Archive for November, 2014


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Big dreams. Big ventures. Big stakes. Already having too much on your plate as a business owner? We think yes. After all, creating a profitable and long lasting brand will require you to be on your toes. Won’t it? Labour of love, you can say. Worth every bit of it. But, while you are busy doing all of that, won’t you need somebody who handles the home front? Somebody who will do the basic alignment of your brand as carefully as you would do if you had time and the field knowledge of branding and advertising? Well, now is the time to bring in the brand consultant.

Hiring for the RIGHT wiring : 5 reasons to get a brand consultant on board

1. Saves your time

Be it a small, mid or large sized business; almost all the businessmen that we have known have struggled to find time to do their marketing. And that’s so obvious. Running a business is like running a small country on your own! Number of decisions to be made, plenty of people to be dealt with and making it sure that you survive in the competition! Phew! When you hire a brand consultant, he/she taking off the marketing and branding burden off your shoulders comes as a great relief. They offer a consistent handling of the task and that saves you time which you can invest somewhere else.

2. Offers you professional skill set, cutting-edge field knowledge and foresight

With hiring of a professional branding consultant/agency comes the whole world of sharp, up-to-date and result oriented skill set to your kitty. And by being professionals that they are, they also have the foresight to see beyond what a brand owner can see for his own company. Putting all of this together, integrating everything about a business and developing a brand out of it comes quite naturally to them.

“To show you what a striking difference a brand consultant can make, let me give you an example of one of our clients ‘The Vasant Group’ – a group of six companies involved in 6 different businesses. There are always challenges that successful people face as they climb up on the ladder of growth, you know. In spite of being a successful business house, The Vasant Group’s challenge lied in being unable to get fused together as a whole. Alignment of the vision is one of the biggest challenges any CEO or management faces with the staff in second and third line. What ENSO did for Vasant Group was to integrate all their six companies together by keeping their individualities intact, and yet, unifying them in such a way that they emerged as one brand ‘Vasant Group’. What we did as a brand consultant for these clients, was going in to the deepest details of their functioning, streamlining and standardizing them at the base with utter perfection and customized branding solutions, and, giving them the outlook keeping years ahead in mind. That’s skills, knowledge and foresight coming together for you” explains Ms Neeja Shah, owner and CEO at ENSO.

“At the end of it all, the company owners could see a major upward growth in the way they were perceived by their clients as well as their peers” she says.

3. Saves your money (Surprise! Surprise!)

Yes, you read it right! By putting an end to your random marketing and advertising trial-&-error saga, a brand consultant saves your money that you often end up wasting on infertile commercial gimmicks. “Penny wise and pound foolish! That’s seldom the scenario. A brand consultant, on the other hand, operates on a specific strategy that he/she has customized by keeping your progress in mind. That gets you the maximum ROI. Spending after a brand consultant is actually an investment in your own business” opines Neeja.

4. Defines, develops and decides the direction for your brand

Unorganized ways of functioning can strangle your chances of success in spite of you having all the potential for it. “You can easily fight this problem when you have a branding consultant by your side. He/she shapes your brand in a holistic, significant and unifying way; to put it very simply. He/she creates that basic platform and perception for your brand because of which everything else that you do for your business will yield the maximum results. Taking you way beyond your in-house graphic designing or basic advertising, a brand consultant is here to help your brand with much more vital things. Vision, direction, strategic execution etc – just to name a few.” points out Neeja.

5. Identifies your target market and builds a suitable marketing strategy

For a variety of reasons, the business owners often don’t happen to identify their consumers correctly. Also, they don’t have the clarity about what exactly their consumers expect out of their brand at times. “This ambiguity at the base can hamper your way and can leave you drained out in spite of all your hard work. At this point, a branding consultant can be a saviour as he/she has the skills and methods to chart out the accurate market demography for your business. And then on, an effective market strategy is articulated” says Neeja. The right step in the right direction marks the beginning of a success story. Doesn’t it?

