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Who is winning “The BRANDING GAME”?

Rumi Desai was a typical SME from Gujarat. He had grown his fathers business to 25 crores.
He never did any marketing except putting one half-page advertisement in local newspapers on all festivals.
His saree business continues to grow slowly.
Rumi was unable to understand why his business was not growing faster, in spite of so much brand building activity being done.

This is the problem most of the SMEs face.
They really don’t know if their message is reaching the customer.

Typically, it used to take 8-13 interactions with your audience to really register that you are talking to them.
Today, you need more than 20 interactions with your prospects before they can consider buying your product.

Always remember…you get tired of your message much quicker than your audience does.
You may not even get noticed the first few times someone hears from you.
You just have too much competition for their attention.
After six or seven times, there might be recognition, but perhaps they don’t need you yet.

But what would happen if you stopped talking to them after attempt #7?
Most of the companies stop talking to their customers after 6-7 times.
Or they speak to them differently each time?

Hence, The eternal question?
How much should you spend on advertising?
Should we have the same message over and over again?
Don’t you think consumers will get bored?

The truth is that consumers don’t care a damn about your random messages.
They are bombarded with more than 500 brand messages on a daily basis.
With consumers getting so many stimuli on a regular basis, it takes extraordinary efforts to make your message stand out.
Your messages are not only fighting with your competitive messages – but with every other message on that media vehicle i.e. TV, radio, print or Internet.

Your message has to be consistent and predictable.
Why? It feels safe, trustworthy and comfortable. And, it creates an expectation in a customer or prospect that you can successfully fulfil.
Never mind if you find it boring or repetitive. Your customer doesn’t think so.
Just make sure that your customer is exposed to your message enough number of times to make an impact.
As I said earlier- that number is between 8 to 20 times.
For the similar audience- because your audience will be different for different media.
You need to hit the same target number of times.

Do not take multiple medias if you cannot afford enough exposures in that particular media.
There is no bigger sin than spending inadequate money on advertising.

But the regular advertising of “Buy me because I am better than others” sucks.
Consumers will always buy the products due to emotional reasons when some message shakes them emotionally.
I was impressed by the emotional ads done by Wagh-Bakri, Biba, Dove and Tanishq.
They shake your core and that’s the time a brand connects with its user.

In future, only two things will define the brand;
a)The quality of your message-the emotional content to connect with customer’s heart.
b)Reverse marketing- when customers will seek the brand instead of companies seeking the customer.

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