“It’s not about telling and selling. It’s about bringing a relationship mind-set to everything we do.” – Jim Stengel, CMO – Procter & Gamble
What is real value? What are the real human needs and desires? How does the existence of your business’ products or services, systems and technologies deliver a fair, if not exceptional value?
The idea that companies succeed by selling value is not new. What is key, is how customers define value in the different markets. On top of that, the definition of value constantly evolves with time. I have a Macbook Air for personal use. It was perfect for me – light weight, sleek, functional. I rooted for buying the same for Piquant’s business use but was flatly rejected. There are Ultrabooks that are hybrid laptop tablets with four different usage modes – good for presentations, typing away at cafes, watching videos and even reading on the go. Lenovo’s Yoga 2 Pro became a part of us.
Brands need to deliver real functionality – reliable products or services at competitive prices, delivered with ease and convenience. The strongest brands are often those that make the best use of emerging technologies with the objective of enhancing customers’ lives, AND are backed with outstanding customer service. (Note that all criteria has to be fulfilled)
While I begrudgingly admit that the specs of Yoga 2 are great, with any minor faults with the experience, my immediate thoughts would be to compare it with the Air. In all honesty, I am patiently waiting for the day Air converts into a hybrid laptop tablet, do an Apple to orange comparison (pardon the pun), before promptly convincing the IT director that we HAVE to buy it.
This emotional attachment, although not as tangible, is equally, if not a more important element to branding. Research has proven time and again that most decisions are made emotionally. Why? Because human beings are emotional beings. We are drawn to what inspires us. A brand that is clear and consistent, that can allow its target audience to relate to the important ideas it has, is a brand that will etch truths in hearts and minds – winning loyalty.
How will you do that? With limited resources and highly taxing operational duties as SME owners, how will you choose to make strategic decisions that invests in branding but doesn’t hurt the short-term bottom line, and reap the greater and sustainable rewards in the long term frame?
By Toh Ziling
In the upcoming posts, we will be sharing a series specially catered for SMEs – about why preserving the status quo would only harm your business. We will provide tips and the latest insights that would redefine the way you do business, along with little actionable steps you can take to build your brand. Do like our Facebook page to receive timely blog update notifications.