ENSOism

A successful venture has its own set of ingredients. An effective way of branding is one of them, goes without saying. “Anything that is done randomly in today’s time and date is generally proven to be ineffective as far as business is concerned. Anything done with limited knowledge and half attention wont’ get you very far either. It is about bringing the art of branding and the science of business operations together without getting affected by unnecessary influences; something that a brand consultant is professionally crafted for. The sooner you hire a brand consultant, the better!” concludes Neeja.

“It’s not just about ideas. It is about making the ideas happen.”

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“COMPETITOR is one who can steal a few deals, but,
the pinch of which, a VISIONARY never feels!”

…as simple as that! Welcome to the era of gutsy new-age trendsetters. They know that if they have what it takes, they have the power to redefine the word ‘competition’ on their own terms. With immense confidence in their vision and capacity, comes their strength to question the market competition itself– “Is it good enough to deserve my participation?” Now that’s a contemporary visionary talking.

Fathoming the Formula

So how does this visionary or the trendsetter manage to find his niche somewhere away from the general mass? What are the dynamics of this modern market scenario where the main stream competition may not actually be the competition for some? Read on as #ensoblogger gets in to a tête-à-tête with Ms. Neeja Shah, owner and CEO at ENSO.

  •  First thing first – know thyself!

In a market where a lot of people claim to be a lot of special things and terms like ‘advertising’ and ‘branding’ are very loosely used; you can stand out tall only if you have a unique and authentic identity of your own. “And that begins with the correct assessment and solid establishment of your own passion, vision and ways of approaching your goals.” says Ms Shah as we get on with our conversation.

“Figure out your own takes on various aspects, set your own standards and decide your own direction first. Once that is established, you can make a comparison between you and your general market. Do you see some discrepancy between the mass mentality of the market and your own approach and belief system? If yes, then well! It’s time to take a stand!” she says. Step numero uno in becoming a trendsetter.

  • Giving a well-calculated miss to being a part of ‘the league’

Majority doesn’t always mean that it’s the only right way of doing it. “Following the majority can often work as a trap in today’s time. The market is so vivid, vast and fast growing that whoever spots the next need of the consumer first; wins the game. In that case, not keeping your eye on the changing requirement of the world and just going with what the so called larger league is going by for all this while, can cost you an opportunity of a life time”, says Ms Shah.

As they say, only the dead fish go with the flow. And, the main stream may not always be the best stream to swim in. Ponder over this – should you let the market define you, or, should you be the one who defines the market?

  • The curious case of ‘competition’!

The relevance and the context of competition can’t be the same for all. “Do you want volumes or do you want to penetrate in to a unique segment? Do you want branding done for you or do you just want weekly sales targets to be achieved? Do you want to be just a part of the ‘herd’ or do you want to be the ‘shepherd’ who leads it? These are a few of the questions to which you got to find the answers for yourself first” suggests Ms. Shah. “When you talk about competition, first and foremost, you got to decide what and who you want to compete with. Not a lot of advertising agencies will make you think about this but this is where ENSO is a class apart. And that’s where the point of difference comes in; that, if you want to grow in to a brand, chucking the so called competition and having the patience to work towards your brand building will play a decisive role” she says.

And at this point, the way you should let the doctor do his job, you should let the professional agencies handle your branding and its development. After all, it’s always good leave your company in a pair of safe hands rather than taking unnecessary risk and too much of trial and error on your own.

  • Exclusivity has its own charm

Today’s is a market where the number of people who seek and admire all things exclusive is increasing like never before. “It is no longer a scene of a whole army of workers working on something that’s run-of-the-mill kinds. It is rather a trend of a handful of experts putting in all their experience, passion and skill to produce things or services which are bespoke. Today’s quality conscious consumer is much more aware and knowledgeable about what he wants out of you. If you offer him all things customized and exclusive, BINGO!” says Ms. Neeja Shah.

