Branding has become a "must do" for both large corporations and small businesses in order to exist in the economic world. While most businesses fully accept that they need to brand, they may not understand how to keep their brand flourishing. "The battle to enlighten executives about the importance of branding is over. The next battle is helping leaders learn how to follow through on the brand they've created," explains Raoul Davis, a CEO branding strategist and CEO of Ascendant Group, helping CEOs increase top line revenue.
Here are three strategies that the expert proposes:
#1 Be product oriented and dare to break into new frontiers. Identify what you want to bring to the world and take bold steps to manifest your product. Invest your resources into the product you believe in and go for it.
Aiming to become a dominant player across the entire consumer electronics and home appliances spectrum, Skyworth, a Chinese based electronics company, focused on bringing forth one great product to break into the arena with big names. The company created a partnership with researchers at one of the country's top research institutes, South China University, to access what they hoped to be the next generation in TV display technology. With patience and perseverance to stick to the product they believed in Skyworth is now looking at a $8 Billion success edging onto the list of the world's top brands in Organic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) TVs.
By staying centered around their branding mission to be a forward thinking powerhouse and using the principle to focus on a product, Skyworth produces TVs with the OLED technology, which uses organic material to create a higher quality picture with less power in a thinner TV than the LCD and plasma TVs.
"Skyworth is leapfrogging the plasma and LCD (Liquid Chrystall Displays) technology which were the first to reduce the depth of the fat CRT based TV," explains Steve Sechrist, a display industry analyst for London based Meko.co.uk, and continues, "Everything that the LCD can do, the OLED purportedly can do better, including contrast and brightness, viewing angle with reduced motion artifacts, plus being thin, light and using lower power. " Clearly Skyworth aims to break into the new frontier of consumer TV technology using OLEDs to do it.
Continuing with a vision to improve the life in an ecofriendly manner, Skyworth plans to roll out what they claim to be the worlds first truly smart TV system as their next break through technology. "We focus on one worthy product to go big with as a way to edge up our brand recognition while keeping an eye on the future." Says Mr. Yang Dongwen, CEO of Skyworth.
#2 Details matter as you plan your growth. Identify your consumers' needs and pay attention to details.
AposTherapy has created a biomechanical shoe-like device that helps people live better with chronic conditions like knee osteoarthritis. It's important to realize that in order for a physical therapist to utilize the AposTherapy foot-worn device, training is required - it's not a shoe you can buy off the shelf.
AposTherapy has operated overseas since 2004 with a direct-to-consumer model. After launching in the U.S. and recognizing the demand, it became evident that sticking with the DTC model would pose growth limitations. By shifting to a business-to-business model, the company was able to reach out to existing physical therapy practices allowing them to offer AposTherapy to their patients.
As expected, the shift in approach changed the job descriptions of many AposTherapy team members. Forming and nurturing relationships with the physical therapy community and existing practices now became more important than ever. "In order to ensure that we are fully connected with our industry and constituents, I constantly encourage our team members to leave the office and get out in the field," explains CEO David Levy.
The company strategy focuses on close connection to each therapy practice so that every detail of successful care remains in tact.
#3 Understand the industry landscape. As every aspect of life grows and changes your company brand needs to transform your industry with the impending changes.
We recognize drastic changes in technology as new products replace old inventions. Yet many seemingly stable industries can also transform radically.
Geneva Capital S.A. based in Switzerland sees the economic landscape changing significantly. The capitalistic mindset is being tempered with a socially responsible awareness. "Now, more and more investors are looking for ways to align their investing activities with their values," says CEO Scott Arnell.
Simply put, the newer generation is putting their money into improving the world and is not just concerned with making money for wealth's sake. "Boomers invested with commission driven stock brokers in the 70's and 80's who pitched the stock of the day; Millennials invest with fee-based financial advisors who look at the client's beliefs, fears, desires and goals and then create a portfolio strategy for the long term benefit of the clients and their families," confirms Lance McGinnis, veteran experienced financial advisor. As Baby Boomers retire at the pace of 10,000 every day, their positions (and higher salaries) are taken by Millennials, which changes the economic landscape. "Assets under management in all categories of sustainable, responsible investing are growing at double digit rates in both Europe and the United States," Arnell proclaims,. "and we are on the cusp of a $20 - $40 trillion wealth transfer to the Millennials over the coming decades." A Deloitte survey last year found that nearly 30% of Millennials feel that the top priority for business and investing is to improve society.
Understanding that the terrain was changing some years back, Geneva Capital S.A. reengineered its strategy from an alternative investment advisory to focus exclusively on sustainable and responsible investment opportunities. Within the larger industry, like expert surfers, they ride the front of the wave by concentrating on private equity impact investing.
The vision of Geneva Capital S.A. to "Mobilize capital to create a world fit for our children and future generations" mirrors the values of the new generation keeping the company's brand message strong in the new terrain. As the economic landscape shifts with investors' choices, the company uses their expertise to navigate the positive change.