Finance AVP Tampines Brand Strategy

As a Finance AVP Tampines, its very critical for you to understand developing brand strategy is extremely critical. The most important asset your company has is its brand. Quite simply, it drives the direction of your business. So you should definitely have a well thought out brand strategy in place.

Increasing competition in business develops similar products with good quality from different manufacturers. But only an effective, innovative and Marketing Strategy & planning can make your business and products more popular.

For your profession as Finance AVP Tampines it becomes your responsibility to stay connected with like-minded supporting industry experts who can guide and help you deal with your day to day work issues.

International Supply Chain Management

Branding Strategy Essential For Strong Company Reputation

If you are entrepreneurial in nature owning a business is very exciting adventure. It can also be the most difficult thing for you to get into if you are not prepared.

Artificial intelligence is going to change everything we do in advertising and marketing, but not in the way we think. The truth is that if used correctly, RPA software and intelligent machine learning can give companies and agencies the power to provide extraordinary experiences for customers. The kind of campaigns that move the customer on an emotional level.

After all, that is the key to a loyal customer base. The people who come back again and again because they know on a gut level that a business understands them. Steve Jobs saw this after a calligraphy class inspired his design for the iconic mac fonts. Creativity and intelligent automation seem like the furthest concepts from one another, but in fact, they are intrinsically connected.

We are currently drowning in a sea of data. This data contains valuable information about consumer preferences, their likes, and dislikes. The key to creating something that consumers truly want. Even giants, such as holding companies dedicate a massive amount of resources to crunching the numbers.

Combining AI with creativity can open up a whole new field of marketing and advertising. There are three ways this can take shape, and they are all interconnected.

Targeted Experiences - when you add AI to the marketing mix, it opens up a whole new category in the funnel. This means curated experiences for every different type of customer in the market. Capturing Millenials and Baby Boomers with the same campaign, using powerful messaging that appeal to each group. This isn't the stuff of tomorrow. Many agencies are already deploying AI technologies to their advantage and producing creative that works across the board. According to Entrepreneur, AI will help companies target customers more accurately and place budget dollars where they belong.

Tighter Budgets - speaking of dollars, the analytical power of AI software will help solve one of the most age-old problems in advertising. Funding campaigns that deliver on ROI and help companies take calculated risks that pay off. Marketing and creative wants the budgets to be higher, and businesses want to cut costs. There is no "right" or "wrong" party here. A large part of advertising is trial and error, but that means wasted money. However, when businesses and agencies use intelligent machine learning software to analyze customer data, a lot of the guesswork goes out the window. This creates a positive feedback loop, where money can flow to the projects that need it and build richer marketing experiences.

A Marriage of Creative and Data - any marketing manager worth their salt knows that the best creative is made possible by data and analytics. Machine learning algorithms are making this symbiotic loop stronger. They perform elaborate functions without slowing down the customer experience. This allows creative teams to get fast feedback, giving businesses time to change their approach and become agile. Instead of waiting for analysis to determine if a campaign is resonating, with MLA's, companies can get results almost in real time.

Don Draper would have killed for the kind of value AI can add to creative. It's a chance to leave the guesswork behind and make more impactful campaigns. Like it or not, advertising and marketing are just one of the many fields AI is going to change.

Relationship Between Innovation And Strategic Management

The Best Branding Strategy - Make A Real Connection

With the support of our professional business network, you get the opportunity to exchange experience and knowledge at a top professional level, and to strengthen and develop your own skills within your management and specialist areas.

Through business relationships and experience sharing in confidential settings for Finance AVP Tampines, we strive to create personal and business value for all our network peers.

Focus Group Interviews In Qualitative Research

Artificial Intelligence is quite a trending topic in modern technology with many businesses adopting its use in their daily operations while others are skeptical about its relevance in the workplace. Let me show you the various benefits of AI to the workplace and how it can make your business grow as well as save time and money.

Simplification Of The Recruitment Process

Human Resource Departments are faced with the task of hiring staff which is quite daunting, frustrating and equally expensive, with personnel having to shift through a large number jobs applications for a relatively few vacancies, but this scenario is gradually becoming a thing of the past with the use of machine intelligence i.e. Artificial intelligence.

AI reduces the stress related to the hiring process through the use of the following ways:

Interesting job descriptions are written by recruiters through the use software known as Textio. This augmented writing platform compiles various job postings and puts forward to consideration suitable content to encourage the submission of more applications from job seekers.

Candidates for various job vacancies can schedule their interviews, allowing them to choose a time must suitable for them and also provides a chance to reschedule. All these are possible through the use of the Montage software.

AI powered software such as Stella match suitable candidates to jobs through the tracking of experiences, credentials and qualities sought for by employers.

Removal Of Repetitive Tasks In Daily Business Operations

Scheduling, rescheduling and cancelling meetings are quite stressful to administrative staff but the use of tools such as X.ai helps by performing these tasks diligently.

Recording, transcribing and sharing notes during meetings are also tasks which can be handled by artificial intelligence.

Improvement In Handling Issues Related To Sales, Marketing and Customer Service

Chatbots are forms of artificial intelligence that can help with support outside the company.They gain experience from real sales and customer reps and use this to assist customers in purchasing goods and services. Questions regarding marketing and customer relationship management (CRM) can also be handled by GrowthBot through the mining of data, both of the public and the company.

The Identification Of Security Risks And Protection Of Data

Financial institutions such as banks apply AI based technology to point out security risks and protect data. Examples of software which make the use of Ai in such cases include Darktrace, Exabeam and SparkCognition.

Increased Productivity

With AI handling most of the mundane and repetitive tasks at the workplace, workers are free to channel their efforts to more important tasks thus increasing productivity.

Productivity could also be boosted and monitored by machine intelligence by helping them discover areas that have high labour costs and other obstacles to increased efficiency.

Will Artificial Intelligence Replace Humans In The Workplace?

With the above examples, some individuals might be tempted to think about losing their jobs to AI powered tools since most tasks in the workplace are getting automated gradually, but their fears are unfounded as human input is indispensable despite the presence of artificial intelligence.

Artificial Intelligence basically handles tasks which could affect productivity and allows workers to be action-oriented and gives them the chance to be more creative.

Networking has always been considered a powerful tool for improving business prospects, advancing a career, and developing ideas. Other than some brief, structured events, networking has been mostly informal and inexpensive in comparison to cost they otherwise spend on different channels. But membership is growing in many formal, long-term networking groups, and so is the price tag.

Our groups are not groups for generating sales leads, nor are they places where individuals can drop-in to gain quick advice on an immediate challenge.  Members also sign a confidentiality agreement and benefits from the guided mentoring to help each other.

These groups include an experienced facilitator and use a structured discussion method to ensure appropriate participation.

Finance Managing Director Digitization Challenges

As a Finance Managing Director, its very critical for you to understand developing brand strategy is extremely critical. The most important asset your company has is its brand. Quite simply, it drives the direction of your business. So you should definitely have a well thought out brand strategy in place.

Increasing competition in business develops similar products with good quality from different manufacturers. But only an effective, innovative and Membership Costs & planning can make your business and products more popular.

For your profession as Finance Managing Director it becomes your responsibility to stay connected with like-minded supporting industry experts who can guide and help you deal with your day to day work issues.

Strategic Management Of Technological Innovation

The Best Branding Strategy - Make A Real Connection

If you are entrepreneurial in nature owning a business is very exciting adventure. It can also be the most difficult thing for you to get into if you are not prepared.

The Internet has an enormous impact on how people communicate, shop, and work. This technology has also created changes in how companies conduct business in the 21st century. One of the areas of business that is likely to see tremendous change in the coming years is supply-chain management. By harnessing the power of the Internet, supply-chain management will continue to evolve in ways that will enable enterprises to change the way they manage inventory, place orders with suppliers, and communicate critical information with each other.

While some of these technologies have existed for years, or decades in the case of radio frequency identification tags, the harnessing of the Internet to these technologies offers the potential for transforming supply-chain management. Improved supply-chain management also means improved inventory control and increased profits.

In 2001, Nike missed its revenue target by a significant dollar amount. The shortfall was explained in part by a failed supply-chain automation project. "Some estimate that new technologies could strip out more than $30 billion in excess inventories" (Fonstad). The term e-business - as distinct from e-commerce - can be used to describe the adoption of the Internet to accelerate the goal of supply-chain integration (Lee) Four emerging technologies and practices in e-business will have a dramatic impact on supply-chain management.

o Virtual marketplaces

o Radio frequency identification tags (RFID)

o Synchronized planning

o Supplier performance management

VIRTUAL MARKET PLACES

MetalJunction is the virtual marketplace owned by two of India's largest steel producers. Tata Steel and Sail Steel traded more than 5,000 tons of steel in March 2002. By March 2003, tonnage had increased to 43,000 tons per month (Mills).

What is a virtual marketplace and what are its applications to industry? Virtual marketplaces have many names such as e-markets, net market places, and electronic markets. These markets all have common characteristics.

o Reliance on the Internet

o Buyers and Sellers come together without an intermediary

o Neutrality (all buyers and sellers are treated the same)

o Information is provided about sellers and products

In its most fundamental form, a virtual market place brings together buyers and sellers through the internet. At its highest level, a virtual market place gives a purchaser and supplier the opportunity to re-engineer the sales administration process, improve forecasting and scheduling, renew its go-to-market approach, shorten its order-to-cash cycle, and enhance customer service (Steel24-7). Ideally, virtual market places are centered on a particular industry. Some prominent examples are steel, agricultural products, and automotive parts. In addition to providing information on vendors and general information about its products, a virtual market may also offer product specifications, side-by-side comparisons, technical papers, and market analysis.

Many challenges exist in setting up an e-marketplace. Primary among these are identifying the tools necessary to use the market, providing a secure environment, pricing, payment, and fulfillment. For an orderly marketplace, Internet protocols must be selected. The cost of the technology to access and engage in the market must not be prohibitive. Security and privacy must be adequate to ensure confidential transactions. Authentication and authorization of users from many organizations must be possible. Private communication must be assured.

Pricing policies may be set or bartered. A common example of bartering, or auctioning, is E-Bay for consumer products. Payment procedures can be predetermined or arranged between the buyer and the seller. Finally, fulfillment of orders must be insured. As in the case of traditional marketplaces, failure to deliver in a timely manner will result in firms losing market power and ultimately may lead to failure (McKnight).

A final issue of concern in virtual markets is jurisdiction and governing law. Virtual markets place its members in the global trading community. Since e-markets are a recent phenomenon, defining the legal system responsible for settling disputes is an evolving process. Current legal reasoning places jurisdiction in the locality of the market. In a virtual market, however, one must ask where the market actually exists. While the FTC has attempted to exert control over on-line transactions, a definitive ruling on the jurisdiction for international e-market places has not yet been made.

RADIO FREQUENCY IDENTIFICATION TAGS

In November 2003, Wal-Mart gathered together its 120 top suppliers to announce it would require radio frequency identification tags (RFID) on shipping pallets and cases of merchandise. Wal-Mart set a deadline of January 2005 for its top 100 suppliers. The remaining suppliers will had until the start of 2006 to meet the requirement (Sliwa).

A basic RFID system has three components.

o Antenna

o Transceiver

o Transponder (tag)

The antenna activates the tag, reads, and writes data to it. When an RFID tag moves past a reader, its information is transmitted to a host computer for processing. Most common RFID systems are passive and contain their own power source, have a short transmitting range, operate at a low frequency, and have a low cost. While RFID has existed since the 1960's recent technological changes have reduced the cost and allowed the technology to be used in more applications.

A common everyday use of RFID is the automatic reading of prepaid passes on toll roads. The advantages of RFID are many fold. For example, RFID is extremely fast, non-contact, does not require line of site, and can operate in a variety of weather conditions. In the case mentioned above, the benefits of RFID will go to Wal-Mart, while the costs are the responsibility of the suppliers. Kara Romanov, an analyst with AMR Research, Inc., estimates the start-up costs for a supplier who ships 50 million containers per year will run between $13 million and $23 million. These costs include RFID tags and associated hardware and software (Sliwa).

SamSys Technologies of Richmond Hills, ON and ThingMagic, LLC of Cambridge, MA are two leaders in the application of RFID to supply-chain management. Sam-Sys is dedicated to an open system environment that will not limit RFID to a single protocol or range of frequencies. This philosophy is based on the premise of many vendors and readers that will work seamlessly together (SamSys).

ThingMagic was founded in 2000 by five MIT graduates. It has developed low cost RFID systems. Presently, ThingMagic is developing and marketing protocol agile RFID tag readers (ThingMagic). In addition to Wal-Mart, the Department of Defense (DOD) is a key player in RFID development and deployment. The Department of Defense has issued a new policy, which requires all suppliers embed passive RFID chips in each individual product if possible, or otherwise at the level of cases or pallets by January 2005. In February 2004, the DOD hosted a summit for its suppliers to discuss its RFID plans (Broersma). To quote Colin Cobain the Chief Technology Officer of Tesco Stores: "The question is not will RFID change the way you do business. The question is will you be ready" (ThingMagic).

SYNCHRONIZED PLANNING ACROSS THE SUPPLY-CHAIN

"Synchronized planning, in the form of collaborative forecasting and replenishment, coordinated production, inventory and capacity plans, information integration, and direct linkages of ERP systems, is one of the most exciting developments in supply chain management in many industries" (Synchronous). Synchronized Planning involves key steps (Lee).

o Information integration

o Planning synchronization

o Workflow coordination

o New business models

First, information integration requires information sharing and transparency. It is the sharing of information among the members of the supply chain. Information exchanged may include inventory levels, production schedules, and shipment schedules. The benefits include better job scheduling and a reduction of the bullwhip effect. "The effect indicates a lack of synchronization among supply chain members. Even a slight change in consumer sales ripples backward in the form of magnified oscillations upstream, resembling the result of a flick of a bullwhip handle" (Chase 335).

