The devolved governments created opportunities for companies to explore the so called rural areas with a mission to establish and run a business (hardware) mpire that is local ‘Mashinani’ yet ‘international’. It become possible to target customers since many of them were beneficiaries of the devolved funds such as NG-CDF, Youth fund, Uwezo fund, Women fund and 30% reserved tenders for the special groups with a segmented unit in wholesale and retail. Then time was plum red to make a kill.
Across the oceans, Ace is ONE of Americas top Brand in hardware supplies with a well-defined branding strategy that goes way beyond customer experience. “Ace has powerful brand recognition in the marketplace, equity that comes from being in business for more than eight decades, and owns “helpful” service in consumers’ minds. The strength of the Ace name is driven by an integrated approach to promoting the brand, raising top-of-mind awareness, increasing footsteps, enhancing consumer loyalty and attracting new shoppers to Ace.” www.acehardware.com
When branding a hardware, then consider the 2ST; Sight, Sound and Touch. But before we get to understand 2ST lets’ consider brand basics.
- A brand is a personality that identifies a product, service or company, including a name, term, sign, symbol or design. A brand also represents the relationships between customers, staff, partners, investors, and so forth. (Boundless)
- A brand does not exist within a company or organization. A brand exists in the minds of your customers. A brand is the sum total of impressions a customer has, based on every interaction they have had with you, your company, and your products. (Lucidpress)
- Build brand loyalty on shared values with your consumers. It is not the number of interactions a buyer has with your brand, but the quality and relatability of the interaction. (Harvard Business Review)
- Successful branding yields benefits such as increased customer loyalty, an improved image, and a relatable identity. (TSL Marketing)
- The main benefit of branding tools, and reason to employ them, is to boost profits. (Forbes)
- The greatest negative impact of inconsistent brand usage is the creation of confusion in the market. (Lucidpress)
The power of branding is exercised by the customer through increased sales (hardware).
A hardware should attract and prompt a potential buyer to develop interest. The name of the hardware should be visible and readable. It should be simple and easy to memorize. The colors used should be well thought of, for visual attraction.
The hardware should literally make noise. Let it be known through native or new media. Word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool and if no noise is been heard so is the business sales, low. Let the brand make sounds of trust, convenience, reliability and authority.
A hardware should allow room for products assessment. Let the customer interact with the products on the shelves or elsewhere with the help of a sales person who is knowledgeable on the items on display. The point of sale branding should assist the customer to scan what is contained and where to look out for their need.
Therefore, to win business over your competitors, branding MUST be done right for customers to fall in love at first sight.
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