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Sarmistha Tarafder's Articles

The Verve of Value. Why You Ought to be a Value Brand?


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"Whatever is common is despised. Advertisements are now so numerous that they are very negligently perused, and it is therefore become necessary to gain attention by magnificence of promises, and by eloquence sometimes sublime and sometimes pathetic."

Apparently being bombarded by brand clutter is not something new. The above excerpt is part of the essay written by Samuel Johnson published on January 20, 1759, for his magazine The Idler. Moving closer to our times, in 1988, NY Times reported that a typical consumer is deluged by 5000 brand messages a day which amounts to 2 million a year.

Today, in this hyper competitive play ground of brand building and brand memorability, 86% of consumers in US say that they value brands that are useful over brands that are interesting. And, how do you define value? Value is the ratio of cost to the benefit. And, the benefits to a customer are a mix of what they get and how they perceive it

As a brand, to flourish in the minds of your customers, your job is to be perceived as a value brand. How do you do so?

Start with Generosity:  Cheerfully, give away something of value  to your prospects and  your clients. This encourages them to come and spend more time with you. For example, instead of sponsoring TV ads at a premium cost, Intel launched Digital Canvas Retail to attract a global community of retailers and marketers to stay in the forefront of innovation. Another good example, Philips Electronics built the NetForum community to help doctors and hospital administrators share their expertise towards the common goal of improving care.

Build Connection with the Dots between Business and Brand Metrics: We all know that tweets, retweets and likes tend to generate fair amount of brand boost. However, when all is said and done, once we start shifting the metrics to focus on customer reactions, we clearly lay down the path to provide content that the customer really values. For example, track and analyze why on one trade show event you garnered three times more leads than on other events. Another good example, on a recent e-mail campaign that we fabricated, we received 70% click on one item and 50% conversion on that click. Now, that tells me that my target audience is looking for ways to streamline and market their event marketing in an effective fashion. Knowing his data point will prompt us to act on creation of tools of engagement that will inspire our prospects and clients to market their events with higher success rate. And this is only scratching the surface...

Sustain Connectivity by Deploying Brand Metrics to Gain a Holistic View of Your Target Audience: Fusing data from social profiles, CRM technology, product purchases, and behavioral data such as clickstreams can give you a holistic picture of your customerís 'identity and intent'. Knowing who your target audience is, will help you present with relevant information and different ways to sustain their interest. Because, three visitors with completely different intent might be checking you out at your next trade show. One attendee might be a consultant checking out the depths of your product capabilities, the other might be a CEO in the prowl for forging new relationships and the third might be a buyer who is in the midst of the decision making process and your brand happens to be one of them. Ask yourself, what tactics are you going to employ to keep these interested people to come back to you for more.

Engage your target audience in a value-based exchange of ideas and information, while "position your brand as a trusted resource".

Being a holistic brand is supported by very compelling data. Get this. Increase in sales by 74%, increase in profit by 61%, increase in online traffic by 58% and increase in customer loyalty by 55% 

As mass digitization takes hold of our culture with self-identifying customers traversing across the social scape of Google, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, it is critical for for you as a business entity to create high value offerings that will empower your customers and have them come back to you for more.

If you are a brand ambassador responsible for your company's brand mileage, and you are exhibiting at trade shows, try this. This follows along the footstep of what KPMG did during the World Economic Forum at Davos. Yours, does not have to be as elaborate as this or it can be, if you have the necessary resources. Set up a microsite about the show that you will be exhibiting at. Pepper it with show related hashtags. Then, in real time filter and analyze the comments and the trends that are being shared online and offline in real time. Add your own spin on those products, interactions and design trends that is creating a buzz on the show floor. By adding this multiplier effect, you are bound to perceived as a brand to be reckoned with.

"We know not through our intellect but through our Experience."

By encouraging your audience different ways to experience your brand, you are building an ongoing brand relationship. You are consciously creating brand influencers, as opposed to making a connection that will secure you a sale from one individual at any given time. And, the difference between building a relationship and procuring a connection is directly driven by how valuable your brand is. 

Value is an expression of cost and benefit.

"The benefits to a customer are a mix of what they get and how they perceive it, which is why marketing has to be both the voice of the customer to the enterprise, and the voice of the enterprise to the customer."

A personal appeal:

In the last few months, I have witnessed the numbers in the RSS feed skyrocket. I am indeed very, very grateful for it. However, lately I have been plagued by this thought; I have to keep churning out content more frequently, if not; I will loose you. Having said that, my intention is to keep up with the updates every other week. But often, I fail to do so, because, I have other dependencies staring at my face. Before, it did not matter because, I was building my base for you to come. Now, that you have, I do not want to disappoint you. I hope, I will be able to serve you with the content that you have come to expect.

Thank you for your patience.

© 2016 by Sarmistha Tarafder