Planning synchronization defines what is to be done with the information that is shared. This can include collaborative planning and joint design. The benefits are lower cost and improved service.

If planning synchronization is the "what" is to be done with shared information, workflow coordination is the "how" it is done. Operations that can be coordinated include procurement, engineering and design changes, and production planning. Benefits include early time to market, improved service, and gains in efficiency. Synchronized planning can lead to new business models. Not only can these new business models redefine workflow, they can lead to changes in responsibility for different parts of the supply-chain. A redefined supply-chain can jointly create new products and lead to expansion into new markets (Lee).

Synchronized planning, however, cannot be accomplished without a tight linkage of all companies in the supply chain. Channels of communication must be well defined and the performance of each member in the chain must be monitored. The integrated supply-chain must hold members responsible for their part in the process. As product life cycles grow shorter and shorter, efficient synchronization of the supply-chain grows in importance. To ensure that the supply-chain is driven by consumer demand, and to decrease the bullwhip effect, synchronized planning is critical (Lee).

SUPPLIER PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT

As the supply-chains of different organizations become tightly intertwined, it becomes necessary to measure the performance of each member of the chain. Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan testified before Congress in February 2001 that businesses were unable to anticipate the economic slowdown of the last recession, overbuilding inventories despite significant supply-chain automation (Fonstad). Even the use of the latest technology, therefore, may not guarantee that a supply-chain is operating efficiently.

One way to answer the question of how well a supply-chain is functioning is to develop supplier scorecards. There are five steps in developing an effective scorecard (Golovin).

o Agree on what is important and how to measure it

o Use web based incident reports to communicate problems as they occur

o Engage in continuous supplier management

o Measure to prevent rather than react

o Use web based software that all suppliers can utilize without making expensive investments in software and training

It is important that the buyer and seller agree at the outset on what is important and how it is measured. This is critical because once decided upon, the supplier will optimize its work to the designated criteria. If just in time delivery is a priority, the supplier may concentrate on this aspect of the order to the detriment of other factors. In addition, benchmarks to measure supplier performance must be realistic and attainable.

Actual performance should then be consistently tracked against these benchmarks. The manufacturer and supplier should work together to develop benchmarks that are consistent with industry performance and product specifications. The use of web based incident reports is important in keeping track of problems as they occur. Incident reports should not be used only to track problems, but should be used to resolve the problem in real time. It is also important to measure the time it takes the supplier to correct the problem.

Continuous supplier management, sometimes referred to as supplier engineering, has become more important as manufacturers outsource more of their operations. A 90-day review cycle can be ruinous when you are manufacturing an innovative product. "Innovative products typically have a life cycle of just a few months" (Chase 337). A 90-day review cycle may come close to exceeding the competitive advantage of an innovative product. Effective continuous supplier management must be geared to specific periods and tolerances. This is then tied to web based incident reports that enable alarms to ring when products, or delivery, are out of agreed upon tolerances.

An effective supplier scorecard should be set up to prevent problems as opposed to reacting to them. The sooner you know there is a problem the lower the cost of resolving it and the greater the chance of preventing it altogether. The best scorecard not only measures events after they have happened, they continually monitor performance in real time. The use of automation is key to making this happen. For example, a system that matches invoices with purchase orders will catch pricing errors before a check is cut and a manufacturer's money is out the door. Utilizing web-based software not only decreases the cost of a supplier integrating with a manufacturer, it speeds up the integration process. Web-based software also enables suppliers both small and large to participate in the supply-chain.

The other four points listed above all rely on the ability of a manufacturer and a supplier to participate in the planning, sourcing, quality control, and delivery of a product. The Internet enables all members of the supply-chain to collaborate and work together as a team. Finally, by making supplier performance web-based, suppliers are able to participate in their own performance improvement (Golovin).

CONCLUSION

Supply-chain management is an interesting and complex subject. It goes to the core of new business methods in the 21st century. The near universal availability of the Internet is the enabling technology for changes in how the supply-chain of an enterprise is managed. The Internet also allows organizations to adopt new business practices and enter new markets. By harnessing the power of the Internet, supply-chain management will continue to evolve beyond the changes being implemented today.

E-business has been the logical outgrowth of e-commerce. E-business adopts the power of the Internet to accelerate the growth of supply-chain integration. While E-business has had a tremendous impact on supply-chain management, it also can be adapted to both front end and back end business operations (Lee). Improved inventory control and increased profits are two of the benefits of improved supply-chain management. As noted in the introduction, Nike missed its 2001 earnings targets due in part to the failed implementation of a supply-chain automation project. It has also been estimated that more than $30 billion dollars in excess inventories can be eliminated through improved supply-chain management. These real savings can be brought straight to the bottom line.

Four new technologies and business practices that harness the power of the Internet are virtual market places, radio frequency identification tags, synchronized planning (RFID), and supplier performance management. Virtual markets enable buyers and sellers to come together 24/7 in effect creating a store that never closes. The additional advantages of virtual marketplaces are the elimination of an intermediary, access to product and vendor information, and a neutral market where all buyers and sellers are treated equally. Virtual markets give both buyers and sellers the opportunity to re-engineer their sales administration process.

As noted above, RFID has existed since the 1960's, however, improvements in technology and paring RFID with the Internet has expanded this tracking method beyond its limited past in manufacturing plants. The three components of an RFID system are an antenna, transceiver, and a transponder (tag).

Synchronized planning when applied across a supply chain consists of collaborative forecasting and replenishment, coordinated production, inventory and capacity planning, information integration, and direct linkage of ERP systems. The four key steps in synchronized planning are information integration, planning synchronization, workflow coordination, and the opportunity to develop new business models. Key to synchronized planning is using the Internet for information sharing. The benefits of synchronized planning include better job scheduling and reduction of the bullwhip affect. The bullwhip affect magnifies oscillations upstream in the supply-chain caused by a change in consumer sales. Synchronized planning also defines what is to be done with shared information and how it will be done. As product life cycles grow shorter, efficient synchronization of the supply-chain rewards firms who seize its potential.

Supplier scorecards are a method of evaluating members of the supply-chain in increasingly intertwined organizations. As Alan Greenspan pointed out in 2001, many firms were unable to anticipate the last recession and continued overbuilding inventory despite having invested heavily in supply-chain automation. This statement underscores the need develop the tools to monitor the performance of firms up and down the supply-chain. The five steps to develop an effective scorecard are agreeing on what is important and how it will be measured, the use of web-based incident reports, engagement in continuous supplier management, measuring to prevent problems, and the use of web-based software. In rolling out these tools, it is imperative that both the buyer and the seller first agree on what is important and how it will be measured. The other steps flow from the first.

The Internet has had an enormous impact on the personal and professional lives of businesspersons. On the business side, the Internet has brought new life to existing technologies and offered businesses the opportunity to engage in the world marketplace. The harnessing of the Internet by business has enabled greater cooperation and information exchange up and down the supply-chain. The Internet has enabled businesses to improve the supply-chain by the way they manage inventory, place orders, and communicate critical information with each other.

Works Cited

Broersma, Matthew. "Defense Department Drafts RFID Policy." CNET News. 24 Oct 2003. 5 Dec. 2003.

Chase, Richard B., Nicholas J. Aquilano, and F. Robert Jacobs. Operations Management for Competitive Advantage. 9th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin, 2001.

Fonstad, Jennifer. "From the Ground Floor: How to Manage Inventory on Demand." Red Herring. 31 May 2001. 5 Dec 2003.

Golovin, Jonathan. "Five Keys to a Successful Supplier Scorecard." Vigilance, Inc. 5 Dec 2003.

Lee, Hau L., and Seungjin Whang. "E-Business and Supply Chain Integration." Stanford Global Supply Chain Management Forum. Nov 2001. 22 Nov 2003.

McKnight, Lee W., Diana Anius, and Ozlem Uzuner. Virtual Markets in Wireless Grids: Peering Policy Obstacles. TPRC 30th Research Conference on Communication, Information, and Internet Policy., Oct 2002. Vienna, VA: Telecommunications Policy Research Conference.

"Mills Warm to Online." Steel Business Briefing. 1 Jul 03. 22 Nov 2003. SamSys. 4 Dec 2003.

Sliwa, Carol. "Wal-Mart Suppliers Shoulder Burden of Daunting RFID Effort." Computerworld. 10 Nov 2003: 1+. Steel24-7. 22 Nov 2003.

"Synchronous Planning Across the Supply Chain." Stanford Global Supply Chain Management Forum. 27 Jan 1999. 22 Nov 2003.

ThingMagic. 4 Dec 2003.

Artificial Intelligence Machine Learning

Marketing Strategy - How to Plan Your Advertisement

With the support of our professional business network, you get the opportunity to exchange experience and knowledge at a top professional level, and to strengthen and develop your own skills within your management and specialist areas.

Through business relationships and experience sharing in confidential settings for Finance Managing Director, we strive to create personal and business value for all our network peers.

Workplace Wellness Programs

Artificial Intelligence, the name is getting rich & popular in the tech world and making the world groove along technological shifts. Covering our functionalities to changing the people view, AI is increasingly important for those of us in the marketing game! It all boils down to machines being able to tackle tasks that would normally require our input, freeing up time and energy for us. The key for us is not only how quickly these machines handle the tasks, but how much more efficient they do them as well.

The key for us is not only how quickly these machines handle the tasks, but how much more efficient they do them as well. With the contribution, the analytical and exponential growth is the prime factor that makes the human task easy. The exponential growth and automation of AI are for the marketing purposes, and there lies the key.

Artificial Intelligence is seen shaping the retail online shopping industry. Wondering, how? The speedy calculation and easiness in payment option, have made AI and robotics field to be used more and more.

Smart technology shaping the online shopping experience

People are more connected to their choices, and if those choices come in the form of visual research and touch, it's more than interactive. Visual search has been around for a long time, but with the advancements in artificial intelligence and the rise of mobile commerce, it's now gaining acceptance with the retailers. The internet sensation among the different countries has made people more and more closely with the technology advancements. Smart technology in the form of the social influence allows shoppers to digitally compare outfits by capturing a 360-degree view of themselves in an outfit and letting them send those images to friends via email and social media.

Chatbots as the customer shift and right fix

The technology of the chatbots has been very popular among the millennials. The importance and the prime factor have made it be used in the trending tech updates. Rising of the smartphones and options of open statistical have allowed the brand's E-commerce is a very competitive landscape. The brands that will thrive in 2017 will be those that will harness the power of new technology to create a more personal experience for customers.

E-commerce is a very competitive landscape. In the coming days, brands will thrive in with the power of new technology to create a more personal experience for customers, more interested in the trending e-commerce needs.

Customer Relationship Management

A few years back the shopping experience of the customer was in the back flash with the longer bills and non-hassle technology. What used to be collecting copious amounts of data to be tackled by someone when they finally had enough time to conquer the project for drawing conclusions and making future predictions, is now streamlined and far more efficient. With the help of AI, the days of aggressive re-marketing and focusing on the amount of ad exposure will be long gone. The new marketing era will be able to focus on quality and directing more relevant advertising to the right visitors at the right time. It has made the people interaction to the verging technology.

Image Classification with Computer Analytics

AI is changing the game. With its ability to classify, interpret, and understand images, AI is making it easier to find what you didn't even know the name of the image and the other unshakable changes.

With the use of the technology, one can improve the new way of the shopping and try to wend according to the new devices and technology shifts. The technology has proved to be essentials in life of all!

Networking has always been considered a powerful tool for improving business prospects, advancing a career, and developing ideas. Other than some brief, structured events, networking has been mostly informal and inexpensive in comparison to cost they otherwise spend on different channels. But membership is growing in many formal, long-term networking groups, and so is the price tag.

Our groups are not groups for generating sales leads, nor are they places where individuals can drop-in to gain quick advice on an immediate challenge.  Members also sign a confidentiality agreement and benefits from the guided mentoring to help each other.

These groups include an experienced facilitator and use a structured discussion method to ensure appropriate participation.

IT Senior Manager Joo Koon Machine Learning Advertising

As a IT Senior Manager Joo Koon, its very critical for you to understand developing brand strategy is extremely critical. The most important asset your company has is its brand. Quite simply, it drives the direction of your business. So you should definitely have a well thought out brand strategy in place.

Increasing competition in business develops similar products with good quality from different manufacturers. But only an effective, innovative and New Innovations & planning can make your business and products more popular.

For your profession as IT Senior Manager Joo Koon it becomes your responsibility to stay connected with like-minded supporting industry experts who can guide and help you deal with your day to day work issues.

Artificial Intelligence Machine Learning

5 Benefits Of Artificial Intelligence In Marketing

If you are entrepreneurial in nature owning a business is very exciting adventure. It can also be the most difficult thing for you to get into if you are not prepared.

Marketing strategy:
Marketing strategy consists of some valuable plans that integrate an organization's marketing goals. The Proper combination of goals, policies, and action sequences makes the marketing strategies effective. The main aim of marketing strategy is to increase the sales and profits of any organization or company.

Marketing strategy is developed by considering the following factors:

Environment analysis and marketing research:
The observation of external factors that promote success or failure of a company is a most important marketing strategy. The external factors include economy, competition, atmosphere, transport system and solicitation of data to resolve special marketing issue.

Market selection:
For better sales of a product, market selection is significant. The amount of sales of a product depends on the location of the market, whether the market is situated in urban or rural areas; whether the market place is easily accessible for people.

Consumer analysis:
The consumer characteristics such as taste, choice and preference affect the product marketing. The consumer characteristic varies from man to man and location to location. So inspection of consumer characteristics, needs and purchase processes is also important.

Product planning (including foods, services, and ideas):
Product planning includes the development of existing product by changing of the composition, packaging system, product positions, brands and deletion of the old products.

