1. Align your Product/Service as close as possible with the target consumer.
Hey Brand Guardians and Business owners,
How do you make sense of a rapidly disruptive market?
The only answer to that question is data backed by authentic research, both in the Marketing and Product Design verticals. Your Marketing research has to come back with real insights, it's not a blah or a bland thing that we all got to do, check your marketing surveys, were they done with real people? All of them?
Is the truth about the experience of your product reaching you in all it's fairness? Go back and review if your marketing research is covering up some of the spaces with mock interviews rather than real ones.
Don't assume you know people too well, after a couple of years in the business, it can happen to anyone. And, don't let that comfort run deep anywhere in your office as well. If you want to remain in vogue, then you have to build a real connection, based on intelligent, exhaustive market surveys with a range of demography in the population.
What a 20 year old has to say will differ greatly about the same service or product compared to a 50 year old. Especially in FMCG. Look at the way Fintech is responding to the needs of a younger generation and only those who take pre-mediated action to improve the feature and functions of their applications; garner respect and sustained consumer growth. When it comes to Product design, it does take a bit of time to rollout something that requires investment in terms of time, energy and fabrication, but it's worth it. Either, you can renew your product to match demand or you can see someone new displace your sales.
Competition is tough, it's real and good survey is the only boat that can save a brand from itself.
Here are different type of researches that help to make an informed opinion on how well a product or service is doing in the market. These are are some of the fundamental ones!
- User Experience Research (before Product Design)
- Experience Design (a part of how the product is rolled out, or presented)
- Qualitative Research (After the Product Roll out)
- Brand Audit (reviews current position in the market)
2. What you say is everything! Keep an eye on Brand Communications.
What you do is only one part of the story, what you say is another.
Right Communication is the platform of a great product, if the platform shakes, the product will get killed.
Our generational intelligence has evolved. Youth is the voice of our society, the other groups can get into poetry, but political vigour and the tone of our times is very well set by young people. They no longer want to buy from brands whose CEO or top executives display racist, LGBTQ phobic or divisional statements, even by mistake.
Girls are no longer expected to play dolls, and boys are no longer pushed into a cubicle of 9-5 regimen, any communication that hurts the sentiment of equality, justice and self expression, is going to hurt the brand itself.
The social fabric of our world is not woven with what is really happening, but what you really say and feel about what is happening around us.
Of course, the parents of these young people fill their homes with all kinds of fears and disgust for the other people, but that's not something they can change, what they can choose or change is your brand, so stay away from volatile situations, create an atmosphere of internal and external respect as an org and make sure that you create a brand that has expressed what it believes in quite explicitly. No time for a brand to be an introvert and leave it to the imagination of consumers. Brands in the younger years are a way of expression, it's a materialist thought, but that's what it is. Otherwise, Why would someone be proud of a Hermes bag? And at that too, we have now transitioned into a world of vegan, no cruelty Hermes line ups, How do you think this happened? There was no uprise or protest, Hermes is simply responding to the sentiments of today, aligning brand identity with what's important to the value system of our consumers.
3. Customer service is your soul, Don't keep people hanging!
The After purchase experience is what keeps your brand going.
Well, okay, you were able to successfully sell the product one time to a customer, great! But a bad after sales experience will make them develop wrath, not to mention, utter discontentment. Then; it does not matter, if your brand wants to become Nelson Mandela of today, your brand is going to fall off the grids of respect very fast. Nothing can save a brand that is not invested in really working hard to service their existing customer base. So many people lose their minds waiting in line to your brand's customer care executive, you know, we know some people who are kept on hold for so long that they genuinely start wishing your brand dies, and believe me, these things do come true.
In so many botched after sales events, we have observed frustrated customers express in agony, they say, What should we do? We feel very helpless, in the shop, they were very cordial, but the moment we paid off the price, it's as if we don't exist. Now, is that the kind of brand you want to build? Is this a proud feeling? to make someone suffer, it is equal to a con artist, but you are not a con-artist, you have worked so hard to create a brand that works well, looks and feels great, and all that effort will just go down the drain, unless you pay attention to your after sales department just they way you do for all the crucial departments like product design, marketing or sales.
4. Deliver value that makes a consumer feel - "This is so worth it!"
Too often, consumers walk around a sea of brands, and they need to relish the fact that their money was well spent. Especially for African and Asian markets, it holds a large lens. A car is judged more for competitive mileage than the luxury aspect. You will find a fierce competition in this area, car manufacturers are setting a very difficult precedent for each other, as the lines between a practical and luxury car begin to blur. Now someone who delivers in mileage, horsepower and the looks, that's a true dream come true.
Consumers are looking for brands that make their dreams come true on practical planet earth, where everything is a dance between income and expenditure, a constant show displaying the balancing act of a good "budget".
European markets do chase "value", but they are free to look at it from a different lens, it is not a absolute "deal-braker" if the car of their choice is going to give a mileage which 2-3 kms less than expected. European markets are well developed, the lifestyles are very different, the income and socio-economic layers are not really comparable with other parts of the globe. What's readily available to a common man turns out to be a luxury in other places, including good health care. On another hand, we have an example of a brand like apple, that delivers value all across the globe. It may represent a luxury segment compared to Dell and HP prices in Asian and African markets, but people go for it, because, it fits what they are also looking for, and in the long run, it has a great value, with consistent performance, and this kind of "value"experience changes everything.
Your prices must make the buyer feel they got a good deal, your prices must back the features and functionalities in a product. It can be a simple cloth napkin made up of super soft cottons from the la la land, but it must make a person feel that it is worth the price.
"A strong brand lives upto it's marketing story." - Brandgraphy
Go and Build brands which make people so happy, which they vouch for amongst friends and family, build brands for which people give confident 5 stars in their minds; because, that's how real growth happens.