Nov 29 2018
Picture this. Your brand is in SERIOUS NEED of a boost and you need to do SOMETHING to move it forward. Let’s be fair here, not everyone has the budget to rope in an A-lister celebrity to endorse your brand.
So now what? What do you do? How do you get people to endorse you?
Start with baby steps, i.e. with your existing customers. You need people to trust your brand, and a good place to start will always be your existing customers. Especially the ones who make that repeat purchase.
They are the fans of your brand. They will tell you how much they love you and they show it by buying the products you’re endorsing, many a times neglecting things like the price or even their own personal requirement. Your product is their want and not necessarily their need.
For example: Those Apple customers that buy the latest iPad, Macbook Pro, iPhones, iPods and anything and everything that has ‘i’ in it. Whether it’s time to change their existing gadgets or not, they are right there, buying the latest piece of technology that Apple has to provide.
But as Steven Knox from Proctor and Gamble said, “Victory in marketing does not happen when you sell something, but when you cultivate advocates for your brand”
Brand advocates are those people who have no gains, no incentives, no motives, all in all, no reason to sell your brand to others. They will praise your brand for no personal gain and sometimes even without being a loyal customer. And THERE lies your most important resource.
For your brand to use the oldest marketing technique in the world, which is mouth-to-mouth marketing, you need to convert these existing customers into your brand advocates. And there are 2 very important reasons to do that.
Advocates are a brand’s best friend
As a brand, you definitely will encounter retractors, specially today, when everyone is so verbal and vocal on social media. But before you have thought of a counter-attack and stepped in, there are already people defending your brand with passion. They have retaliated and done everything in their power to shoot down these retractors. They are your besties without benefits and that will always speak volume for your brand, sometimes better than you stepping up and clarifying.
All gain, minimum cost
And they did it for NO BENEFITS. No big fat cheques were given away and no incentives provided (yet). You did not have to break your FDs and piggy banks for the cause. THIS IS YOUR WIN-WIN SITUATION, WHICH YOU NEED TO GRASP WITH BOTH HANDS.
All this is well and good, but how do you make these God-sent people to endorse you?
Numbers ain’t everything! Retain your customers with good service as well. They’ll thank you then, and remember you later. Especially when talking to others. And voilà! Your job is done!
Offers & incentives
We all like free goodies, don’t we? So do your brand advocates. They won’t ask for the free stuff, but they are definitely happy when they get it. This will make your brand stay in their mind and keep cropping up in conversations.
Don’t always focus on your potential customers, your existing customer is where the real gold lies. Nurture them to help you grow and reach the bigger market. After all in-house, no-budget influencers are every brand’s dream and all you need to do is get them is get into the vigilante mode.
Nov 20 2018
“Lunch was amazing!” “Long tiring day, just need to go home.” or “My boss is a killjoy.” We Insta it, we tweet it, we are all about those long rants on Facebook. In short, we are very very social and giving out information liberally on social media, but are we any good at communicating?
NOPE. Communication today looks more like a scene of a car crash!
Communication ‘breaks down’ LITERALLY, when there is a glitch in
1. Channels of communication
WhatsApp is quick but a lot of important information is lost in transit, emails aren’t checked as regularly and a one-on-one isn’t really viable every time.
Crucial information or worse urgent messages are missed and your team is in chaos.
2. Hearing v/s listening
The business world isn’t called a rat race for nothing. Everyone wants to come first, everyone wants their word to be the first word and the last. Many a time (most times actually, but let’s be nice), we hear to speak but we don’t really listen.
Or maybe even don’t hear at all. Bodily we are there but the mind wanders. Conclusion – There is a big GAP in the communicative line.
3. Opinions matter…?
And then there is the age-old PROBLEM, of ‘what will people say’. We don’t think too much when we’re behind a screen, posting somewhat anonymously. Yet when you have a problem or an opinion and need to address the same to a peer or a senior, your first thought is how will your opinion be received, will you be judged or dismissed without being given a chance? The fear of embarrassment or humiliation stops us from having ‘an open conversation’ and well, problems occur.
For us as social beings, communication shouldn’t be that big of a deal frankly. It’s a matter of simply streamlining and choosing the right method for the right information.
4. EMAIL & TEXT
Who says you can only choose one method? Make a subject line that says urgent with a line on the important point of the email and simultaneously, drop a text saying ‘Check email pls, ASAP’.
A step extra taken will only start a pattern and a habit that will work in everyone’s favour.