Distribution planning:
The delivery system of the product to various markets, shopping malls and restaurants is also considered for marketing strategy. The distance from the production place to whole or retail seller, transportation system, physical distribution, allocation of goods, wholesaling detailing, inventory management and channel relations are reasonable factors for distribution planning.

Price planning:
Price of a product should be kept in tolerable range for all classes of people so that they can easily pay for the product. If the price of the product becomes very high, the consumer will not buy the product.

Communication Planning:
The communication planning may include the advertising about the product through different mass media, such as the television, radio, newspaper. The more a company publishes, the more it sells. At the recent time, online advertising is another media of publicity. By advertising the companies or organizations gets the chance of focusing their product's good quality and urging the customers to buy their products.

Brand name:
Brand name of a company has a large effect on the consumer to make them buy their product. A company should select a nice and attractive family brand for its better publicity.

The Financial Executives Networking Group

3 Surprising Ways Artificial Intelligence Can Push Marketing and Advertising to the Next Level

With the support of our professional business network, you get the opportunity to exchange experience and knowledge at a top professional level, and to strengthen and develop your own skills within your management and specialist areas.

Through business relationships and experience sharing in confidential settings for IT Senior Manager Joo Koon, we strive to create personal and business value for all our network peers.

A Framework For Strategic Innovation

What is a Brand? Put simply, it defines the identity of an organisation, product or service. It's more than just names and logos. The identity needs to be based on a unique idea and told through a compelling story. It needs to connect with potential customers and form positive emotional bonds. The idea needs to be distinctive from the competition and relevant to the target markets worldview. It also needs to be authentic, meaning that it's not enough to simply make empty claims. The organisation needs to actually live its brand.

Brands increase the value of products and services by differentiating them from the competition, creating positive mental associations and forming emotional relationships with the customer. Philip Kotler from the Kellogg School of Management famously said that "if you are not a brand, you are a commodity. Then price is everything and the low cost producer is the only winner."

Competing on price may increase short-term sales, but is a dangerous strategy for anyone serious about building a profitable, sustainable business. Brands provide businesses with the means to free themselves from constant price competition, increase the value of their services, reduce their marketing costs and develop long-term customer loyalty.

Building a successful, sustainable brand requires careful planning and consistency. It needs a strategy. Brand strategy is the plan that defines defines the ideas and stories behind the brands, the structure and relationship of the brands within the organisation and the core identifying elements. These can include elements such as company and product names, tone of voice, logo's, colour schemes etc. It also provides the framework for implementing the brands throughout the organisations operations and for using them to efficiently work towards the businesses goals. It's not just a cosmetic exercise; it's a key element of business strategy.

With a clear strategy in place, managers can make appropriate, co-ordinated, informed decisions not just in marketing, but in all departments from product development through to customer service and recruitment. This process of embodying the brand idea throughout the organisation is what we call branding.

The beauty of branding is that by telling your customers authentic, compelling stories, you not only make your goods more attractive and valuable, you give your customers something to talk about. Humans naturally love to tell and share stories. By giving them good stories to tell, you gain access to what is by far the cheapest and most effective form of promotion - word of mouth.

Few organisations manage to achieve the full benefits of word of mouth, and worse still, for many organisations it spreads more negative stories than positive. To compensate for a lack of positive word of mouth, organisations spend huge sums of money on ineffective marketing exercises. Without an effective brand strategy these exercises are often unfocussed, inconsistent and unauthentic. Consequently, they rarely pay for themselves, let alone make a profit.

So what is the role of marketing? To a large extent, branding is the antithesis of marketing. Branding is the most effective way of generating positive word of mouth, making it both cheaper and more effective than traditional marketing techniques.

Marketing without a clear brand strategy is a chaotic, costly exercise that in essence is little more than shouting and showing off about your products and services. People don't like or trust show-offs. If you want to make an impact, you need to talk to them like grown ups. With exposure to thousands of marketing messages every day, consumers have become largely immune to meaningless promotional messages, filtering them out and filing them in their mental recycle bins.

However, there is still a place for marketing and in many cases, marketing is part of the branding process as it provides a means by which to spread the brand story. This explains why there is so much confusion regarding the difference between them. Marketing used to be about the promotion of products and services. Successful marketing now focuses on the promotion of brands.

If an organisation developed a perfect brand idea but did nothing to promote it, then no one would ever have heard about it. The story would never spread and the strategy would be unsuccessful. It's therefore important to combine the strengths of both branding and marketing in order to reach your target market.

The most successful organisations combine a confident and forward thinking idea with a robust and organised strategy. They then use carefully targeted marketing to help get their story out. The success of their brands means that as time goes on, the need for formal marketing reduces and the effectiveness of any existing marketing increases, thus paving the way for increased profits and organisational growth.

In conclusion, brands are a key element of building profitable businesses with long-term sustainability. When executed well, they increase sales, add value to products and services and reduce marketing costs. They also give focus to a business, boost staff morale and increase share value.

Building successful brands is not simply a cosmetic exercise. They need to be consistent, true to the organisation and embodied throughout their activities. This is only possible when a clear brand strategy is in place to act as a framework for their implementation, and to ensure that they are always working towards the business goals. Marketing has its place as a tool for promoting brands, but once they have made a connection with the core of their target market, successful brands can sell themselves through word of mouth.

Networking has always been considered a powerful tool for improving business prospects, advancing a career, and developing ideas. Other than some brief, structured events, networking has been mostly informal and inexpensive in comparison to cost they otherwise spend on different channels. But membership is growing in many formal, long-term networking groups, and so is the price tag.

Our groups are not groups for generating sales leads, nor are they places where individuals can drop-in to gain quick advice on an immediate challenge.  Members also sign a confidentiality agreement and benefits from the guided mentoring to help each other.

These groups include an experienced facilitator and use a structured discussion method to ensure appropriate participation.

Finance Senior Manager Brand Awareness

As a Finance Senior Manager, its very critical for you to understand developing brand strategy is extremely critical. The most important asset your company has is its brand. Quite simply, it drives the direction of your business. So you should definitely have a well thought out brand strategy in place.

Increasing competition in business develops similar products with good quality from different manufacturers. But only an effective, innovative and Sme Supply Chain & planning can make your business and products more popular.

For your profession as Finance Senior Manager it becomes your responsibility to stay connected with like-minded supporting industry experts who can guide and help you deal with your day to day work issues.

Focus Group Interviews In Qualitative Research

Machine Learning Marketing: How to Improve Your Customer Experience

If you are entrepreneurial in nature owning a business is very exciting adventure. It can also be the most difficult thing for you to get into if you are not prepared.

Did you know that five of the biggest tech giants viz. IBM, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and Amazon have recently formed a partnership for the research and development of Artificial Intelligence?

And these market leaders form just the top of the cream. Thousands of startups like Kwiziq, JamieAI, and Verv are blooming across the globe, investing in the development of upcoming AI era. So what is it that all these businesses have found in the potential of this technology that is driving them to hustle? And more importantly, why is it important for your business to participate and adapt to this futuristic technology?

More efficient digital assistance

Machines have since the beginning set themselves as important because of their ability to enhance human efficiency. Let's just assume what change in efficiency can be brought upon when these machines become actually intelligent; when they can make best possible decisions on their own, without being affected by the limiting constraints of human beings? There will be fewer errors, less unpredictable problems, and fewer delays, all of which will have a cumulative effect on the overall efficiency of any system.

Digital marketing at its best

Many companies are already in the process of garnering the potential power of artificial intelligence and are working with intelligent chatbots to enhance their marketing efforts. It is no wonder they have taken this route. Chatbots and other similar AI marketing solutions can take digital marketing to its extreme, where you can solve the queries of your potential customers, create interactive marketing campaigns, and resolve many repetitive and monotonous tasks without having to invest in multiple resources.

Limitless exploration

When it comes to exploration, biological boundaries of humans have always been considered as the biggest limitation. And it is not just the biological needs that have kept us from exploring inhospitable environments of space or underwater. These limitations are also in the form of our sensory perceptions. There are many wave patterns and frequencies that humans are simply unable to detect, this is why machines like the thermal camera that detects infrared waves have become so important for the seamless exploration even of our immediate environment. Machines with artificial intelligence can remove all these problems with a single stroke.

Wide application scope and new opportunities

As opposed to the most recent technological developments, AI becomes more desirable because of its far-fledging application. Since most of the present technological advances are limited to the technological ground only, the field was losing its significance in other spheres of life. But with AI, such is not the case. Its potential has made it a most sought-after invention in the areas of medical science, financial systems, air transport, heavy mechanical industries, and even art.

Transitional Shift

Unlike social media, AI is not a booming phase. It is the development of a completely new ecosystem that will change the technology as we know it today. There is no limit to what the future may hold when we come to the peak of AI development when intelligent machines will be working without the biological constraints of human bodies. It will continue to evolve at an exponential rate, solving perhaps, some of the most profound mysteries of the universe.

At present, even with all its advancements, AI can still be considered in its newborn stage, and for all those businesses that aspire to survive and thrive through this transitional shift, it is extremely important for them to adapt.

What Does It Mean To Be A Resilient Person

Strategy - Brand Identity Guru Tips On Strategic Planning

With the support of our professional business network, you get the opportunity to exchange experience and knowledge at a top professional level, and to strengthen and develop your own skills within your management and specialist areas.

Through business relationships and experience sharing in confidential settings for Finance Senior Manager, we strive to create personal and business value for all our network peers.

How Leaders Create And Use Networks

The management of supply chains is constantly developing due to momentous changes such as the Internet, E-commerce and the globalisation of supply chains. Its success often relies on rapid, accurate and efficient handling of data. The trend towards lean and agile distribution channels and the growth of Fourth Party Logistic Providers (4PLs) within the supply chain industry requires significant organisation and management. The efficient control of these activities requires supply chain knowledge, operational information and importantly, timely and accurate data to support the decision making process. Essentially, effective and efficient data acquisition techniques are required.

RFID is a generic term for technologies that use radio waves to communicate the identity of individual items over an air interface. RFID works similarly to bar code technology in that an item has to be interrogated by a scanner or reader for it to be identified. Barcodes, however, have one significant downfall, they require line-of-site technology. That means the scanner has to see the barcode to read it, which usually means items have to be manually oriented towards the scanner for it to be read. Conversely, RFID does not require line-of-site and can be read as long as the item is within range of the reader.

RFID is now being considered as an integral link in E-Commerce environments. The technology in theory should enhance and complement Electronic Data Interchanges (EDIs) to facilitate quick response and the generation of exception reports. This should allow real time information to be transmitted to partners within the supply chain supporting the decision-making process. Ultimately RFID should provide immediacy of data right down to individual item level identification. This can help bridge the gap between the customer, the order and order fulfilment process to the satisfaction of the customer. This means that it can enable the enhanced responsiveness expected within an E-Business environment.

The supply of on-demand barcode label printers currently represents one of the most widely used AIDC technologies (technologies such as: barcodes, smart cards, magnetic stripes on credit cards, optical character recognition etc) in supply chain applications (e.g. EPOS, warehouse and inventory management). Due to mandates set by influential leaders in the retail and defence industries, barcode label printers with RFID enabled capabilities present a real opportunity for companies to develop and extend their product portfolios by providing products which will enable companies to meet compliance objectives. Opportunities also exist to provide printers for those companies faced with compliance for when usage and acceptance of the technology becomes more prevalent. An entire new market segment will have emerged, requiring a widespread ongoing supply of printers, peripheral equipment and consumables.

Bar code systems Bar code systems include the symbologies that encode data to be optically read, printing technologies that produce the machine-readable symbols and scanners and decoders that capture the visual images of the symbologies and convert them into computercompatible digital data. Barcode scanning reduces errors associated with manual data handling, and produces visibility to aid supply chain management. A significant benefit of bar codes is that they are extremely cheap to produce and provide an efficient means of item identification. Unfortunately, according to some sources, bar codes are proving increasingly inadequate in a growing number of applications. Bar coding is an optical technology, which introduces constraints regarding orientation of the product (invariably requiring human intervention) and cleanliness of labels and scanners for fast efficient data collection. Bar codes can be easily copied and so become an easy target for counterfeiting. In addition, standard barcodes have low storage capacity, cannot be reprogrammed and only identify the manufacturer and product and not the unique item. Industry bodies indicate that bar code systems are now a mature technology with limited potential for further growth.

RFID is emerging as a complementary technology to help overcome some of the drawbacks associated with bar code technology. RFID systems consist of transponders (tags), which are made up of a microchip with a coiled antenna and an interrogator (reader) with an antenna. The tags are attached to the items to be identified and the RFID readers communicate with the tags via electromagnetic waves. RFID middleware (software) provides the interface for communication between the interrogator and existing company databases and information management systems. RFID is a term used to describe any identification device that can be sensed at a distance by radio frequencies with few problems of obstruction and mis-orientation. The devices are often referred to as 'RFID tags' or 'Smart Labels'.

In its most basic form, a smart label consists of an ultra- thin RFID tag often referred to as an inlay. Inlays for smart labels are available in the 13.56 MHz, 860 to 930 MHz and 2.45 GHz frequency ranges. The inlays are embedded in label material, which is printed with human-readable text, graphics and bar codes (passive smart label). The printed data both supplements and backs up the information that is programmed into the tag. An evolutionary product to passive smart label technology is the smart active label (SAL). SALs can be defined using the same definition of smart labels above, but for one clear distinction, the inclusion of an integral power source. This distinguishing characteristic allows SALs to provide enhanced functionality over passive RFID smart labels including sensory, processing, display and locating capabilities. Smart labels are typically used for disposable applications and are not as durable as permanent RFID tags, which can be encased in materials to withstand harsh environments. Although one company suggests that the label material can be developed to withstand environmental conditions and that appropriate adhesive can ensure the label lasts the required duration.