ENSOism

It’s time, as we have already mentioned, to redefine the context of competition. “Today’s consumer needs more than what he used to. It’s up to us to spot the need before he does and that’s where the new trend begins from. A trend that is not necessarily dependent on regular market’s competition but gives a birth to a new way of doing things”, explains Ms. Shah. “If you look at the global market, the trendsetters are bypassing the main stream competition quite effortlessly. And that’s exactly what we need to develop here – innovative minds, bespoke services and new trend setting ways of doing our businesses with a lot more finesse. Let’s get rolling!” she says as she wraps up the conversation.

“People who are crazy enough to think they can change the world,
are the ones who do.”

– Steve Jobs


pseudo corporatism

So, what’s your general understanding of the term ‘Corporate Culture’? It must be on the lines of – something that describes and directs the ways a company’s owners and employees think, feel and act; right? In short, with the term ‘Corporate Culture’, your perception is associated with the professionalism of a brand. The professionalism that is generated at the top and runs down to everything about a brand, its services and functioning. After all, that’s what makes a brand what it aims to be.

Well, what we just mentioned is an *ideal* scenario of genuine corporatism. However, what is in parallel existence is something ENSO terms as ‘Pseudo Corporatism’. Yes, you read it right. Pseudo Corporatism – the pretence of being a corporate enterprise with modern looking infrastructure and smart sounding staff on the surface, but, what lies beneath is a hollow and unstructured work environment.

A quick peek in to this neo-age farce

“I see it around so very often! It is disappointing, damaging and ridiculous– all at the same time.” – says Ms. Neeja Shah, owner and CEO at ENSO; as she talks about her experiences with Pseudo Corporatism.

  • Where’s the vision?!

A truly corporate enterprise builds its foundation on a clear, well-thought after and purposeful vision. This gives a definite direction to the business which is vital for multiple reasons. Absence of this vision can gradually turn a venture in to a headless chicken – scattered, confused and often suicidal!

“People today have great ambitions, beautiful looking offices and inspirations drawn from all over the world. And it is all quite appreciable.” affirms Ms. Shah. “However, what is neglected many times is this clear and well calculated vision on the part of the business owners. When there is no vision, what will you align your brand or business with for the longer run?” There you go – the first pitfall of getting indulged in to pseudo corporatism!

  • What about the core values?

Defining the core values of a company gives its team a set of guidelines about behaviours and mindsets. That, in turn, helps them achieve their company’s vision. “Unfortunately, many of the companies today do not give due importance to defining their core values. What happens as a result is a damaging disparity between brand promise and brand experience”, opines Ms. Shah. How true is that! Faking the corporatism may look less time consuming, but the damage it does to a brand is fatal and long lasting.

  • When your actions DON’T speak louder than your words!

A company can talk wonderful, look awesome and can trick the consumer in to believing it. But it all comes down crashing as soon as the consumer doesn’t find your vision and core values translated in to your work and services. “I have seen many ventures taking off on a super glamorous note. Their consumers feeling all excited about their *proud* association with them. But as there is not much of an effort made to convert the promises in to reality, either out of lack of capacity or as a careless underperformance, the consumer feels let down. And I have witnessed how this negative propaganda does faster rounds than the positive ones, which ultimately results in a quick fall out of the customers” a disillusioning observation by Ms. Shah.

  • The team too has to live up to its brand

The owners, employees and all the other stakeholders of a company are ultimately the face of the brand that they are working for; as far as the true corporate culture is concerned. “In the case of pseudo corporatism, you will often come across some team members who seem to be somewhat of a misfit to the company in one way or the other”, marks out Ms. Shah. “For example, you expect them to function and perform in accordance to their official designation but these employees are often incapable of executing their own jobs effectively! It’s a sad reality of pseudo corporatism resulting out of bad recruitment policies. This starts creating loopholes in the very base of a brand and the hollowness that it generates can make you a poor brand in today’s fiercely competitive commercial world”, she adds.