5. Limit Time
Unless you’re talking of giving out bonuses or holidays (or both), people aren’t going to pay attention to much, after a certain time. So keep that meeting, discussion or ‘brainstorming session’ to 15 to 20 minutes. If it’s important and has emergency written all over it, then take a quick break and regroup.
Rather waste the 5 minutes in-between than lose the concentration of all.
6. Have fun
‘Why so serious?’ Said every person in every meeting ever! Or at least thought that. Two-way communication, smart anecdotes and relatable stories can keep a conversation engaging. It serves a dual purpose – people aren’t dying for that upcoming break and they remain ‘in’ the conversation, physically AND mentally.
What seems easier isn’t always that easy, but it doesn’t have to remain the same way either. As music composer, John Powell rightly said, ‘Communication works for those who work at it.”
Jan 16 2018
Think about it, what is the first thing that comes to your mind when you need a tissue, do you ask for a Kleenex? Do you get photocopies at your place of work or do you request for Xerox copies? When you go get Cola at the store do you ask for a coke? Have you ever wondered how all of this is possible? Did you realise that you tend to associate the brand with the product and use it more frequently than the name of the brand. Shocking, isn’t it? This is one of the best examples of brand awareness. When you think about it, you’d be surprised with the number of examples that you could come up with?
The aim of brand awareness is to create a level of familiarity and affinity for a particular brand. When you think of a product, anything that could be associated with it like its logo or name or characteristic is a part of brand awareness. Ever wondered how Levis came to be associated with jeans that is because the brand has had great brand awareness. You may be a start-up and may be looking for ways to increase brand awareness. Although it may not happen overnight and you may not become as successful as great brands, it could still take your brand a long way. Especially in today’s world, where PR has garnered much importance is it very important to create awareness for your brand.
In the famous words of S. H. Simmons “If a young man tells his date how handsome, smart and successful he is – that’s advertising. If the young man tells his date she’s intelligent, looks lovely, and is a great conversationalist, he’s saying the right things to the right person and that’s marketing. If someone else tells the young woman how handsome, smart and successful her date is – that’s PR.” Your brand awareness has to be so good that people immediately start associating terms like quality, success and so on with your brand. Now we have told you what brand awareness is, so you must now be wondering what you need to do. Here are a few smart and effective ways to increase the awareness of your brand.
1. Contrary to popular belief, guest blogging is a great way to popularise your brand in the industry. Ensure that you create valuable and outstanding content and this is bound to wow your audience.
2. Infographics are an interesting and smart way to display the statistics of the company and other market figures. You could have a look at the infographics produced in WordStreams- you will find many relevant shares and links of this website.
3. A great way to increase the awareness of your brand is to get associated with local partnerships. You could set up stalls at events and publicise your brand. No venue is too small or large: be it a concert, festival or charity event, ensure that your potential customers know that your brand exists.
So what are you waiting for, go get yourself a Starbucks (I am sorry, a cup of coffee!) and start devising your strategy for effective brand awareness. Well, I guess I am a victim of effective brand awareness as well!
Jan 15 2018
Marketing has always been about an exchange, be it in terms of information or money. Either you sell the customer your product, or, the customer sells you the reason of not buying your product. Nevertheless, it is still a constant transaction that takes place between marketers and sellers, often fueled by motivations that have evolved over time for the marketers. From marketer-centric, the process of conversion has gradually moved to a more buyer-centric approach with the aim of changing the way buyers interact with the business. This change is one of the main results of the boost of information now available, thanks to technology. Information is the main need of today’s buyer and therefore, it is imperative that marketers change their ways of approaching buyers, suiting to this very need.
To understand what kind of conversion approach suits when and to whom, let’s first try to break down the whole range of buyers and their levels of interaction with the business. Let’s look at it as a funnel depicting the customer journey, from the time he discovers your brand till the time he makes a purchase. Accordingly, there are people falling into the top category, wherein they are generally looking for information and knowledge, the middle ones, who are quite considerate and positive about making the purchase, and, the bottom category, wherein people actually make the purchase an turn into customers. Thus, the top, middle and bottom represent the three stages of a customer’s journey namely awareness, consideration and decision. Now that we know what exactly transpires in the minds of the customers as they engage with your business, let’s look at what methods should you apply at each of these stages to cater to the needs of the customers at that point. A diverse and broad approach like this would lead to eventual increase in conversion rates and customers.