Smart labels are referred to as smart because of their flexible capabilities provided by the RFID tag embedded in the label. The tag can be programmed and/or updated in the field allowing the same label to be reused serving multiple needs and disparate applications. Subsequently, the label is no longer static as a bar code label, but dynamic in its capability when equipped with RFID. Supporters of RFID suggest benefits which include: cost savings through automating the check-out process, a reduction in labour associated with performing inventory counts; improved theft prevention and increased authenticity control, a reduction in inventory holding cost, diversions and improved product availability. Unfortunately, an exact description of how the benefits are attainable in practice has often remained vague. The main criticisms on RFID technology are that it is too expensive and that it is unlikely that the investment will pay off. It is also argued that RFID is an over-marketed, hyped technology and that existing bar code based systems already provide most of the needed functionality.

Networking has always been considered a powerful tool for improving business prospects, advancing a career, and developing ideas. Other than some brief, structured events, networking has been mostly informal and inexpensive in comparison to cost they otherwise spend on different channels. But membership is growing in many formal, long-term networking groups, and so is the price tag.

Our groups are not groups for generating sales leads, nor are they places where individuals can drop-in to gain quick advice on an immediate challenge.  Members also sign a confidentiality agreement and benefits from the guided mentoring to help each other.

These groups include an experienced facilitator and use a structured discussion method to ensure appropriate participation.

Information Technology Tools Digitization Process

As a Information Technology Tools, its very critical for you to understand developing brand strategy is extremely critical. The most important asset your company has is its brand. Quite simply, it drives the direction of your business. So you should definitely have a well thought out brand strategy in place.

Increasing competition in business develops similar products with good quality from different manufacturers. But only an effective, innovative and Business Strategy & planning can make your business and products more popular.

For your profession as Information Technology Tools it becomes your responsibility to stay connected with like-minded supporting industry experts who can guide and help you deal with your day to day work issues.

Business Environment Consequences For Industries Impacted By Digitisation

Brand Strategy - Brand Value - Brand Identity Guru

If you are entrepreneurial in nature owning a business is very exciting adventure. It can also be the most difficult thing for you to get into if you are not prepared.

Keeping a watchful eye on technical innovation is vital to develop a clear vision for the future of any business. But effective strategies for success depend on managers and executives avoiding hidden blind spots and investment decisions that obscure the way forward. Last year, according to World Economic Forum figures, private sector global spending on digitizing business operations exceeded $1.2 trillion dollars, yet just 5% of executives reported being satisfied with the results. In most industries the transition from analog to digital is one of the biggest challenges facing business leaders today. There are 8 common mistakes executives make.


Finding the best way: As with most human activity, planning is everything. The digitization process is a unique opportunity for executives to take a good hard look at their enterprise and ask some important questions:


What digital activities are already underway?


What will the industry look like in 5, 10 or 20 years?


What strategies can the company employ to succeed in a digital future?


What is the end goal of the transition from analog to digital?


Understanding where the business is attempting to go should help avoid some of the following bumps and wrong turns in the journey. Most of the common mistakes executives make with the digitization process relate to investment. Nearsighted investments focus too heavily on the short term, giving insufficient consideration to an organization’s long-term needs. While, farsighted investments focus on future needs with scant attention given to immediate development, which undermines current performance and impacts future goals.


Even when the current and future needs of a business are given equal consideration blind spots can occur, as parts of the business are overlooked by investment and turn into points of weakness that disrupt overall performance. Putting a coherent strategy in place directs funding to areas of the business most in need. As well as scheduling where and when to invest, this strategy prevents executives making “scattershot” small investments without an overall funding plan.


Mind your own business As each organization is unique, no two paths to a digital future are the same. The structure of a business can influence its digitization journey, with heavily centralized companies at risk of suffering from a rigid chain of imposing policy from on high. Similarly, command structures that encourage parts of the business to operate as independent units, or islands, can duplicate investments which also duplicate costs. Every six months the management should ask these questions:


How the digitization of work affects us all?


Why a futuristic digital healthcare system, might not be out of reach?


How can we build a workforce for our digital future?


Enabling change Aside from investment decisions, another common area where mistakes are made relates to the balance of resources and their application. A company’s data, technology, operating model and talent either work to enable digital progress or hinder it. Some companies focus too heavily on building up these enablers, without considering if additional staff, technology and data capacity add value to the business. Whereas, the digital transformation of other companies suffer from a lack of resources to accommodate spending on new business applications.


The new digital reality Image: WEF The pace of technological change is impacting the business and social worlds faster than ever before. A new digital reality is emerging where 85% of customer interaction will take place without humans and where 65% of today’s young will grow up and work in industries or jobs that don’t yet exist. Companies that successfully bridge the gap from analog to digital are in prime position to fully embrace the opportunities offered by a digital future.

10 Sneaky Ways To Build Brand Awareness

Marketing Strategies - Making Indirect Marketing Work for You

With the support of our professional business network, you get the opportunity to exchange experience and knowledge at a top professional level, and to strengthen and develop your own skills within your management and specialist areas.

Through business relationships and experience sharing in confidential settings for Information Technology Tools, we strive to create personal and business value for all our network peers.

Impact Of Digitization On Society In General

Starbucks portrays itself as a high quality coffee for the high class and is priced slightly higher than the coffee of Caffe Nero. It stays true to its American originality and emphasizes solely on its wide range of coffee drinks with only a few snacks and desserts. Apart from that, Starbucks distinguishes itself from other cafes by providing a very comfortable atmosphere with facilities like Wi-Fi so their customers can enjoy surfing the web while drinking their coffee.

On the other hand Caffe Nero emphasizes on its Italian blend and portrays itself as not only a café but also a bar and restaurant. It has quite an extensive menu with a variety of popular Italian dishes. Due to this many people visit Caffe Nero to have meals rather than just a cup of coffee. They have brought a pure European vibe to their cafes thus remaining true to their originality. For the convenience of their customers and to add to their attracting they have also launched loyalty cards.

MARKETING STRATEGY:

Marketing strategies help businesses in promoting their products and services in a certain way that they want to. While cashing on their most important points they try to create an image of their brand in the minds of their target customers so as to achieve their target sales and a favorable market share. Marketing strategies help businesses in gaining a competitive edge by catering to those specific niches that others fail to identify. Marketing strategies devised by organizations vary in duration from one year plans to those extending well over many years. A lot of factors are taken into consideration when devising marketing plans and strategies that are defined by the environment within which the company operates. This is most often referred to as a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis which helps businesses in pinpointing the areas which they can take advantage of and the areas which they need to be careful of.

The most important factor that any business has to take into consideration, when creating its marketing strategies is its competitors. Competitors' actions have a huge impact on what an organization should do. In the coffee chain industry there are now plenty of independent coffee shops in UK like the most popular Starbucks, Monmouth Coffee, Coffee Aroma, The Apple Tree and Caffe Nero. In this assignment the marketing strategies of both Starbucks and Caffe Nero will be reviewed after which a critical analysis will be given of the both.

STARBUCKS

The first Starbucks outlet was opened in Seattle well over thirty years ago. Today Starbucks proudly stands at $4.1 billion with thousands of outlets not only in the United States but all over the world. Many companies have studied the secrets and strategies adopted by Starbucks in an attempt to learn how Starbucks grew so fast. The marketing strategies being adopted by Starbucks at present will be discussed in this assignment (voteforus.com 2011).

Unique marketing strategy:

The marketing strategy adopted by Starbucks has remained unconventional. They didn't adopt the common styles of advertisement using billboards, newspaper ads or television commercials. Rather they relied on word - of - mouth to promote their brand name.

Product quality:

The most important thing that Starbucks never lost control of is the quality of their coffee beans. They were the first ones to introduce the true Italian "burnt espresso" flavor to the Americans. They justify their high quality by charging a slightly higher price than most other cafes.

Comfortable environment:

Another focus of Starbucks outlets is the environment they provide in their cafes for their customers. Starbucks has always been promoted as that perfect place to relax when out of home and out of the office. They have started offering Wi-Fi connectivity in their outlets so that their customers can browse the internet as well while they enjoy their cup of coffee.

Customer satisfaction:

Customer satisfaction is the strongest favorable point of Starbucks. Each customer that enters a Starbucks outlet is given such a special treatment that they truly feel like they are in a special place.

The Starbucks community:

Starbucks has truly taken full advantage of the latest hype of social media. They have adopted their latest marketing strategies around social media websites like creating fan pages on Facebook and Twitter where they actually respond to all customers and keep in touch by posting pictures, videos and all the latest promotional information.

Innovation:

Starbucks has always kept its menu fresh by constantly coming up with new items and different blends and flavors in their coffee. Some of their latest hit drinks have been the Green Tea Latte considering the health conscious consumers along with iced tea and Frappuccino for their outlets in warmer climates.

Brand Marketing:

Starbucks has always portrayed itself as a high quality product and thus decided to rely on word - of - mouth promotion only. This served to be a quite useful marketing strategy as comparison to going for promotional ads in magazines, newspapers, billboards etc. They have recently begun utilizing the social media websites in the most effective manner ever. Their Facebook and Twitter pages have proved quite useful in promoting the image of Starbucks while also enabling them to have direct communication with all their customers on one platform

CAFFE NERO:

According to chairman of Caffe Nero, Gerry Ford (2008), Caffe Nero Group Ltd is 'the largest independent coffee retailer in UK, with over 400 stores in the UK'. It was founded in the year 1977 and today has its outlets open overseas as well in Turkey and Middle East. They distinguish themselves from other café's in UK by emphasizing on the fact that they are an Italian Coffee Company. Their main aim, as in the words of Gerry Ford (2008), 'is to provide a European style coffee house experience offering premium espresso - based gourmet coffee, authentic Italian food products and a relaxing atmosphere in every store'.

Caffe Nero has been given many awards for its high quality coffee over the years and for its outstanding experience that they deliver in their shops. Tatler has rated Caffe Nero as 'The best espresso this side of Milan while Egon Ronay has labeled it as "The Traditional Italian Café". Caffe Nero has also been given the label by UK consumers as "The best UK Coffee House" in nine consecutive years (Allegra Report, the UK's definitive guide for the coffee industry).

CAFFE NERO'S USP:

The Caffe Nero's marketing strategy mostly emphasis on its unique selling point which is a pure Italian theme. Caffe Nero portrays its self from more than just a café. Rather it has created a perfect blend of a café cum bar and restaurant. Therefore Caffe Nero is not limited to only providing a place for coffee and snacks rather you can go there just to enjoy a meal. They have a wide range of exquisite desserts along with many Italian dishes like the Italian wraps, soups, sandwiches, pasta and paninis.

CAFFE NERO'S TARGET MARKET

Caffe Nero mainly targets tourists in UK or the Italians searching for their Italian taste in cuisine. They are targeting the middle - income group of people who are middle - aged, students or business people who prefer to go to a café during their lunch breaks. Furthermore, Caffe Nero has formed a partnership with the famous chain retail store, House of Fraser, due to which around 145 cafes opened up, many of which were located within House of Fraser stores (James, Situation Analysis of the Caffe Nero Group Ltd - Festive City

Critical Analysis Between the Two Companies

Now that a basic review has been given on the marketing strategies being used by both Starbucks and Caffe Nero, an analysis will be done on what differentiates them from each other.

  • Caffe Nero and Starbucks are direct competitors but Caffe Nero distinguishes itself from Starbucks by selling cheaper coffee than Starbucks.
  • Caffe Nero offers a wider range of food items along with its coffee beverages which makes it stand apart from Starbucks which does not have such a wide range of assortments.
  • Caffe Nero adopts a strong brand positioning by emphasizing on its European - style coffee shop as compared to Starbucks which is of American origin. Caffe Nero has a unique selling point which emphasizes on the cafes continental - style whereas Starbucks is of American style.
  • Starbucks has successfully opened thousands of outlets overseas and in the international market whereas Caffe Nero still lacks in international expertise and has just recently opened its stores in Turkey and the Middle East.
  • Starbucks has plenty of outlets all over UK whereas Caffe Nero does not have sufficient outlets in Central London.
  • Caffe Nero has a lot of potential of growing because it enjoys many unique selling points like its pure European authenticity.

References

1. Ford, G (2008), 'THE BEST ESPRESSO THIS SIDE OF MILAN'

2. Voteforus.com (March 29, 2011) Starbucks Success Is It's Word Of Mouth/Social Media/Viral Marketing Strategy

3. James, S, Situation Analysis of the Caffe Nero Group Ltd - Festive City

4. VoteforUs.com Starbucks Marketing Strategy Unconventionally Effective

5. Kembell, B, Hawks, M, Kembell, S, Perry, L, Olsen, L 2002, 'Catching the Starbucks Fever', Missouri State University. Unpublished.

6. Rajul (2010), 'Starbucks vs Caffe Nero vs Costa: who wins?'

Networking has always been considered a powerful tool for improving business prospects, advancing a career, and developing ideas. Other than some brief, structured events, networking has been mostly informal and inexpensive in comparison to cost they otherwise spend on different channels. But membership is growing in many formal, long-term networking groups, and so is the price tag.

Our groups are not groups for generating sales leads, nor are they places where individuals can drop-in to gain quick advice on an immediate challenge.  Members also sign a confidentiality agreement and benefits from the guided mentoring to help each other.

These groups include an experienced facilitator and use a structured discussion method to ensure appropriate participation.

HR Managing Director Managing Logistics

As a HR Managing Director, its very critical for you to understand developing brand strategy is extremely critical. The most important asset your company has is its brand. Quite simply, it drives the direction of your business. So you should definitely have a well thought out brand strategy in place.

Increasing competition in business develops similar products with good quality from different manufacturers. But only an effective, innovative and Digitizing Services & planning can make your business and products more popular.

For your profession as HR Managing Director it becomes your responsibility to stay connected with like-minded supporting industry experts who can guide and help you deal with your day to day work issues.

