Category Archives: Brand

Increasing Sales

How do you increase sales revenue? There are only 3 known ways to increase your business legally:

  1. Get more customers
  2. Increase price
  3. Get existing customers to buy more

Usually, most companies focus on #1 – Get More Customers. This is intuitively the first reaction that any business person will think of. If I have more customers, I will make more money. Simple, straight-forward logic.

#2 – Increase Price seems to be the Freddy Kreuger of most busineses. No one dares to even think about it most of the time. Other times, this is entertained as a nice fantasy before getting on with the real business.

#3 – Getting existing customers to buy more is probably one of the most desired outcome for many business owners. Buy two get one free and other bundling offers is the epitome of this strategy. It is a good strategy, even though it does compromise margins, you make up for the shortfall in the bottom line by increasing the top line numbers. It could work in some cases.

The harsh reality is this – it is really hard to get more customers. It is easy to lose customers. This is food for thought. Let me ask you a question:

“Why does everyone prefer to think about how to do business the hard way?”

We have been taught that it is hard to succeed at business. So, if getting more customers is hard, then it must be the best way to improve business. There is no way that you can improve sales if you do not have customers. That is a given. However, once you are over that initial hump, do you really need to increase your customer base?

Getting existing customers to buy more is a no brainer. That will certainly increase revenue. Because they already buy from you, they KNOW that you provide a good product/service and they are willing to pay for it. They proved it once. They will do it again.

There is one sure way that we can increase price and ensure that customers buy more from us – provide a true and abundant value.

Giving more value than the customer expects is not about giving up margins. It is about buying good will. If we can learn to meet, and then exceed customer expectations, we will increase sales.

The problem is, how?

Marketing StarBucks Brand

It is strange. When we were in school, we skipped as many lectures as we could. Now, I spend 15 mins listening to one and actually liked it.

This post: How Starbucks Uses Psychological Triggers To Influence Customers – Video contains an excellent video of a lecture by Bryant Simon on how Starbucks has used various psychological triggers to successfully market their brand. Excellent stuff.

If you are not smiling after watching this, you don’t love marketing. Go sell cars. :)

Logos Galore!

One of the most “fun” part of marketing must surely be the logo. Whether you are using them creatively, trying not to use them or even coming up with a new one for your company or brand, it’s a lot of fun!

If you like logos, then you must surely check out David Airey’s Logo Design Love where there is an ongoing contest to vote for your favourite blog logo!

Building Trust

Actually, if you pare it right down, what is marketing other than building trust?

In the end, what we are trying to do is to make people believe what we say about our products, its capabilities and that it is the best possible price. So people buy. Yvonne wrote a nice little piece on Building Brand Trust, which I think really hits it on the head. Marketing is not just about the folks in the marketing department. Or the sales people going out to visit customers. It is about everyone providing the best possible customer experience. So customers will keep coming back.

[tags]marketing, customer service, sales, brand, branding, brand trust[/tags]

Branding – Measuring Your Personal Brand Value

Seems like recently, there has been quite a lot of talk about branding. First, Vivienne spoke about your personal brand in her Versa Creations‘ blog, and then now, Yvonne talks about staying “on brand“. Somehow, bloggers need to know where they stand in the minds and hearts of their readers. And this in effect, is branding.

Arguably, branding is possibly the most fun, most frustratingly elusive and most argued about aspect of any marketing program. Unlike a “special offer” ad, or a product launch ad, branding ads defy logic. One of the cornerstone of modern marketing, especially in the “internet” age is measurability (yes, it’s not in the dictionary). Everyone thrives on statistics today. Accountability is the call of the day.

You will know an offer ad worked if the offer is snapped up over the weekend. You will know a product launch was successful if the product gets rave reviews and sales are humming along. How would you know if a “branding” action worked? In the first place, how do you even define the brand and the parameters that measure it?

Many companies strive to come up with a brand equity measurement system. This is important. However, it is vitally important that Management understands the nature of brands. Brands are emotive in nature, as such, it is going to be really difficult to measure them in a cut and dried manner. So, before you go out and get an accountant to start putting your Brand Equity into your Balance Sheets, hesitate.

Brand equity is the sum total of…? In accounting practices, there is an item called “goodwill” that appears in the Balance Sheets. In times long gone, these were usually considered a fair estimation of the “intangible value” of a company, and hence, its brand value. But since the dinosaurs passed on, a more enlightened approach has been taken to value a brand, hence the new term, brand equity. Brand equity can be measured as a sum of the total value (or perceived value) that the publics of a company attaches to the brand. Well, that did not help define what it is, did it? How about if we defined it as the total value of its awareness, perceived quality, associations, and level of brand loyalty?

Even the so-called measurements of brand equity are hard to measure empirically in and of themselves. And this is a problem that large corporations face. Now, imagine poor old me, with no legions of corporate accountants, market researchers, statisticians, financial advisors and clever whatever-it-is-agencies to advise me. How will I ever know the measure of my personal brand?

So, after meandering through all that, we come back to personal brand. What is it? Do we have one? If we have one, how do we nurture it? Heck, how do we even know if we are nurturing it if we cannot measure it?

So, I would like to propose a Quick and Dirty way to measure your Personal Brand, just for us poor hapless Bloggers hung up on our Personal Brand. Okay?

Here is how to calculate your personal brand value:

  • Take your Technorati rank and multiply it by your SpicyPage Votes
  • Convert this to an expression in the “millions” (eg. a score of 800,000 = 0.8)
  • Get your Alexa ranking and divide it by your Google Page Rank
  • Get your Alexa/PageRank Score and multiply it by your Technorati Rate

At the end of this simple exercise, you will have a number which could be big or small. Then, take a look at your page views, how many regular readers you have, how many RSS Feeds and how many people you network with online on a regular basis.

Take a look at the friends around you whom you met online. Talk to them, and do they talk to you?

Show them that silly little number we had worked out up there and ask if they care.

If they are all gathered around your blog, oooh-ing and ahhh-ing over your “scores”; then i venture to say, you have already got value. It’s what blogging is all about. There they are, the oohs and the ahhhs. Do you really need a number?

[tags]personal brand, brand value, brand equity, online brand, your brand, branding[/tags]