01 Nov 2010


What makes a Brand?

A few weeks back I invited one of the successful entrepreneurs of India over breakfast and that meeting turned out to be an excellent opportunity of getting some real insights into how brands are built. My guest happened to be a low profile entrepreneur who had built an admirable brand in his industry before making a successful exit from the business.

Rohit Sarin

Over a short span of less than a decade the brand had almost acquired a leadership halo in its industry where many international brands compete for the consumer's mindshare. On top of it, even though an out and out Indian brand, it not only was able to give international brands a good run for their money but it was also able to extract a respectable premium over its peer brands. How did this happen and that too in an environment of value for money consumers and price driven competitors?

That was my question the answer of which I wanted to learn from the horse's mouth. And as I learnt there was a clear method in the madness behind this success story – a terrific combination of a brilliant strategy and its impeccable execution.

My guest started explaining me that there were three core reasons behind this success.

  • Quality of the product,
  • Consistency of the brand, and
  • Ownership of the team.

While the first two would fall into the category of a very fine business strategy the last one reflects flawless execution.

Quality of the Product
My guest mentioned that the journey of building a respectable brand began with the choice of creating a matchless quality as the only way to shine in a crowded market. The strategy was clear to build a base of loyal customers instead of building a market share of revolving consumers. When the product was launched it took some time for it to attract costumers. But once a customer had the experience of using the product he started developing loyalty towards the brand resulting in repeat business.

Consistency of the Brand
Once the customer was hooked on, the challenge was to make sure that he never goes and rather introduces the brand to his friends and family. This was very critical to build a sustainable business which continues to grow with time. The most important factor to make this happen was to build the reliability and trust-worthiness of the brand which could have been only possible by building products which delivered consistent quality over a customer's repeat experience. Customers started to experience the same quality every time they bought the product and were never surprised with a new experience which could have been below their expectation.

Ownership of the team
All this couldn't have happened without flawless execution for which a team and the organization culture driven by ownership of the common goal had to be built. Since a lot of production had to be contracted out, it was extremely important to ensure that the quality of the product produced at an external shop floor was as good as that produced internally. The only way it could have been done was by way of complete ownership of the team on the ground which was as concerned about the quality of the product as the entrepreneur himself. The ownership with which the team worked with external manufacturers ensured the quality which the brand promised and was delivered consistently within timelines.

Lessons for Private Wealth Industry
Above are very simple but deep lessons which can be borrowed even by the private wealth industry. Since the bedrock of success in this industry is the trust in the client advisor relationship there is no better way to develop and sustain the same by following the same theme – Best Advice with consistent quality delivered over time by advisors who own the relationship completely.

Since the advisors in the industry have to depend a lot on external manufacturers for investment products for their clients this complete ownership will result in either identifying the best ideas for their clients or getting them custom made around the very needs of their clients. Moreover, since the very nature of work is in the form of repeat business, focus on growing the practice with and around exiting clients rather than building a large scale of revolving consumers will certainly develop a sticky business which keeps on growing steadily.

All this would result into nothing else but a highly credible and dependable marathon Private Wealth Brand which could give the best of the brands a very good sprint for their money!

By: Rohit Sarin

Reach at: rohitsarin@clientassociates.com

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