Building Emotional Resilience Right Way

Marketing Strategies - Making Indirect Marketing Work for You

If you are entrepreneurial in nature owning a business is very exciting adventure. It can also be the most difficult thing for you to get into if you are not prepared.

If you could have the secret recipe and all the manufacturing facilities of Coca Cola but not the Coca Cola brand--or have its famous brand but no facilities--which would you choose? It's not a trick question. But it demonstrates the power of the brand. Walk into any bank and say "hi I'm Coca Cola, how about a loan"!

Let me ask another way. If you could have all the products or services your company produces, but not its name and brand, are you confident they would sell? The truth is, people don't only buy products and services. They buy promises and reputations--what brands represent.

I'm the Brand Identity Guru. I've spent most of my professional life helping companies tap into the strength of their brands. Developing a strong brand identity is critical to any company's success. Integrating brand-conscious thinking into communications is so critical, so synergistic, yet it's seldom done by design groups and advertising agencies.

Why? It's just not what they do. Graphic Designers don't understand positioning or branding. And ad agencies are more interested in placing ads in the media. Or creating work that wins awards- for them.

A branding company's total focus, their entire business practice, is based on the maxim that strong brands (new or repositioned) make companies more successful.

Pick the brain of a professional branding consultant. It's bound to spur some powerful ideas. Whether you need to brand or re-brand products, services or the corporation itself, introduce new products or services or reposition existing ones--there's a chance to lay a strategic foundation to re-energize your entire company.

Any qualified branding consultant can strengthen your company's brand identity for sure.

Strategic Management And Innovation

The Impact Of RFID and the Supply Chain Management

With the support of our professional business network, you get the opportunity to exchange experience and knowledge at a top professional level, and to strengthen and develop your own skills within your management and specialist areas.

Through business relationships and experience sharing in confidential settings for HR Managing Director, we strive to create personal and business value for all our network peers.

Business Development Manager Role

Even the best marketing strategies need to be revisited, if not revised. Changes in the market environment can dramatically change the marketing mix and your product plans. Marketing strategy should be viewed as a process, which means that the best laid marketing plans will change sooner or later.

Strategic change can be caused by many forces; sometimes change is a threat while other times it can be an opportunity. It all depends on how your product or business is defined; additionally, how you react may be the biggest factor in your future success.

Sometimes the market evolves and the demand for an offering changes. For example, obesity is on a dramatic rise in North America; because of this people are becoming more "food label savvy" about calories, fat grams, sugar, carbohydrates, and protein. Fast food restaurants have had to respond with salad bars, better disclosure of nutritional information, and leaner products.

Another source of strategic change is technological innovation. As microprocessors increase in speed and processing ability, older personal computers quickly become obsolete. A more disruptive technological change might be the creation of the MP3 format and downloadable music. Music is now purchased one song at a time instead as albums of songs.

Occasionally, a market is redefined. This is often driven by competition or customer demand. Today, our fast paced culture demands a more personalized relationship with information, which has created wikis, blogs like this one, and the birth of IPTV (Internet Protocol Television). This new information content business allows the reader or viewer to get "personalized content" when they want it and where they want it.

Also, marketing channels change. Today the internet has changed the relationship of customers with providers. No longer dependent on the provider for education on products and services, the new consumer is more informed and sophisticated than ever. In fact, the consumer is more powerful and will get what they want or they will find another provider.

For the marketing strategist, the challenge is to anticipate the changes and take control of their destiny. The alternatives of delaying action or getting surprised can mean business failure.

As former GE CEO Jack Welch said, "Change before you have to".

Networking has always been considered a powerful tool for improving business prospects, advancing a career, and developing ideas. Other than some brief, structured events, networking has been mostly informal and inexpensive in comparison to cost they otherwise spend on different channels. But membership is growing in many formal, long-term networking groups, and so is the price tag.

Our groups are not groups for generating sales leads, nor are they places where individuals can drop-in to gain quick advice on an immediate challenge.  Members also sign a confidentiality agreement and benefits from the guided mentoring to help each other.

These groups include an experienced facilitator and use a structured discussion method to ensure appropriate participation.

Sales And Marketing Tools Bishan Ai Business Trade

As a Sales And Marketing Tools Bishan, its very critical for you to understand developing brand strategy is extremely critical. The most important asset your company has is its brand. Quite simply, it drives the direction of your business. So you should definitely have a well thought out brand strategy in place.

Increasing competition in business develops similar products with good quality from different manufacturers. But only an effective, innovative and Machine Learning Advertising & planning can make your business and products more popular.

For your profession as Sales And Marketing Tools Bishan it becomes your responsibility to stay connected with like-minded supporting industry experts who can guide and help you deal with your day to day work issues.

Challenges Of Supply Chain Management

Brand Strategy - Brand Value - Brand Identity Guru

If you are entrepreneurial in nature owning a business is very exciting adventure. It can also be the most difficult thing for you to get into if you are not prepared.

Owning a business is a very exciting adventure. It can also be the most difficult thing for you to get into if you are not prepared. One of the most intimidating aspects of business is branding. The reason is because many people look at all of the big corporations such as McDonald's, Wal-Mart, and other types of businesses that have been around for a very long time, and think that they could never beat these guys out. The truth is that you are not necessarily trying to knock these guys out because they aren't trying to knock each other out. The purpose is to brand you enough to make a presence. When you make a presence for yourself, you draw attention.

It is very important for you to brand yourself for whatever marketplace you are trying to infiltrate. When we talk about branding, we are not necessarily talking about emblems or logos. You also have to take into account certain branding signatures that make businesses well known. For example, you might see a crowd of people go to a particular business because of a specific deal that they have on certain days (i.e. free drink with purchase of two hamburgers). Sometimes deals, discounts, and many other common methods of advertising can cause people to take notice.

So how do you create a brand strategy? You need to understand the totality of what separates you from the other competition. Don't concentrate on trying to be the top dog in the marketplace. Instead focused on what you can do to stand out from the crowd.

How Much Does A Focus Group Cost

e-Marketing Strategy: 7 Dimensions to Consider For Digital Growth

With the support of our professional business network, you get the opportunity to exchange experience and knowledge at a top professional level, and to strengthen and develop your own skills within your management and specialist areas.

Through business relationships and experience sharing in confidential settings for Sales And Marketing Tools Bishan, we strive to create personal and business value for all our network peers.

A Framework For Strategic Innovation

When I was ten years old at a summer camp I was leading in the potato sack race. To check on my competitors I looked over my shoulder and suddenly tripped and fell. I came in last place. Even the slowest person, Marsh Mellow Matt beat me. It was humiliating. But in the end I gained a good learning experience.

When a bargain-brand product attacks your premium-brand space, is it still healthy to look over your shoulder? Will you trip over too?

In a robust economy it's relatively easy to maintain profitable growth of a premium-brand product. Conversely, in today's economy, the competitive forces are testing the best of us. We are entering a new paradigm of business and the days of conspicuous consumption are quickly receding. Since 2007 over 8 million jobs have been lost. We have chronic unemployment at 10%, or in reality its 17% when you add the people who gave up looking for a job. As fear, insecurity, and the need to be frugal enter the consciousness of consumers, companies are responding by introducing lower price bargain-brand products. What's a premium-brand to do?

There are three strategies a premium-brand can consider; (1) Introduce your own bargain-brand, (2) Innovate a new value product category (3) Or, maintain status quo. Let's consider the ramifications of deploying your own Bargain-Brand.

As Jacqueline Kennedy once said, "I don't react, I respond."

There's a saying, "Never fight a pig because you'll get muddy and the pig will enjoy it." The same goes for a premium-brand looking to protect its market share against a bargain-brand. Every day we see new bargain airlines, bargain consumer products, bargain cars, bargain food, and bargain electronics. Be careful of the panic reaction when you deploy short term tactics in price discounting and couponing. It may only deplete profits. You can hold the line, but can you afford customers who defect to lower price brands. As Jacqueline Kennedy once said, "I don't react, I respond."

Seek your uniqueness

There are no right answers, but a journey of discovery will help determine your strengths, weaknesses, and uniqueness. In a recent book by Dr. Caroline Leaf, called, The Gift In You, this PhD. Researcher discovered there are seven layers of thinking processes in our minds. The seven layers of thinking processes are: Intrapersonal, Interpersonal, Math/Logic, Visual/Spatial, Music, Kinesthetic, and Linguistic. Starting from the most dominant thinking process, when a new thought enters our mind it will loop into the seven layers in a different sequential order. For example, someone who thinks first in music will be able to read between the lines to give meaning to it. While a logic/math dominant thinker performs pattern recognition in huge numbers and reasons in a precise order. We all see the world differently and think differently. We are all unique and so are our companies and the way we collective process our thinking. As such it's fruitless to be like someone else such as Steve Jobs. None of us can think like him and nor do we want to. We must learn to be ourselves by knowing our uniqueness and using it to your advantage.

Are you an elephant or a cheetah?

As Shakespeare once said, "To thine own self be true." In other words, do you have the competencies to compete as a Bargain-Brand?

When launching a new product you'll have to adjust and adapt quickly. Is your company a cheetah that can move quickly and adapt to consumer and market changes? Or, are you a slow moving elephant that makes decisions at a sluggish pace? A slow moving elephant should think twice when competing against fast moving bargain-brand cheetahs.

GM was slow to introduce Saturn to compete against the Japanese, but Intel was quick to respond to constant AMD attacks. At first, Intel's bargain-brand chips (Celeron) performed poorly, but they responded quickly to the market and beat AMD at their own game.

Will you divide and conquer yourself?

Julius Caesar's strategy to overcome the enemy was to divide and conquer. When launching a Bargain-Brand, you might be dividing your resources and placing your entire organization into a weak position. Without sufficient resources, people, and focus, both your premium and bargain brand products could become diluted and fail. If the Bargain-Brand fails then you'll have the added cost and time of cleaning up plus the cost and time to rebuild the Premium-Brand.

It cost GM $15 Billion to launch and maintain the Saturn division. Delta Airlines launched Ted Airlines and lost billions too. These two elephants didn't understand their uniqueness nor able to response quickly to market changes. Rather they copied the competition thinking that would satisfy the market.

On the other hand, fifty years ago, Anheuser-Busch was facing a low-price assault from regional players which opened up a whole new market category. Anheuser-Busch responded by opening up another company that was completely separate from the parent company; perhaps you've heard of Busch Beer.

Are you looking at your customers or just your competition?

The famous basketball coach John Wooden won more college basketball championships than anyone else. Part of his success was to never allow one player to be compared to another. Rather, each player was judged by his own skills, performances, and productivity. Companies trying to copy Bargain-Brands don't have the same competencies, people, collective thinking processes, and experiences like their competition. Look at Steve Jobs and his string of successful products; iPod, iPhone, iTunes, etc. Therefore, don't copy your competition, rather seek what is good for the customer and use your uniqueness to develop your product.

Know thy customer

This is a key time to study your customer to determine their true needs and the perceived value of your offering. Advances in Neuromarketing have discovered that traditional marketing research can fall short in truly understanding how a customer receives your message. Each year billions of dollars are spent on traditional market research and still 80% of new product launches fail. Neuromarketing will give you insight on the emotional needs of your audience and how they will perceive your messaging and marketing.

The power of Neuromarketing starts with the engagement of our seven senses; (1) Taste, (2) Smell, (3) Hearing (4) Touch, (5) Sight, (6) Humor, and (7) Intuition. To make it all work one must understand the power of association that directly impacts our emotional brain and how past experiences are recalled when we encounter a brand experience. Walk into a Whole Foods Store and you're bombarded with a cornucopia of beautiful food, fresh baked bread, brewed coffee, and desserts turned into art. You're flooded with emotions of mom, home, security, abundance, and happiness. The experience is frequently joyful and you're willing to pay premium prices for their products.

The power of association will engage our senses to recall positive experiences that we will tie to the brand. Called somatic markers, they represent a total compilation of emotions, negative associations, and positive associations. When a woman is given a light blue box with a white ribbon, the Tiffany brand and blue color evoke strong feminine emotions. When we think of a well branded product, such as Coach, Chanel, Harley Davidson and Tiffany, many of us experience an emotional and somewhat sensual positive response. A good brand tied to Neuro-marketing should offer:

o A great experience that exceeds customer's expectations
o A clarification of the value of the product
o A decision by the prospect to consider purchasing it

How we associate products with past experiences can determine our purchasing considerations. Mr Lindstrom in Buyology highlighted a few examples such as;
o Light blue for a woman can be associated with engagement, marriage, babies, and fertility. Pink is associated with luxury, sensuality, and being feminine.
o Color will increase brand recognition by 80% and represents up to 50% in the decision making process to choose a brand product.
o People will buy more out of love (53%) versus sex (26%).
o Be authentic, transparent, and real. We buy from people we can relate to.

Don't let your Bargain-Brand cannibalize the profits of your Premium-Brand.
If you decide on launching a Bargain-brand be sure you are capturing the right revenue. If one part of your target audience is not profitable with your premium-brand and your bargain-brand can capture that profit, then go for it. On the other hand, if your Bargain-brand is going to cannibalize your premium-brand profits then reconsider your options.

It's essential that your bargain-brand have a different perceived value, messaging, and pricing. Years ago Kodak came out with a bargain-brand film that had little distinction from the premium brand. Customers went for the lower price product cannibalizing profits from the premium-brand. On the other hand, when P&G purchased Luv's Diapers brand, it repositioned it as a bargain-brand. Their Pampers brand was given greater features and advertising thus creating a higher perceived value.

Must Develop a Difference in Perception and Value
If you offer a bargain-brand, then your goal is to offer two products with much separation in value and messaging. You'll want to consider using Neuromarketing research techniques. It is essential that the premium product maintain its true value benefits while the lower-price brand act and look like a bargain-brand one. By acting like a bargain-brand, you'll be able to cut costs on marketing, support, operations, and production and thereby creating the gross margin to compete effectively on price. You may want to use a hot button here to connect people to your article on Neuromarketing.

