, it should be attract customers interest and ultimately draw them into your store to browse and purchase your products /services.

For those who want to listen to the whole interview, I've attached the link here

For more in depth information. I would strongly recommend you listen to the interview.Take care and Happy BRanding!

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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Concerns for Small & Medium Businesses

Hey everyone,

Just a short note to share on the site to link to for a radio interview done on the 18th June 2009 at BFM 89.9. Its about how Small and Medium Sized companies struggle to grow their business and how marketing is a tool commonly unused by these companies. This is the link below.

To conclude, a quote from the radio podcast -
"Marketing is not beyond SME's who need to start looking at Marketing as a basic tool in their artillery"

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