Brand invitation in entrepreneurship

The value of brand invitation should be seen and felt by both parties.

Traditions have taught us to follow some sort of societal norms when it comes to invitations for celebrations and any other.

Not knowing that with time brands would ride on the same orientation. Yes when we meet for invitations we express, discuss and enjoy. A brand goes beyond the norm since it should convince and gain trust at the same time.

Most of our SMEs brands seem to be lacking in this perspective. As they portray invitation for hostility instead of a wonderful treat. 

Just to remind in the current global business world it is no longer only about dressing for the occasion but to go an extra mile in making the brand closer to its targeted customers.

This is a well calculated move towards brand invitation for entrepreneurship.

In this process we make sure that brands convert their promises into lasting symbiotic relationships with current and potential markets.

Where we know our markets better through making brand engagement mandatory at all levels.

Most of the time our entrepreneurs simplify this process as a general invitation. Let’s innovate and transform for more benefits than just mere talks.

The value of brand invitation should be seen and felt by both parties.

Businesses take this move as an opportunity to enhance their brand equity.

This is because that is when we are able to assess and uplift the level of our brand awareness, image, perceived quality and loyalty.

Especially now we are extending to brand profitable relations our thrust should be on lasting associations.

Now we get into nitty gritties that conform and encourage what I call entrepreneurial vibrancy through brand invitation. 

To start with an entrepreneur should make it a foundational rule of knowing the customer better.

Let us from now onwards go back to the drawing board and make an effort to gather all the data about our customers.

This will help as a basis for developing information that enhances real brand/market connections.

Imagine inviting current and potential customers for a brand launch/relaunch through personalised invitations.

It makes a customer feel recognised and part of the brand craftsmanship.

Yet we as SMEs even forget those who been our part-brand owners in our journey to become corporates (whether as customers or any other stakeholders).

Through a proper brand invitation customer segmentation becomes much easier than any time before.

As you collect customer data other brand customisation matters will come up too. That is being able to know demographics being served by your brand, their social classes and even consumption levels. 

For sure if you don’t do this someone else in the market will do it for you. Through gathering the same data of your potential customers and taking over your market share.

So we should safeguard our market gains through knowing our customers as individuals not groups.

This becomes a brand invitation through customisation.

This takes us to another level where data from the customers should be managed for a further effective brand invitation. 

Yes we always talk about database management in Customer Relationship Management (CRM). The same applies at this stage of construction too.

Where we create a repository of our customers with their names, addresses (electronic and physical), phone number, birthdays and other personal identification variables.

As aforementioned, that is when brand invitation through customisation becomes more possible.

At this moment one will be able to rank the top five customers, by consumption type, repeat purchases, taste, preferences and even by gender.

Numbers don’t lie as proven in these databases. Let’s start the ranking through numbering as done by us.

It has been made much easier especially in this era of Data Mining (DM) and Artificial Intelligence (AI).

I was happy to receive a birthday congratulatory message from one of the brands I consume and sure I will consume it forever.

Most of our customers are searching for this from us and the sooner we do the bigger the brand(s) will become. Try it now!!!

As we go further, sometimes we need to plan for brand invitations as physical meetings with our potential and current customers where we will also experience a moment of truth.

Our modern markets are adventurous and highly excited to know the one owning a particular brand first before they grow to be strategic partners.

It is critical not to deliberately divorce the brand from the owner. The market is always keeping a closer eye to see if you are the one behind the brand promise that has attracted them.

Hence there are some critical matters we should consider in keeping up these expected levels.

For instance corporate wear, colours, logos, jingles and any other elements should dominate the needed conducive environment for the brand meetings. 

That is where the brand vision is reflected and appreciated more by the customer. You are the first customer of your brand and by these reflections it shows that you have confidence in what your brand is offering to the world. Also your customer should be convinced that he/she is a valued member of the brand family. By also being wowed through pampering with gifts and even invitations for branding activities such as ruffles, golfing and other stakeholder events.

Lastly, there is a need to provide a room for growth where our customers will become brand partners/shareholders. This is when we periodically invite our customers for workshops and feedback meetings where we discuss all brand performance matters with them.

Here we provide toolkits that give them equal power and responsibilities to become brand ambassadors and advocates. In this regard, they will confidently volunteer to be strategic brand partners and shareholders. 

The advantage of growing together is shared responsibility and accountability to protect the brand into its future fortunes. Till then I leave you to introspect.

  • *Dr Farai Chigora is a businessman and academic. He is the Head of Business Science at the Africa University’s College of Business, Peace, Leadership and Governance. His doctoral research focused on business administration (destination marketing and branding major, Ukzn, SA). He is into agribusiness and consults for many companies in Zimbabwe and Africa. He writes in his personal capacity and can be contacted for feedback and business at [email protected],, WhatsApp mobile: +263772886871.

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