When Anheuser-Busch rolled out Busch Beer they created a whole new company and identity. They invested in new distribution, new trucks, and new sales people to ensure that the Premium-brand and Bargain-brand were not confused but optimized.

Don't recreate the wheel or build a new organization unless there's a market for it
GM invested $15 Billion in Saturn and it failed. Is your goal to market a Bargain-Brand or build a new company?

Consider your resources, sales volume, and gross margins. Your goal is to make a profit. If your Premium-brand cannot serve another large market, then a new organization, such as starting up a discount airline division or Busch Beer may be an answer. On the other hand, if your premium-brand can cover the market then re-consider your options. As I mentioned earlier, GM spent $15 Billion on the new Saturn division, when their existing product lines at Buick and Chevy reached the same target audience.

The Final Strategy to Consider: Innovate a new product category
A recent book called Blue Ocean Strategy stated that it is sometimes better to innovate a new product than to compete in blood thirsty waters or Red Ocean. Look at the crowded fields of electronic consumer products, automobiles and food. When you launch a new product in these categories how do you stand out?

Conversely, companies will innovate new products developing a new category where there is no competition; hence Blue Ocean. Years ago Sony launched the Walkman. Apple introduced the iPod and iPhone. An example in Blue Ocean Strategy was the Casella Winery from Australian who wanted to launch a new wine in a very crowded and snooty category.

A strategy based on innovation will look at different customers with shared commonalties. In the crowded wine business, more wineries did not think of looking for low budget beer drinkers. The Casella winery saw things differently and believed beer drinkers would want wine if the purchase decision was made simple and fun. Out came Yellow Tail wine in simple red and white versions.

A blue ocean is created when a company achieves value innovation that creates value simultaneously for both the buyer and the company. The innovation (in product, service, or delivery) must raise and create value for the market, while simultaneously reducing or eliminating features or services that are less valued by the current or future market.

The lesson I learned in the potato sack race was easy, keep your eye on the goal line not what your competition is always doing. John Wooden's success was doing the best he could possibly do every day. As you consider your premium brand, think about the best you can do every day with it. As any typical SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) and PESTEL analysis (Political, Economic, Social, Technology, Environmental, Legal) you should consider:

Are you an elephant or a cheetah organization?
Will your Bargain -Brand cannibalize your Premium -Brand profits?
Do you have the resources to run two brands simultaneously at a profit?
Are you able to clearly define and communicate the different unique selling proposition for each brand?
Will the customer perceive the differences?
Will your current Premium-Brand cover this market? Or is the Bargain-Brand a new demographic?
Lastly, do you innovate a new product to create a new category and target audience?

As Jacqueline Kennedy once said, "I don't react, I respond." Panic and fear should not be part of your tactics, but a well thought out response that optimizes your resources, strengths, and uniqueness in meeting the needs and wants of your customer.

Networking has always been considered a powerful tool for improving business prospects, advancing a career, and developing ideas. Other than some brief, structured events, networking has been mostly informal and inexpensive in comparison to cost they otherwise spend on different channels. But membership is growing in many formal, long-term networking groups, and so is the price tag.

Our groups are not groups for generating sales leads, nor are they places where individuals can drop-in to gain quick advice on an immediate challenge.  Members also sign a confidentiality agreement and benefits from the guided mentoring to help each other.

These groups include an experienced facilitator and use a structured discussion method to ensure appropriate participation.

Sales And Marketing Director Business Strategy

As a Sales And Marketing Director, its very critical for you to understand developing brand strategy is extremely critical. The most important asset your company has is its brand. Quite simply, it drives the direction of your business. So you should definitely have a well thought out brand strategy in place.

Increasing competition in business develops similar products with good quality from different manufacturers. But only an effective, innovative and Supply Chain & planning can make your business and products more popular.

For your profession as Sales And Marketing Director it becomes your responsibility to stay connected with like-minded supporting industry experts who can guide and help you deal with your day to day work issues.

Supply Chain Management Association

Advances Its Supply Chain Strategy With The Web Methods

If you are entrepreneurial in nature owning a business is very exciting adventure. It can also be the most difficult thing for you to get into if you are not prepared.

Developing brand strategy is extremely critical. The most important asset your company has is its brand. Quite simply, for better or worse, it drives the direction of your business. You should definitely have a well thought out brand strategy in place. Unfortunately, too many companies don't have a brand strategy, or have an inconsistent brand strategy. A brand strategy company should realize there's probably a good reason you may not be paying attention to your brand strategy--you're busy running your business.

What you don't realize is that a proper brand strategy can make running your business easier and more profitable. A brand strategy is truly powerful, and a brand strategy company should be ready to help you find and develop the right brand strategy for your company.

Just how important is it that you hire someone who understands what makes a solid brand strategy? Consider this. Say you want to remodel your kitchen. If you were to do it yourself with no prior experience, it would take a lot of time and a lot of trial and error to get it right. That's why it's a better idea to hire a good contractor to get the job done right the first time and on budget. The same is true for brand strategy.

Creating the right brand strategy for your business requires research and a great deal of thought on how to creatively execute a brand strategy that captivates your audience. Then, it takes a talented group of creative branding strategy gurus to execute it. A branding company should be ready to be your "contractor" and develop a brand strategy that works for your business.

Strategy Innovation And Entrepreneurship

The Scope of Artificial Intelligence In Web Development Explored

With the support of our professional business network, you get the opportunity to exchange experience and knowledge at a top professional level, and to strengthen and develop your own skills within your management and specialist areas.

Through business relationships and experience sharing in confidential settings for Sales And Marketing Director, we strive to create personal and business value for all our network peers.

How To Become A Focus Group Moderator

When I was ten years old at a summer camp I was leading in the potato sack race. To check on my competitors I looked over my shoulder and suddenly tripped and fell. I came in last place. Even the slowest person, Marsh Mellow Matt beat me. It was humiliating. But in the end I gained a good learning experience.

When a bargain-brand product attacks your premium-brand space, is it still healthy to look over your shoulder? Will you trip over too?

In a robust economy it's relatively easy to maintain profitable growth of a premium-brand product. Conversely, in today's economy, the competitive forces are testing the best of us. We are entering a new paradigm of business and the days of conspicuous consumption are quickly receding. Since 2007 over 8 million jobs have been lost. We have chronic unemployment at 10%, or in reality its 17% when you add the people who gave up looking for a job. As fear, insecurity, and the need to be frugal enter the consciousness of consumers, companies are responding by introducing lower price bargain-brand products. What's a premium-brand to do?

There are three strategies a premium-brand can consider; (1) Introduce your own bargain-brand, (2) Innovate a new value product category (3) Or, maintain status quo. Let's consider the ramifications of deploying your own Bargain-Brand.

As Jacqueline Kennedy once said, "I don't react, I respond."

There's a saying, "Never fight a pig because you'll get muddy and the pig will enjoy it." The same goes for a premium-brand looking to protect its market share against a bargain-brand. Every day we see new bargain airlines, bargain consumer products, bargain cars, bargain food, and bargain electronics. Be careful of the panic reaction when you deploy short term tactics in price discounting and couponing. It may only deplete profits. You can hold the line, but can you afford customers who defect to lower price brands. As Jacqueline Kennedy once said, "I don't react, I respond."

Seek your uniqueness

There are no right answers, but a journey of discovery will help determine your strengths, weaknesses, and uniqueness. In a recent book by Dr. Caroline Leaf, called, The Gift In You, this PhD. Researcher discovered there are seven layers of thinking processes in our minds. The seven layers of thinking processes are: Intrapersonal, Interpersonal, Math/Logic, Visual/Spatial, Music, Kinesthetic, and Linguistic. Starting from the most dominant thinking process, when a new thought enters our mind it will loop into the seven layers in a different sequential order. For example, someone who thinks first in music will be able to read between the lines to give meaning to it. While a logic/math dominant thinker performs pattern recognition in huge numbers and reasons in a precise order. We all see the world differently and think differently. We are all unique and so are our companies and the way we collective process our thinking. As such it's fruitless to be like someone else such as Steve Jobs. None of us can think like him and nor do we want to. We must learn to be ourselves by knowing our uniqueness and using it to your advantage.

Are you an elephant or a cheetah?

As Shakespeare once said, "To thine own self be true." In other words, do you have the competencies to compete as a Bargain-Brand?

When launching a new product you'll have to adjust and adapt quickly. Is your company a cheetah that can move quickly and adapt to consumer and market changes? Or, are you a slow moving elephant that makes decisions at a sluggish pace? A slow moving elephant should think twice when competing against fast moving bargain-brand cheetahs.

GM was slow to introduce Saturn to compete against the Japanese, but Intel was quick to respond to constant AMD attacks. At first, Intel's bargain-brand chips (Celeron) performed poorly, but they responded quickly to the market and beat AMD at their own game.

Will you divide and conquer yourself?

Julius Caesar's strategy to overcome the enemy was to divide and conquer. When launching a Bargain-Brand, you might be dividing your resources and placing your entire organization into a weak position. Without sufficient resources, people, and focus, both your premium and bargain brand products could become diluted and fail. If the Bargain-Brand fails then you'll have the added cost and time of cleaning up plus the cost and time to rebuild the Premium-Brand.

It cost GM $15 Billion to launch and maintain the Saturn division. Delta Airlines launched Ted Airlines and lost billions too. These two elephants didn't understand their uniqueness nor able to response quickly to market changes. Rather they copied the competition thinking that would satisfy the market.

On the other hand, fifty years ago, Anheuser-Busch was facing a low-price assault from regional players which opened up a whole new market category. Anheuser-Busch responded by opening up another company that was completely separate from the parent company; perhaps you've heard of Busch Beer.

Are you looking at your customers or just your competition?

The famous basketball coach John Wooden won more college basketball championships than anyone else. Part of his success was to never allow one player to be compared to another. Rather, each player was judged by his own skills, performances, and productivity. Companies trying to copy Bargain-Brands don't have the same competencies, people, collective thinking processes, and experiences like their competition. Look at Steve Jobs and his string of successful products; iPod, iPhone, iTunes, etc. Therefore, don't copy your competition, rather seek what is good for the customer and use your uniqueness to develop your product.

Know thy customer

This is a key time to study your customer to determine their true needs and the perceived value of your offering. Advances in Neuromarketing have discovered that traditional marketing research can fall short in truly understanding how a customer receives your message. Each year billions of dollars are spent on traditional market research and still 80% of new product launches fail. Neuromarketing will give you insight on the emotional needs of your audience and how they will perceive your messaging and marketing.

The power of Neuromarketing starts with the engagement of our seven senses; (1) Taste, (2) Smell, (3) Hearing (4) Touch, (5) Sight, (6) Humor, and (7) Intuition. To make it all work one must understand the power of association that directly impacts our emotional brain and how past experiences are recalled when we encounter a brand experience. Walk into a Whole Foods Store and you're bombarded with a cornucopia of beautiful food, fresh baked bread, brewed coffee, and desserts turned into art. You're flooded with emotions of mom, home, security, abundance, and happiness. The experience is frequently joyful and you're willing to pay premium prices for their products.

The power of association will engage our senses to recall positive experiences that we will tie to the brand. Called somatic markers, they represent a total compilation of emotions, negative associations, and positive associations. When a woman is given a light blue box with a white ribbon, the Tiffany brand and blue color evoke strong feminine emotions. When we think of a well branded product, such as Coach, Chanel, Harley Davidson and Tiffany, many of us experience an emotional and somewhat sensual positive response. A good brand tied to Neuro-marketing should offer:

o A great experience that exceeds customer's expectations
o A clarification of the value of the product
o A decision by the prospect to consider purchasing it

How we associate products with past experiences can determine our purchasing considerations. Mr Lindstrom in Buyology highlighted a few examples such as;
o Light blue for a woman can be associated with engagement, marriage, babies, and fertility. Pink is associated with luxury, sensuality, and being feminine.
o Color will increase brand recognition by 80% and represents up to 50% in the decision making process to choose a brand product.
o People will buy more out of love (53%) versus sex (26%).
o Be authentic, transparent, and real. We buy from people we can relate to.

Don't let your Bargain-Brand cannibalize the profits of your Premium-Brand.
If you decide on launching a Bargain-brand be sure you are capturing the right revenue. If one part of your target audience is not profitable with your premium-brand and your bargain-brand can capture that profit, then go for it. On the other hand, if your Bargain-brand is going to cannibalize your premium-brand profits then reconsider your options.

It's essential that your bargain-brand have a different perceived value, messaging, and pricing. Years ago Kodak came out with a bargain-brand film that had little distinction from the premium brand. Customers went for the lower price product cannibalizing profits from the premium-brand. On the other hand, when P&G purchased Luv's Diapers brand, it repositioned it as a bargain-brand. Their Pampers brand was given greater features and advertising thus creating a higher perceived value.

Must Develop a Difference in Perception and Value
If you offer a bargain-brand, then your goal is to offer two products with much separation in value and messaging. You'll want to consider using Neuromarketing research techniques. It is essential that the premium product maintain its true value benefits while the lower-price brand act and look like a bargain-brand one. By acting like a bargain-brand, you'll be able to cut costs on marketing, support, operations, and production and thereby creating the gross margin to compete effectively on price. You may want to use a hot button here to connect people to your article on Neuromarketing.

When Anheuser-Busch rolled out Busch Beer they created a whole new company and identity. They invested in new distribution, new trucks, and new sales people to ensure that the Premium-brand and Bargain-brand were not confused but optimized.

Don't recreate the wheel or build a new organization unless there's a market for it
GM invested $15 Billion in Saturn and it failed. Is your goal to market a Bargain-Brand or build a new company?