For people at the top of the funnel, you can employ messaging as the major path for you to engage with the customer. You interact with them and give them the information that they want, letting them know what the brand stands for and what is in it for them. You address all their queries and make them confident about your brand. Apart from that, content is another strong medium through which you can interact with the people at the top of the funnel. Video content can be a very good example of the same, directing users to your website by fundamentally initiating an exchange of information.
For the people at the middle, the initial phase of discovery is over and it is time to convert them into leads by giving them more specific, direct and customized information. Here, you can start advanced messaging, customized texts, product-oriented emails and content. You can also develop an option for the people here to set up meetings, because, the exchange now has to turn from information transaction to a more positive precursor to lead generation.
Now that you have pitched your business well, catering to all their queries, needs and preferences, it is time to call them to action by making the final communication towards conversion. The people here are at the bottom of the funnel, ready to make a decision. Here, immediate communication plays the determining role, because, after all the knowledge and research, the customer needs to make the purchase and for that the availability of the business executive is needed. Therefore, immediate chats, call sales and messaging are imperative. Your buyers are now impatient to buy and you have to talk to them to let them make the purchase!
Marketing has been a dynamic field since the beginning of businesses. But, if you know how to adapt to the changing world of conversions and modes of the same, you can book yourself a top spot in this ever-expanding scenario of making money out of preferences.
Jun 29 2017
Technology let’s us work from literally anywhere – bedroom, bar, edge of a cliff (okay, maybe edge of a cliff isn’t a good idea). However, if you are a freelancer and/or a small business team, working from home or inside tiny, isolated office space can get quite monotonous after a point. That’s where co–working spaces come into play!
At KissDoodles, our entire team works virtually – that’s part of our core work culture. I used to alternate between working from home and fun bars and cafes across the entire city. Recently, I had been hearing a lot about a series of co–working spaces springing up across Mumbai, and so I finally decided to work out of one to see what all the fuss was about. I signed-up to work out of a fun and fancy co–working space in Powai called Of10. The experience was positive and eye-opening. I am now convinced that co–working spaces should definitely replace the traditional way of working for small businesses.
1. New People, New Ideas, New Experiences, New Faces.
Working in a co-working space allows you to step out from isolation. Working from home makes you anti-social. You are cut off from from the “real” world. A co-working space is intentionally designed to give you a sense of community – it exposes you to new people, new ideas and new experiences. You can’t be creative if there is nothing new in your life. A co-working space offers you diversity and perspective.
2. Sick Events Keep You Happy
We don’t shy away from hustling even on a Sunday morning. #hustlehard #alwayshustling #carols #sundaymorning #forthem #teamworkmakesthedreamwork A post shared by Of10 (@workof10) on
Co-working spaces, especially Of10, offer a lot of amazing events throughout the month to keep you happy and engaged. Some events are for leisure and make you laugh. Some events allow you to network. And, some events allow you to learn a new skill set, so you continue to improve and stay on top of emerging tools and trends.
3. Good Vibes Will Cancel Negative Vibes
Co-working spaces have a lot less negative vibes than traditional workspaces. You don’t need to prove yourself to anyone, which reduces negativity. And, if you’re lucky, you might even find people who are inclined to help you grow by exchanging important ideas and information. Symbiotic working relationships can thrive in such spaces. You build your own identity alongside building a stronger business.
4. Amazing Resources
Happy faces at our first ever glow yoga event #yoga #yogapants #workspacegoals #healthiving #coworking #workof10 A post shared by Of10 (@workof10) on
Co-working spaces give you access to excellent resources at a low-cost. High-speed internet, work stations, printing, coffee, tea, gym, gaming rooms, conference rooms…These are some of the many resources most co-working spaces offer. Some even offer weekly yoga sessions on-site!
5. So Many Businesses Will Get You More Business – So. Economical.
With so many different companies and skill sets represented under one co-working roof, you gain access to a wealth of information and business leads. I was able to connect with so many graphic designers – something my team required, and people were able to connect with my team for social media strategy, Web design and content development – things we could offer expertise in. Exchange of business – that’s called a win-win situation. It also helped that my wonderful host at Of10 was considerate enough to make sure everyone was comfortable talking to each.
6. Don’t Have to Pretend to Work
Lastly, a co-working space offers a sense of balance. I was able to separate home from work. And, I didn’t have to pretend to work – I was in control of how many hours and which days I wanted to work. I also got a sense of structure, which kept me focused.
If you still aren’t convinced, let’s take a look at some numbers. A survey by DeskMag indicated that 90% people who worked out of co-working spaces felt a boost in self-confidence and 71% felt a boost in creativity.
