Companies would go to foreign markets to seek expansion. As they venture, most often overlook how issues of counterfeiting would affect them; let alone leverage to drive business growth. We would like to shed some light with 5 tips to understand and position your brand better.
1. Perception is Reality.
To consumers, perception is reality. It doesn’t matter what your marketing team says you brand is. All that matters is what your customers perceive it to be. The first step is for companies understand this.
Companies work hard to establish their brand reputation. This goodwill can be destroyed in the blink of an eye. Fake products offer low quality. Should counterfeit products create unpleasant experiences or even injury to consumers, the brand gets negative reputation. The bad impression of the brand stays with the consumers for a long time.
According to The Business Journal, more than 50% of the consumers have lost trust in a brand after unknowingly purchased fakes of the brand products. This speaks a lot on how fakes can do damage your future sales.
2. Get into position first.
In the world today where fakes are prevalent, product assurance becomes a key attribute for business success. Many companies did not take the effort to build trust into the brand and products for engagement with consumers. Brands that can give the much-needed confidence for customers will have significant advantage.
Show your customers that your brand cares for the products it offers. Ensure your customers get what they had paid for. Customers are bombarded with many options nowadays. They don’t have to settle for your brand unless they trust you. People buy from those they trust. Getting into the position first let your brand create the right perception before your competitors realize the importance having trust being communicated through product.
According to Marketing chart’s research, 75% of global respondents say they will continue to buy a brand they trust, even if another brand suddenly becomes hot and trendy. And a large majority of 76% highlighted that they will also advocate for their trusted brand.
Hence, executives need to take the opportunities and efforts to provide necessary trust for customers in making the buying decision.
3. Use Public Relation (PR) to build your effort and engage consumers
Companies like to use advertising campaigns to promote their brand and products. But for many consumers, the rising volume of marketing messages is overwhelming. Instead of attracting customers, marketers are pushing them away with endless and ill-conceived efforts to engage.
Should you want to use advertising as a marketing approach, below is the survey result from Marketing Sherpa on how some types of the ads in the view of people. According Nielsen research, it concluded that PR is almost 90% more effective than advertising in the consumer decision-making process.
Public Relation (PR) is what others say about you. Marketing is what you say about yourself. PR builds credibility. The most basic difference between them is that advertising is paid while PR results have to be earned.
Even the best advertised marketing effort will not be able to handle any bad publicity arises from poor product performance. Always seek to ensure that your supply chains are secured. It is essential to prevent fakes or low-quality materials from entering that affect product performance. Product recall and product liability are too costly for any brands.
4. Be consistent
A brand is a promise. It is important to show consistency from product appearance to functionality to consumer engagement (both online and offline). If you or your products don’t deliver, customers will just buy from other brands.
People often talk about the importance of brand consistency for consumer retention and sales. A company’s logo, colours and packaging are key attributes that consumers use in identifying brands and making purchasing decisions at retail stores.
According to Packaging Digest, two-third of their surveyed respondent stated they question the quality of the product if the packaging is discoloured. Mike Cheetham, the CEO of Chesapeake, a global producer of consumer packaging, works with some of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies had shared the importance of colour consistency in product packaging.
He shared that colour inconsistencies in product or packaging are instant red flags to a buyer that the product might be old, damaged or counterfeit. Together with other anti-counterfeiting solution, it will help to combat the increasingly sophisticated global threat.
Product and packaging consistency help to build your brand integrity, empower tracking along distribution channels, improve the customer experience and engagement. Don’t let knock-offs bring your brand and company down.
5. Fight a bigger cause.
Companies may see competitors as their biggest threat in their business. However, by setting up a bigger enemy (or threat) to overcome give your brand a reason to exist. The enemy can be sustainability, equality or any global issues that the brand seek to tackle too. Consumers want to see a bigger mission by companies.
Brands are now expected to take a larger role in society and this help to further customer trust. According to SmartInsights, 64% of consumers are belief-driven buyers, which is up by 13 points in 2017. The buying-based belief is the new norm.
With consumers being focused on societal impact and contributions that brands can make, companies need to act on your values and promises. Many companies will soon realise the importance to have a higher mission.
These 5 tips are the first step towards gaining a strong edge over competitors in the current world and foreseeable future. Gone are the days where companies can earn on the price difference in supplying products/services to customers. People are looking for identity or tribe to be associated with, even for the brands that they purchase or work with. Your Brand is Your Identity. Your identity is Your Niche – And what it means to your customers. The leverage that brand protection gives for brands go beyond product security. It is no longer a cost centre but a revenue generator for companies. The only limitation is how it is being utilized.