Consider your resources, sales volume, and gross margins. Your goal is to make a profit. If your Premium-brand cannot serve another large market, then a new organization, such as starting up a discount airline division or Busch Beer may be an answer. On the other hand, if your premium-brand can cover the market then re-consider your options. As I mentioned earlier, GM spent $15 Billion on the new Saturn division, when their existing product lines at Buick and Chevy reached the same target audience.

The Final Strategy to Consider: Innovate a new product category
A recent book called Blue Ocean Strategy stated that it is sometimes better to innovate a new product than to compete in blood thirsty waters or Red Ocean. Look at the crowded fields of electronic consumer products, automobiles and food. When you launch a new product in these categories how do you stand out?

Conversely, companies will innovate new products developing a new category where there is no competition; hence Blue Ocean. Years ago Sony launched the Walkman. Apple introduced the iPod and iPhone. An example in Blue Ocean Strategy was the Casella Winery from Australian who wanted to launch a new wine in a very crowded and snooty category.

A strategy based on innovation will look at different customers with shared commonalties. In the crowded wine business, more wineries did not think of looking for low budget beer drinkers. The Casella winery saw things differently and believed beer drinkers would want wine if the purchase decision was made simple and fun. Out came Yellow Tail wine in simple red and white versions.

A blue ocean is created when a company achieves value innovation that creates value simultaneously for both the buyer and the company. The innovation (in product, service, or delivery) must raise and create value for the market, while simultaneously reducing or eliminating features or services that are less valued by the current or future market.

The lesson I learned in the potato sack race was easy, keep your eye on the goal line not what your competition is always doing. John Wooden's success was doing the best he could possibly do every day. As you consider your premium brand, think about the best you can do every day with it. As any typical SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) and PESTEL analysis (Political, Economic, Social, Technology, Environmental, Legal) you should consider:

Are you an elephant or a cheetah organization?
Will your Bargain -Brand cannibalize your Premium -Brand profits?
Do you have the resources to run two brands simultaneously at a profit?
Are you able to clearly define and communicate the different unique selling proposition for each brand?
Will the customer perceive the differences?
Will your current Premium-Brand cover this market? Or is the Bargain-Brand a new demographic?
Lastly, do you innovate a new product to create a new category and target audience?

As Jacqueline Kennedy once said, "I don't react, I respond." Panic and fear should not be part of your tactics, but a well thought out response that optimizes your resources, strengths, and uniqueness in meeting the needs and wants of your customer.

Networking has always been considered a powerful tool for improving business prospects, advancing a career, and developing ideas. Other than some brief, structured events, networking has been mostly informal and inexpensive in comparison to cost they otherwise spend on different channels. But membership is growing in many formal, long-term networking groups, and so is the price tag.

Our groups are not groups for generating sales leads, nor are they places where individuals can drop-in to gain quick advice on an immediate challenge.  Members also sign a confidentiality agreement and benefits from the guided mentoring to help each other.

These groups include an experienced facilitator and use a structured discussion method to ensure appropriate participation.

Head Of Finance Punggol Digital Strategy

As a Head Of Finance Punggol, its very critical for you to understand developing brand strategy is extremely critical. The most important asset your company has is its brand. Quite simply, it drives the direction of your business. So you should definitely have a well thought out brand strategy in place.

Increasing competition in business develops similar products with good quality from different manufacturers. But only an effective, innovative and Digitizing Services & planning can make your business and products more popular.

For your profession as Head Of Finance Punggol it becomes your responsibility to stay connected with like-minded supporting industry experts who can guide and help you deal with your day to day work issues.

Artificial Intelligence Machine Learning

Branding Strategies - When a Bargain-Brand Attacks a Premium-Brand

If you are entrepreneurial in nature owning a business is very exciting adventure. It can also be the most difficult thing for you to get into if you are not prepared.

The Artificial Intelligence market will expectedly be worth $153 billion in the near future. We are talking about digital revolution here. We are talking about path breaking technological ideas and implementation here. It is going to redefine the way in which humans are going to interact with machines.

Artificial Intelligence in Web Development: Is it even possible?

The stakes are high. The figures are impressive - to say the least. We have got engineers and marketers embarking on diverse plans with AI at the core. Why should developers be left behind? No credentialed web development company would ideally be unaware of the scope of Artificial Intelligence as far as web development is concerned. The consultants should not be unaware of the fact that developers around the world are looking at the possible integration of Intelligence and web development to bolster user experience.

Imagine sitting in front of one of those template designers that you have just signed up for. Expect your "AI designer" to ask you about your preferences with regard to branding, colors, content and layout. Once you have fed the answers to those questions, the template designer, based on the pre-programmed algorithms will automatically go on to create a website, which is the perfect combination of aesthetic and professional appeal.

How will Artificial intelligence go on to facilitate "communication"?

This is what AI can do for web development. Using the AI elements, a developer becomes better adept at catering to users' needs. Since It is known for understanding customer moods and preferences better, web developers will be in a better position to integrate elements that are going to append to the user experience - of course, so that they are more convincingly persuaded to make purchases.

Now, how does this Technique do this? How does it ensure that developers are better adept at catering to buyer needs? It does this with the help of cognitive analysis and situations. Chatbots, for example, have made it possible for web professionals to predict customer reactions. They facilitate better communication with the customers by making the whole (communication) process very simple and hassle-free. The next-generation internet users will actually find it easier to communicate with the website itself. There will be no communication barrier to contend with as such.

With the help of the statistical analysis marketers and other web professionals can actually minimize errors. Processing a large amount of information also becomes easier when communication is facilitated at such level.

So, which web development company are you consulting at the present moment? Are they duly aware of the immense opportunities that Artificial Intelligence has in store for the next generation web users? Do find out so that you can make an informed choice.

The Financial Executives Networking Group

e-Marketing Strategy: 7 Dimensions to Consider For Digital Growth

With the support of our professional business network, you get the opportunity to exchange experience and knowledge at a top professional level, and to strengthen and develop your own skills within your management and specialist areas.

Through business relationships and experience sharing in confidential settings for Head Of Finance Punggol, we strive to create personal and business value for all our network peers.

12 Ways To Boost Brand Awareness On Social Media

Starbucks portrays itself as a high quality coffee for the high class and is priced slightly higher than the coffee of Caffe Nero. It stays true to its American originality and emphasizes solely on its wide range of coffee drinks with only a few snacks and desserts. Apart from that, Starbucks distinguishes itself from other cafes by providing a very comfortable atmosphere with facilities like Wi-Fi so their customers can enjoy surfing the web while drinking their coffee.

On the other hand Caffe Nero emphasizes on its Italian blend and portrays itself as not only a café but also a bar and restaurant. It has quite an extensive menu with a variety of popular Italian dishes. Due to this many people visit Caffe Nero to have meals rather than just a cup of coffee. They have brought a pure European vibe to their cafes thus remaining true to their originality. For the convenience of their customers and to add to their attracting they have also launched loyalty cards.

MARKETING STRATEGY:

Marketing strategies help businesses in promoting their products and services in a certain way that they want to. While cashing on their most important points they try to create an image of their brand in the minds of their target customers so as to achieve their target sales and a favorable market share. Marketing strategies help businesses in gaining a competitive edge by catering to those specific niches that others fail to identify. Marketing strategies devised by organizations vary in duration from one year plans to those extending well over many years. A lot of factors are taken into consideration when devising marketing plans and strategies that are defined by the environment within which the company operates. This is most often referred to as a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis which helps businesses in pinpointing the areas which they can take advantage of and the areas which they need to be careful of.

The most important factor that any business has to take into consideration, when creating its marketing strategies is its competitors. Competitors' actions have a huge impact on what an organization should do. In the coffee chain industry there are now plenty of independent coffee shops in UK like the most popular Starbucks, Monmouth Coffee, Coffee Aroma, The Apple Tree and Caffe Nero. In this assignment the marketing strategies of both Starbucks and Caffe Nero will be reviewed after which a critical analysis will be given of the both.

STARBUCKS

The first Starbucks outlet was opened in Seattle well over thirty years ago. Today Starbucks proudly stands at $4.1 billion with thousands of outlets not only in the United States but all over the world. Many companies have studied the secrets and strategies adopted by Starbucks in an attempt to learn how Starbucks grew so fast. The marketing strategies being adopted by Starbucks at present will be discussed in this assignment (voteforus.com 2011).

Unique marketing strategy:

The marketing strategy adopted by Starbucks has remained unconventional. They didn't adopt the common styles of advertisement using billboards, newspaper ads or television commercials. Rather they relied on word - of - mouth to promote their brand name.

Product quality:

The most important thing that Starbucks never lost control of is the quality of their coffee beans. They were the first ones to introduce the true Italian "burnt espresso" flavor to the Americans. They justify their high quality by charging a slightly higher price than most other cafes.

Comfortable environment:

Another focus of Starbucks outlets is the environment they provide in their cafes for their customers. Starbucks has always been promoted as that perfect place to relax when out of home and out of the office. They have started offering Wi-Fi connectivity in their outlets so that their customers can browse the internet as well while they enjoy their cup of coffee.

Customer satisfaction:

Customer satisfaction is the strongest favorable point of Starbucks. Each customer that enters a Starbucks outlet is given such a special treatment that they truly feel like they are in a special place.

The Starbucks community:

Starbucks has truly taken full advantage of the latest hype of social media. They have adopted their latest marketing strategies around social media websites like creating fan pages on Facebook and Twitter where they actually respond to all customers and keep in touch by posting pictures, videos and all the latest promotional information.

Innovation:

Starbucks has always kept its menu fresh by constantly coming up with new items and different blends and flavors in their coffee. Some of their latest hit drinks have been the Green Tea Latte considering the health conscious consumers along with iced tea and Frappuccino for their outlets in warmer climates.

Brand Marketing:

Starbucks has always portrayed itself as a high quality product and thus decided to rely on word - of - mouth promotion only. This served to be a quite useful marketing strategy as comparison to going for promotional ads in magazines, newspapers, billboards etc. They have recently begun utilizing the social media websites in the most effective manner ever. Their Facebook and Twitter pages have proved quite useful in promoting the image of Starbucks while also enabling them to have direct communication with all their customers on one platform

CAFFE NERO:

According to chairman of Caffe Nero, Gerry Ford (2008), Caffe Nero Group Ltd is 'the largest independent coffee retailer in UK, with over 400 stores in the UK'. It was founded in the year 1977 and today has its outlets open overseas as well in Turkey and Middle East. They distinguish themselves from other café's in UK by emphasizing on the fact that they are an Italian Coffee Company. Their main aim, as in the words of Gerry Ford (2008), 'is to provide a European style coffee house experience offering premium espresso - based gourmet coffee, authentic Italian food products and a relaxing atmosphere in every store'.

Caffe Nero has been given many awards for its high quality coffee over the years and for its outstanding experience that they deliver in their shops. Tatler has rated Caffe Nero as 'The best espresso this side of Milan while Egon Ronay has labeled it as "The Traditional Italian Café". Caffe Nero has also been given the label by UK consumers as "The best UK Coffee House" in nine consecutive years (Allegra Report, the UK's definitive guide for the coffee industry).

CAFFE NERO'S USP:

The Caffe Nero's marketing strategy mostly emphasis on its unique selling point which is a pure Italian theme. Caffe Nero portrays its self from more than just a café. Rather it has created a perfect blend of a café cum bar and restaurant. Therefore Caffe Nero is not limited to only providing a place for coffee and snacks rather you can go there just to enjoy a meal. They have a wide range of exquisite desserts along with many Italian dishes like the Italian wraps, soups, sandwiches, pasta and paninis.

CAFFE NERO'S TARGET MARKET

Caffe Nero mainly targets tourists in UK or the Italians searching for their Italian taste in cuisine. They are targeting the middle - income group of people who are middle - aged, students or business people who prefer to go to a café during their lunch breaks. Furthermore, Caffe Nero has formed a partnership with the famous chain retail store, House of Fraser, due to which around 145 cafes opened up, many of which were located within House of Fraser stores (James, Situation Analysis of the Caffe Nero Group Ltd - Festive City

Critical Analysis Between the Two Companies

Now that a basic review has been given on the marketing strategies being used by both Starbucks and Caffe Nero, an analysis will be done on what differentiates them from each other.

  • Caffe Nero and Starbucks are direct competitors but Caffe Nero distinguishes itself from Starbucks by selling cheaper coffee than Starbucks.
  • Caffe Nero offers a wider range of food items along with its coffee beverages which makes it stand apart from Starbucks which does not have such a wide range of assortments.
  • Caffe Nero adopts a strong brand positioning by emphasizing on its European - style coffee shop as compared to Starbucks which is of American origin. Caffe Nero has a unique selling point which emphasizes on the cafes continental - style whereas Starbucks is of American style.
  • Starbucks has successfully opened thousands of outlets overseas and in the international market whereas Caffe Nero still lacks in international expertise and has just recently opened its stores in Turkey and the Middle East.
  • Starbucks has plenty of outlets all over UK whereas Caffe Nero does not have sufficient outlets in Central London.
  • Caffe Nero has a lot of potential of growing because it enjoys many unique selling points like its pure European authenticity.

References

1. Ford, G (2008), 'THE BEST ESPRESSO THIS SIDE OF MILAN'

2. Voteforus.com (March 29, 2011) Starbucks Success Is It's Word Of Mouth/Social Media/Viral Marketing Strategy

3. James, S, Situation Analysis of the Caffe Nero Group Ltd - Festive City

4. VoteforUs.com Starbucks Marketing Strategy Unconventionally Effective

5. Kembell, B, Hawks, M, Kembell, S, Perry, L, Olsen, L 2002, 'Catching the Starbucks Fever', Missouri State University. Unpublished.

