Tag Archives: Branding

OneTree Guide: Secrets of Branding ROI

Praveer Shukla is an advertising and marketing professional with 35 years’ experience in India, Hong Kong, the US, and Oman. His clients have included Dupont, ITC WelcomGroup, ITC Golf, Uncle Chipps’, DCM,Escorts, Star TV, Rajasthan Tourism, Kashmir Tourism, The Oberoi, Milkfood, HM The Sultan of Oman, HH Mahesh Maharishi Yogi, among others.

He is sharing some of his “secrets” here and introducing his company, Onetree Content.

There’s a practical reason why we exist at OneTree Content. But before that, some quick facts from the Canadian Council of Small Business and Entrepreneurship:

  • 85 million businesses start up annually.
  • 64 million small firm deaths in 4 years.
  • 16 million shut down in the very first year.
  • Sad truth – most entrepreneurs will never get to see their dreams come true.
  • In fact, in the next 10 minutes, as you read this, 1,522 new businesses will have downed their shutters for the last time. Talk about love’s labour lost.

Here’s my personal take on the business of entrepreneurship, as I’ve seen it over 40 years.

1. Its a winner-takes-all-world – so listen up.

Especially, if you’re a start up, an entrepreneur, or an SME, listen to experienced people, whether it’s professional groups or forums, your investors, mentors, or coaches. That way you won’t have to re-invent the wheel. And, when you fail – make no mistake about that, you will, at different stages – the people you listen to can be the difference between being stuck with failure and moving on to the next level in your enterprise. And, most importantly, you’ll cover the distance between Idea to Revenue in a much shorter time!

2. Money doesn’t buy products or services. People do.

Know your customers. At OneTree Content, we perform due diligence to know your service and your products cold. We get to know your customers like we know our own parents. We also get to know your product’s positioning in relation to your competitors—without repeated explanation from you which burns up your time and budget.

3. ROI

You’re thinking ROI = Return On Investment, right? Our take on this as specialists in market communications, is different. Unlike earlier times, today, a brand is not recognized by its trademark, mission statement, logo or slogan. That kind of branding went out of the window around the time that electricity was discovered.

Our kind of branding is recognized by the kind of conversations or content that our specialists create about your company, its products, its world, the people who use it, and also, the people who do not use it.

These are conversations that enliven, delight, and empower users. They’re created with authenticity, to communicate the uniqueness of a product or service. By participating and engaging in these conversations, customers are created and references are freely provided by them to other potential customers.

At OneTree Content, our version of ROI is this: Return On Imagination.

Talk with us. You’ll enjoy the conversation! That’s why we created the company!

– Praveer Shukla, Co-founder, One Tree Content

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Samsung Techonology@Home: Story of a Brand

Kishore Bhargava
Kishore Bhargava

Event: Samsung India (LED and LCD TV) organized a unique workshop on future technology & aesthetics – Technology@Home. Date: Saturday, Jan 09, 2010. Location: Chocó La in Khan Market, New Delhi.

I remember a German colleague being amused on seeing a lubricant being sold with the byline “superior German technology”  at a petrol pump in Delhi! Whenever we see a label like “Made in German” or “Made in China” immediately our mind throws up stereotypes! So, what is YOUR image about the Brand “Korea” and more specifically “Samsung”? Any pre-conceived notions? Do send in your comments!

There has been a pereception about Koreans being clutter-oriented and going for overkill in design.

But, my experience has been different. If fact, there is an interesting 500 year old story on how Koreans designed their own alphabet to carve a unique identity (Branding Strategy?) seperate from Chinese (and later with Japanese).

In 1414, Sejong the Great initiated a project to create the unique Korean Script (till then they were using Chinese characters with special symbols). It took about 2 years to design the script, but the resulting system is a LESSON in simplicty.  The script, now  known as Hangul (or Hangeul or Hankul), has been variously applauded as “remarkable,” “the most perfect phonetic system devised,” and “brilliant, so deliberately does it fit the language like a glove”.

For example, visually, Hangul scripts starts off with ㄱ ㄴ ㄷ ㄹ ㅁ- How simpler can you get!  There are other interesting elements like shapes of consonants matching shape of the mouth when you make the sound! (A personal tidbit: I enjoyed learning the Korean alphabet when I was associated with QuarkXpress Korean team in India – but, no comments in Korean language please, that was long ago!).

Fast forward to the last decade when Samsung was a low-end consumer electronics company and they decided to accelerate up the “Value-Chain” and give “Samsung TV” a central role in overall Branding strategy. As Businessweek reported:

Most people carry their mobile phones with them everywhere, while their TV is the center of the family room. “We wanted the brand in users’ presence 24/7,” says Peter Weedfald, head of Samsung’s North American marketing and consumer electronics unit.

Jez Frampton shares how the Samsung mamagement transformed their “attitude, behavior, and business strategy” by making brand value a key performance indicator (KPI) for its top executives:

It (KPI) enabled the team to focus on the activities, messages, and business areas (not to mention a focus on design and experience) – all of which we knew would lead to the greatest increase in brand value. This affects budget-setting, allocation and, of course, provides a simple metric for success: “Did we create brand value?”

History reveals that this was a clever move. Samsung witnessed a significant increase in both brand and shareholder value. They soon outgrew Sony, the original challenge that Samsung’s executives had set for themselves before the KPI program was initiated.

Interbrand, the international Brand Consultancy, has played a role in this process as they have helped Samsung raise its brand value to US $16.8 billion. Interbrand’s Best Global Brands 2009 lists Samsung at 19th position (up 2 from 21), but a 1% dip in overall Brand value.

So, what are some of the Branding lessons here? Let us list a few:

  • First, send a clear and consistent message INTERNALLY across all teams
  • Second, have a long-term branding building strategy – you cannot keep shuffling on short-term trends
  • Third, sweat the small stuff – if “innovation” is your brand recall message then you need put in more effort in research than anyone else

Coming to Chocó La event, Technology consultant & Open Source Wizard Kishore Bhargava gave a captivating presentation on how one can create a centralized set-up to integrate all your Audio-Visual needs at home – movies, music, images and games.

Next, Interior Designer and columnist Rekha Nambiar  gave a fluent talk on the challenges of the Indian Home (“loose wiring”, et al) with some handy tips on lighting & acoustics.

Later, Abhishek Rajan, Senior Product Executive and Prateek Seal, Senior Manager, Marketing, shared interesting facts and stories about LCD & LED technology (including how salesmen of some brands make you feel the “Liquid” in an LCD to indicate better quality!).

The event was organized by Blogworks: Rajesh Lalwani, Rajika Talwar, Manpreet, Amita and everyone else did a nice job in making eveyone comfortable and ensure good participation.

Disclosure: Received this Twitter T-Shirt like everyone else present. But, did NOT receive the LCD TV which was bagged by Hardik in a quiz contest:-))

Twitter Shirt for @amarsrivastava
Twitter Shirt for @amarsrivastava

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