Have you worked out of a co–working space? Comment below and share your experience with us!
Jun 28 2017
Smokers connect at a whole other level, and sometimes, yes, it actually can lead to business leads and successful business deals – it certainly has, for me. Hold on – don’t get all judgmental on me. No, I am not encouraging you to actually pick up a cigarette if you are a non-smoker. I am simply sharing my experiences as someone who happens to smoke and who has also happened to strike a lot of business leads and deals over a series of smoke breaks throughout the past few years. If you don’t smoke, then do not read further.
1. Chemical Balance/Imbalance
Is it a chemical imbalance, or a balance? It sure sets the right mood! A few puffs of a cigarette and your mood is altered – you feel calmer, relaxed, at ease…you loosen up. You’re more open to talking to people. And, the first step to building any new connections, including business-related ones, is communication (preferably the verbal, in-person kind).
Gif Courtesy: Giphy
2. You can strike a conversation over a light!!
It is usually a lot easier for smokers to strike a conversation while smoking. You can actually start a conversation over a light – lol! Yes, something as simple as that can get things rolling (pun not intended!). People suddenly want to listen to you – listening becomes much easier. And, you are mentally relaxed enough to actually talk – speaking becomes natural, and you feel a lot more social. Thus, the exchange of words, of information AND of business and contact numbers becomes a lot more comfortable and fluid over a smoke break.
Gif Courtesy: Giphy
Comment below and let us know your thoughts.
Jun 22 2017
WhatsApp was initially developed for friends and families to use. Suddenly, businesses have also jumped onto WhatsApp, and we find ourselves in multiple groups for staff communication and client-agency communication, as well. This is an absolutely ridiculous practice. WhatsApp groups actually destroy the management system of a company, and here are four reasons how
1. Efficiency Goes Down to ZE-fuck-RO
If human beings had a wonderful quality called self-control, it would save them a lot of grief. But, that clearly isn’t the case. Once you get onto WhatsApp to check messages in office/business groups, efficiency starts reducing when side-conversations start happening within the group (how many times have you noticed you end up browsing through endless messages in a group to make sure you haven’t missed out on something that might be directed at you?) and/or people start wasting time as they check other WhatsApp messages from friends and family. The amount of time spent on WhatsApp actually distracts you from completing your set tasks. What a waste!
Image Courtesy: Photo-Nanny.com
2. Instant Clientification
Clients expect instant gratification when they setup a WhatsApp group to communicate with you. They want to behave like they are the centre of the universe, and forget that you actually have many other clients to attend to, who are equally as important.
(Image Courtesy: SoftECLabs.com
3. Last Seen, Online, Blue Ticks – OMG!
By being able to track your last seen, online and blue ticks/read status on WhatsApp, it can lead to a lot of resentment if a client gets upset you haven’t responded immediately. WhatsApp groups are a virtual prison! Also, if clients feel they can bombard you with sudden requests, changes and updates throughout the day on WhatsApp and track your online status side-by-side, it often creates a lot of new tasks taking away from the original deliverables set for the day/week. Think about it – the direction for the whole team changes suddenly in real-time without any proper documentation.
Image Courtesy: Cloud.Lovin.ie
4. Duplication & Slip-Ups
Often, it is easy for people to miss out on messages in WhatsApp group threads, if a lot is being exchanged. And, it becomes difficult to monitor the latest updates surrounding the status of anything when there are client-agency exchanges happening via email and WhatsApp side-by-side. It is best to keep all communication centralised in either an email format and/or a third-party workflow management system such as Asana. What’s the point of emailing someone, then reminding them about it on WhatsApp right after? Learn to discipline yourself to stick to one method and source of communication so time isn’t wasted in duplicating outreach throughout the day – there are better and more productive things to do.
Image Courtesy: 3.BP.Blogspot.com
5. Security Risk
WhatsApp is a USA based cloud service – so, there is no real and comprehensive enterprise data protection. It simply isn’t a secure platform, especially if you are dealing with things that are confidential in nature. Furthermore, there is no data loss protection, and you can’t even transfer all file formats, to begin with. Lastly, WhatsApp lacks a solid Desktop version – the current version requires you to have your phone on, which means in a situation your phone battery is dead or your phone has been stolen, there is no way for you to access communication going on in WhatsApp groups.
Image Courtesy: Cdn2.ITPro.co.uk
This might sound rigid, but do you really still think it is wise to inculcate WhatsApp as a mode of communication in a business? Comment below and let us know your thoughts