Business Opinion: Entrepreneurship through brand levels of acceptance

Like all living organisms, brands also evolve with time. 

That is from being unknown to fame, especially when strategically positioned in the right targeted markets.

No wonder why we always refer to improved brand equity guided by image, awareness, quality, loyalty and association when we promote/showcase our brands (either by us or any other ambassador we engage). 

Our key role as brand-driven visionaries is to carefully monitor the brand levels of acceptance as a growth process.

 It is always imperative to keep on checking and refining the cogs that lure customers to consume/buy our products/services.

This is because real brands always meet the needs of time, changes in tastes and counter competition from one generation to another.

Not forgetting that consistency is key as we live the brand promise through innovative adjustments like what Coca-Cola brand has done overtime. Our entrepreneurial brands can do the same. 

 That is why knowing the customer has become a key pillar of this current marketing orientation above all matters than entrepreneurs can do for business survival.

It takes two to tango in this game as the customers are trying to understand you as their special brand for life and at the same time you catering for their specific needs/wants through dialogue.

 That is the same reason why customer relationship management is moving from traditional long haul arrangements to talk/meet with customers to instant responses.

As we have seen with digital marketing platforms that are support by social media, artificial intelligence and other form of technologies. 

These help in convincing customers that your brand promise(s) will fit well with their desires and lifestyle.

It is then critical to develop matrixes as checklists that will keep on flagging where both good and bad brand connection with markets is arising so as to adjust for better.

In fact we should strike a balance for there to be a full brand acceptance where the markets cannot do without that brand we have developed overtime.

Ascending as we grow with our customers and profitability the brand will be gradually taking dominance as a step by step process until our markets fully appreciate that there is nothing else greater than that brand.

It is a journey and only to be achieved by our entrepreneurs when they fully understand/align their strategic fit with levels of brand acceptance.

In this edition we unpack some signs/stages of brand acceptance as we take dominance in our targeted markets. 

As said in other previous editions a brand should know its target markets first before it goes out to talk the promise(s).

This helps to customise it with any representing elements such as colours and jingles that connects with the hearts and minds of its real audience.

There is a tendency by some of our entrepreneurs of over and under-dressing a brand.

Due to the fact that the brand would not have gone through a customer-business introspection where that symbiotic connection is established.

That is why market research is key at every stage of our entrepreneurial development.

It will then be easier and cheaper to launch a brand after knowing the targets rather than spending more money/time on promotions that hits everywhere as a discouraged outcome of mass marketing. 

A low-volume-high-value approach can do wonders in our brand entrepreneurial success. T

here is still room for those who failed to do it at the inception as you can revisit your target markets for a now re-branding approach.

Where you will find out that even failure to excel by the brand you are experiencing now was due to colour mismatch by you in relations to customers’ expectations.

 Some of the critical information that the entrepreneur will receive from the potential customers is that “I am ready to try the brand”. 

This stage is inevitable to starters as our brand(s) gets into the market.

It means that there is potential of the brand to take-off since the customers are open for a trial.

Here there now need to get an understanding not through questioning only but also observations and direct market participation as if you are a customer of your own brand.  In fact you are the first customer to your brand.

These triers will go further to develop interest of your brand and what is needed here is to develop brand clubs where real relationships will then further develop through provision of branded gifts and other toolkits in the form of  business to customer courtship.

At least if the trier gets back to consume your product/service within 1 and three months then the customer will be reckoned as recent. 

As we move on to strengthen our brand(s) by making more effort to connect with the customer we develop a regular brand consumer especially if consumption is repeatedly after every two weeks.

Here we now connect with the customer until a point where he/she says “I always use the brand as long as it is available”.

That is an achievement for what I call entrepreneurial brand loyalty. Till then let’s revisit our brand levels of acceptance for rewiring. 

 *Farai Chigora is a businessman and academic. He is the Head of Management and Entrepreneurship 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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