There are millions of products in this world and there is no space for thousands more. The business world has become saturated because of the ease of doing business and the complexities of the world.
More complexities, more problems, more problem solvers, more businesses.
This is a good thing for the world, but not so great news for businesses. For businesses in Singapore especially, it just means more cutthroat competition. So there are many ways a company can stand out from their competitors.
Most of these aspects can be replicated. There’s one thing that cannot be replicated easily and that is a “Brand”.
A brand name is extremely hard to get and that depends on years of effort and providing great service and products to your customers. So how does one go about building a great brand?
This is one of the biggest mistakes made by 90% of the companies out there. They don’t focus on getting their core product right. It should just work. Take Facebook for example, they invest millions of dollars in security and bounty programs so that they could avoid outages. Their focus is to keep Facebook running no matter what. As a business, your core offering should just work. There are many e-commerce companies in the world who mix up the offerings, give bad products etc. To be a great brand, your core offering should be smooth.
A few negative comments from a few customers and business can be dented. Customers always should feel that their company is on their side and if something goes wrong, then they’ll be compensated. There are many businesses that don’t know how to handle customers. It is better to spend extra money on a customer if something is gone wrong, because this directly affects the business.
This is obvious when it comes to the big companies. Coke is selling happiness, Nike is selling passion and hard work. What is your company’s message? This should come out in all your messaging and material. People connect with messages and your bigger vision. Find a distinct style and message and work on promoting that. There will be easier recall when people know what you are about. People are also visual, they relate to colors and if you have specific colors, it is easier to remember that.
This ties to the core product philosophy. Your business should be known for that one thing and what is that? Focus on putting the best product out there and not diversify too much too soon. Focus is going in-depth with a particular product instead of skimming through multiple products. A good brand has focus and customers notice that.
Building a brand is not easy. It takes years of effort, innovation, consistency in service. But it isn’t impossible. If you’ve found a niche, focus on getting better and better at that niche.
Michael Eisner’s quote is something you have to live by if you want to build a great brand.
“A brand is a living entity and it is enriched or undermined over time, the product of a thousand small gestures”