On one Sunday, during a brainstorm session, I asked a participant, “How do you assure me that you will sell your product? Why would I change my brand and move towards your product?”
He replied, “It’s simple, If I supply a quality product at a low price, everyone will buy.”
I asked him again, “Low price? How are you going to compete with the mass production of India and China to offer a low price? and ‘Quality’ how would you assure me your product is quality? If you say you have a good quality product because it is more performing, reliable and durable, I would ask how would an American customer looking for your coffee at the shelf of Walmart buy it for the performance, what about the durability?”
Good quality-Low price makes the sale; this is a fable now!
With the market liberalization, foreign companies entering into the field, there is an intense worldwide competition. Competition here not only arises from the domestic firms but also from the regional and global leaders . And, it is funny, all of them claim themselves as a good quality – low price products. Thus, the focus of the business should be on Branding. And when the branding comes in, there are a couple of things that the market leaders adopt in order to stay
Packaging: In addition to support in stacking and storage, packaging plays an important role in promoting the purchase. It is often called last second advertising. It gives an impression on what the product inside would look likely be. Smart companies spend much resources in the packaging. According to Datamonitor, a leader in qualitative and quantitative research for the consumer packaged-goods industry, over 50 percent of shoppers’ purchase decisions are made at the shelf.
Since packaging of a product is the first thing that a consumer sees, it plays a vital role in differentiating a brand from the competition.
E.g. of an investment in packaging: Nepali tea traders, an america based Nepali tea company, spends 60% of the total cost in packaging. This is why it is being able to brand the product in the American Market.
Both the tea
are made in Illam-Nepal, which one do you prefer to buy?
Storytelling: Storytelling approach of marketing has been successful to change the buying behavior of the today’s customer. Those buyers who are indifferent on choosing a brand for price and quality, look for the impact they are creating on the purchase. This is why smart companies share their struggling story, condition of its workers, impact on the community and etc.
E.g. of a storytelling: HBTL’s story; “Himalayan Bio Trade Private Limited (HBTL), founded in 2000, is a natural products processing and marketing company, owned by a consortium of community enterprises whose shareholders are the community members who sustainably manage the forests. HBTL products can be traced back to the forests that produced them and the communities who responsibly harvested and processed the natural products. HBTL and its community enterprises have received FSC, Organic and Wildlife Friendly certifications..”
Aveda, the company which accounts for more than 85% of annual paper sales of HBTL, makes its commitment to buy from HBTL because the communities of high-mountains gain employment and generate income through locally owned enterprises. Aveda express their buying reason as : “Our mission at Aveda is to care for the world we live in, from the products we make to the ways in which we give back to society.”
Cause marketing: Cause marketing involves the tie-up between a for profit company and a non-profit company to create synergies in mutual benefit. Cause marketing basically helps to associate a favorable image of the customer towards the brand. This approach can attract those bunch of customers who are conscious in the way the company is operating; it’s responsibility towards the society.
E.g. of a cause marketing: Laxmi Bank Green Saving Account; “They say the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The next best time is now. As a token of our appreciation to your contribution to a greener planet, Laxmi Bank pledges to plant a tree for every Green Savings account opened with us. Plant a tree. Plant a hope.”
Quality, price are important aspects of the business. But the vital thing is the sales. You are not going to make any money until you sell the product. Focus on the sales, focus on the relationship, focus on the bonding, focus on the consumer problems. Serve accordingly.