ENSOism

“Going by my work experience in Dubai, I feel sad to see how our lack of professionalism is keeping the bigger businesses away from us. This short cut of pseudo corporatism is doing no long term good to us, if you ask me”, says Neeja Shah. “We have tremendous potential, great work power and smart business skills. All we need is that finer touch. The commitment towards our own vision, the patience to build up a genuine corporate environment and a strong resentment towards this self-damaging short cut called pseudo corporatism. As soon as we fix this, we are in for a party! The world awaits us”, says Ms. Shah as she signs off.

“There can be no separation between corporate culture and brand.”

Digital Marketing

Any sufficiently advanced technology is as good as magic !

When you can reach out to the world in just a few clicks and can multiply your business without having to get up from your chair much –  it IS as good as magic, isn’t it? Welcome to the world of digital marketing – the power of using websites, email, mobile apps, social networks etc for the advancement of your brand. This is business made way easier and faster. Here are a few reasons why you should grab it with both hands!

 8 reasons why Digital Marketing has to be your ‘weapon of choice’ !
  1. Gives you a global reach and infinite audience

With the advent of internet and digital marketing, the world has really become flat! Just a few clicks and you are out there on the screens of millions of people through websites, social media platforms, emails, blogs, e-banners, SEO etc. You no longer have to be confined by geographical limits and that in itself is a humongous advantage for your brand.

  1. Saves money

With a properly planned and targeted digital marketing campaign, your brand can reach out to a much larger audience at a much lower cost. Moreover, a digital marketing campaign has a longer shelf life. That also helps you get the best return of the money you have spent over it.

  1. A 24×7 marketing tool

Digital media is one marketing tool that keeps you available to a global audience on a continuous mode. Difference in time zones, working hours, location etc don’t limit your marketing here. This nonstop platform keeps your presence alive and kicking round the clock. Imagine how easily it can intensify your consumer’s awareness about your brand!

  1. Easy and quick

Comparatively speaking, digital marketing takes lesser time in going from planning to execution. It is also easier here to maintain, modify and update the campaign even after it is launched. This makes it a very practical and a modern day marketing channel.

  1. Gives you more space to put your point across

When you are using a website, blog, social media etc for your marketing, you can choose to go elaborated or brief depending upon your requirement. The space that you get here for your brand is generally customizable and there are lesser constraints attached with it. That in turn can give you liberty to tell your story according to your own preferences.

  1. Increased consumer engagement and retention

Many of the digital marketing platforms are personalized and two-way communication channels. Here the consumer can directly interact with you and THAT is a big deal! Through the comments, likes, replies, shares, ratings etc the consumer is unconsciously striking his individual connection with your brand. This builds customer loyalty and a strong online reputation for your brand.

  1. Measurable along with real time results

Digital marketing provides you with clear counts and numbers connected to your consumer’s interest in your business, depending on the platform you are choosing to use. This way you can keep a track of the consumer traffic, improvise your tactic accordingly and work towards the kind of results you want to generate – and all this in a very short span of time.

  1. Can be easily clubbed with other campaigns

Thanks to their flexible, versatile and easily customizable attributes, digital marketing campaigns can be easily attached with your mainstream marketing campaign. In fact, the digital marketing campaign can give a gigantic push to your traditional marketing strategy when the two are clubbed at the right time with perfect execution.

 

You ought to be a tech-savvy brand!

No matter what your segment, size or way of working is; you really can’t ignore digital marketing. Giving it a pass can result in to you falling backwards in today’s super competitive business arena by many yards. That’s why the team at ENSO takes care of your digital marketing with passion, persistence and expertise. Starting from the conceptualization to execution to launch – we are here to make a massive difference in your business through effective digital campaigning. Let’s get started!

“The Internet is becoming the town square for the global village of tomorrow”

– Bill Gates, Founder, Microsoft