6. Rajul (2010), 'Starbucks vs Caffe Nero vs Costa: who wins?'

Networking has always been considered a powerful tool for improving business prospects, advancing a career, and developing ideas. Other than some brief, structured events, networking has been mostly informal and inexpensive in comparison to cost they otherwise spend on different channels. But membership is growing in many formal, long-term networking groups, and so is the price tag.

Our groups are not groups for generating sales leads, nor are they places where individuals can drop-in to gain quick advice on an immediate challenge.  Members also sign a confidentiality agreement and benefits from the guided mentoring to help each other.

These groups include an experienced facilitator and use a structured discussion method to ensure appropriate participation.

IT Consultant Functional CBP Business Strategy

As a IT Consultant Functional CBP, its very critical for you to understand developing brand strategy is extremely critical. The most important asset your company has is its brand. Quite simply, it drives the direction of your business. So you should definitely have a well thought out brand strategy in place.

Increasing competition in business develops similar products with good quality from different manufacturers. But only an effective, innovative and Agile Supply Chain & planning can make your business and products more popular.

For your profession as IT Consultant Functional CBP it becomes your responsibility to stay connected with like-minded supporting industry experts who can guide and help you deal with your day to day work issues.

Effects Of Digitization On Business

Marketing Strategy - Better Change Now Before You Have To

If you are entrepreneurial in nature owning a business is very exciting adventure. It can also be the most difficult thing for you to get into if you are not prepared.

Even the best marketing strategies need to be revisited, if not revised. Changes in the market environment can dramatically change the marketing mix and your product plans. Marketing strategy should be viewed as a process, which means that the best laid marketing plans will change sooner or later.

Strategic change can be caused by many forces; sometimes change is a threat while other times it can be an opportunity. It all depends on how your product or business is defined; additionally, how you react may be the biggest factor in your future success.

Sometimes the market evolves and the demand for an offering changes. For example, obesity is on a dramatic rise in North America; because of this people are becoming more "food label savvy" about calories, fat grams, sugar, carbohydrates, and protein. Fast food restaurants have had to respond with salad bars, better disclosure of nutritional information, and leaner products.

Another source of strategic change is technological innovation. As microprocessors increase in speed and processing ability, older personal computers quickly become obsolete. A more disruptive technological change might be the creation of the MP3 format and downloadable music. Music is now purchased one song at a time instead as albums of songs.

Occasionally, a market is redefined. This is often driven by competition or customer demand. Today, our fast paced culture demands a more personalized relationship with information, which has created wikis, blogs like this one, and the birth of IPTV (Internet Protocol Television). This new information content business allows the reader or viewer to get "personalized content" when they want it and where they want it.

Also, marketing channels change. Today the internet has changed the relationship of customers with providers. No longer dependent on the provider for education on products and services, the new consumer is more informed and sophisticated than ever. In fact, the consumer is more powerful and will get what they want or they will find another provider.

For the marketing strategist, the challenge is to anticipate the changes and take control of their destiny. The alternatives of delaying action or getting surprised can mean business failure.

As former GE CEO Jack Welch said, "Change before you have to".

Strategy Innovation And Entrepreneurship

Patent - Machine Learning Advertising Marketing Strategy

With the support of our professional business network, you get the opportunity to exchange experience and knowledge at a top professional level, and to strengthen and develop your own skills within your management and specialist areas.

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Track The Latest Artificial Intelligence Trends And Leading News

When I was ten years old at a summer camp I was leading in the potato sack race. To check on my competitors I looked over my shoulder and suddenly tripped and fell. I came in last place. Even the slowest person, Marsh Mellow Matt beat me. It was humiliating. But in the end I gained a good learning experience.

When a bargain-brand product attacks your premium-brand space, is it still healthy to look over your shoulder? Will you trip over too?

In a robust economy it's relatively easy to maintain profitable growth of a premium-brand product. Conversely, in today's economy, the competitive forces are testing the best of us. We are entering a new paradigm of business and the days of conspicuous consumption are quickly receding. Since 2007 over 8 million jobs have been lost. We have chronic unemployment at 10%, or in reality its 17% when you add the people who gave up looking for a job. As fear, insecurity, and the need to be frugal enter the consciousness of consumers, companies are responding by introducing lower price bargain-brand products. What's a premium-brand to do?

There are three strategies a premium-brand can consider; (1) Introduce your own bargain-brand, (2) Innovate a new value product category (3) Or, maintain status quo. Let's consider the ramifications of deploying your own Bargain-Brand.

As Jacqueline Kennedy once said, "I don't react, I respond."

There's a saying, "Never fight a pig because you'll get muddy and the pig will enjoy it." The same goes for a premium-brand looking to protect its market share against a bargain-brand. Every day we see new bargain airlines, bargain consumer products, bargain cars, bargain food, and bargain electronics. Be careful of the panic reaction when you deploy short term tactics in price discounting and couponing. It may only deplete profits. You can hold the line, but can you afford customers who defect to lower price brands. As Jacqueline Kennedy once said, "I don't react, I respond."

Seek your uniqueness

There are no right answers, but a journey of discovery will help determine your strengths, weaknesses, and uniqueness. In a recent book by Dr. Caroline Leaf, called, The Gift In You, this PhD. Researcher discovered there are seven layers of thinking processes in our minds. The seven layers of thinking processes are: Intrapersonal, Interpersonal, Math/Logic, Visual/Spatial, Music, Kinesthetic, and Linguistic. Starting from the most dominant thinking process, when a new thought enters our mind it will loop into the seven layers in a different sequential order. For example, someone who thinks first in music will be able to read between the lines to give meaning to it. While a logic/math dominant thinker performs pattern recognition in huge numbers and reasons in a precise order. We all see the world differently and think differently. We are all unique and so are our companies and the way we collective process our thinking. As such it's fruitless to be like someone else such as Steve Jobs. None of us can think like him and nor do we want to. We must learn to be ourselves by knowing our uniqueness and using it to your advantage.

Are you an elephant or a cheetah?

As Shakespeare once said, "To thine own self be true." In other words, do you have the competencies to compete as a Bargain-Brand?

When launching a new product you'll have to adjust and adapt quickly. Is your company a cheetah that can move quickly and adapt to consumer and market changes? Or, are you a slow moving elephant that makes decisions at a sluggish pace? A slow moving elephant should think twice when competing against fast moving bargain-brand cheetahs.

GM was slow to introduce Saturn to compete against the Japanese, but Intel was quick to respond to constant AMD attacks. At first, Intel's bargain-brand chips (Celeron) performed poorly, but they responded quickly to the market and beat AMD at their own game.

Will you divide and conquer yourself?

Julius Caesar's strategy to overcome the enemy was to divide and conquer. When launching a Bargain-Brand, you might be dividing your resources and placing your entire organization into a weak position. Without sufficient resources, people, and focus, both your premium and bargain brand products could become diluted and fail. If the Bargain-Brand fails then you'll have the added cost and time of cleaning up plus the cost and time to rebuild the Premium-Brand.

It cost GM $15 Billion to launch and maintain the Saturn division. Delta Airlines launched Ted Airlines and lost billions too. These two elephants didn't understand their uniqueness nor able to response quickly to market changes. Rather they copied the competition thinking that would satisfy the market.

On the other hand, fifty years ago, Anheuser-Busch was facing a low-price assault from regional players which opened up a whole new market category. Anheuser-Busch responded by opening up another company that was completely separate from the parent company; perhaps you've heard of Busch Beer.

Are you looking at your customers or just your competition?

The famous basketball coach John Wooden won more college basketball championships than anyone else. Part of his success was to never allow one player to be compared to another. Rather, each player was judged by his own skills, performances, and productivity. Companies trying to copy Bargain-Brands don't have the same competencies, people, collective thinking processes, and experiences like their competition. Look at Steve Jobs and his string of successful products; iPod, iPhone, iTunes, etc. Therefore, don't copy your competition, rather seek what is good for the customer and use your uniqueness to develop your product.

Know thy customer

This is a key time to study your customer to determine their true needs and the perceived value of your offering. Advances in Neuromarketing have discovered that traditional marketing research can fall short in truly understanding how a customer receives your message. Each year billions of dollars are spent on traditional market research and still 80% of new product launches fail. Neuromarketing will give you insight on the emotional needs of your audience and how they will perceive your messaging and marketing.

The power of Neuromarketing starts with the engagement of our seven senses; (1) Taste, (2) Smell, (3) Hearing (4) Touch, (5) Sight, (6) Humor, and (7) Intuition. To make it all work one must understand the power of association that directly impacts our emotional brain and how past experiences are recalled when we encounter a brand experience. Walk into a Whole Foods Store and you're bombarded with a cornucopia of beautiful food, fresh baked bread, brewed coffee, and desserts turned into art. You're flooded with emotions of mom, home, security, abundance, and happiness. The experience is frequently joyful and you're willing to pay premium prices for their products.

The power of association will engage our senses to recall positive experiences that we will tie to the brand. Called somatic markers, they represent a total compilation of emotions, negative associations, and positive associations. When a woman is given a light blue box with a white ribbon, the Tiffany brand and blue color evoke strong feminine emotions. When we think of a well branded product, such as Coach, Chanel, Harley Davidson and Tiffany, many of us experience an emotional and somewhat sensual positive response. A good brand tied to Neuro-marketing should offer:

o A great experience that exceeds customer's expectations
o A clarification of the value of the product
o A decision by the prospect to consider purchasing it

How we associate products with past experiences can determine our purchasing considerations. Mr Lindstrom in Buyology highlighted a few examples such as;
o Light blue for a woman can be associated with engagement, marriage, babies, and fertility. Pink is associated with luxury, sensuality, and being feminine.
o Color will increase brand recognition by 80% and represents up to 50% in the decision making process to choose a brand product.
o People will buy more out of love (53%) versus sex (26%).
o Be authentic, transparent, and real. We buy from people we can relate to.

Don't let your Bargain-Brand cannibalize the profits of your Premium-Brand.
If you decide on launching a Bargain-brand be sure you are capturing the right revenue. If one part of your target audience is not profitable with your premium-brand and your bargain-brand can capture that profit, then go for it. On the other hand, if your Bargain-brand is going to cannibalize your premium-brand profits then reconsider your options.

It's essential that your bargain-brand have a different perceived value, messaging, and pricing. Years ago Kodak came out with a bargain-brand film that had little distinction from the premium brand. Customers went for the lower price product cannibalizing profits from the premium-brand. On the other hand, when P&G purchased Luv's Diapers brand, it repositioned it as a bargain-brand. Their Pampers brand was given greater features and advertising thus creating a higher perceived value.

Must Develop a Difference in Perception and Value
If you offer a bargain-brand, then your goal is to offer two products with much separation in value and messaging. You'll want to consider using Neuromarketing research techniques. It is essential that the premium product maintain its true value benefits while the lower-price brand act and look like a bargain-brand one. By acting like a bargain-brand, you'll be able to cut costs on marketing, support, operations, and production and thereby creating the gross margin to compete effectively on price. You may want to use a hot button here to connect people to your article on Neuromarketing.

When Anheuser-Busch rolled out Busch Beer they created a whole new company and identity. They invested in new distribution, new trucks, and new sales people to ensure that the Premium-brand and Bargain-brand were not confused but optimized.

Don't recreate the wheel or build a new organization unless there's a market for it
GM invested $15 Billion in Saturn and it failed. Is your goal to market a Bargain-Brand or build a new company?

Consider your resources, sales volume, and gross margins. Your goal is to make a profit. If your Premium-brand cannot serve another large market, then a new organization, such as starting up a discount airline division or Busch Beer may be an answer. On the other hand, if your premium-brand can cover the market then re-consider your options. As I mentioned earlier, GM spent $15 Billion on the new Saturn division, when their existing product lines at Buick and Chevy reached the same target audience.

The Final Strategy to Consider: Innovate a new product category
A recent book called Blue Ocean Strategy stated that it is sometimes better to innovate a new product than to compete in blood thirsty waters or Red Ocean. Look at the crowded fields of electronic consumer products, automobiles and food. When you launch a new product in these categories how do you stand out?

Conversely, companies will innovate new products developing a new category where there is no competition; hence Blue Ocean. Years ago Sony launched the Walkman. Apple introduced the iPod and iPhone. An example in Blue Ocean Strategy was the Casella Winery from Australian who wanted to launch a new wine in a very crowded and snooty category.

A strategy based on innovation will look at different customers with shared commonalties. In the crowded wine business, more wineries did not think of looking for low budget beer drinkers. The Casella winery saw things differently and believed beer drinkers would want wine if the purchase decision was made simple and fun. Out came Yellow Tail wine in simple red and white versions.

A blue ocean is created when a company achieves value innovation that creates value simultaneously for both the buyer and the company. The innovation (in product, service, or delivery) must raise and create value for the market, while simultaneously reducing or eliminating features or services that are less valued by the current or future market.

The lesson I learned in the potato sack race was easy, keep your eye on the goal line not what your competition is always doing. John Wooden's success was doing the best he could possibly do every day. As you consider your premium brand, think about the best you can do every day with it. As any typical SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) and PESTEL analysis (Political, Economic, Social, Technology, Environmental, Legal) you should consider:

Are you an elephant or a cheetah organization?
Will your Bargain -Brand cannibalize your Premium -Brand profits?
Do you have the resources to run two brands simultaneously at a profit?
Are you able to clearly define and communicate the different unique selling proposition for each brand?
Will the customer perceive the differences?
Will your current Premium-Brand cover this market? Or is the Bargain-Brand a new demographic?
Lastly, do you innovate a new product to create a new category and target audience?

As Jacqueline Kennedy once said, "I don't react, I respond." Panic and fear should not be part of your tactics, but a well thought out response that optimizes your resources, strengths, and uniqueness in meeting the needs and wants of your customer.

Networking has always been considered a powerful tool for improving business prospects, advancing a career, and developing ideas. Other than some brief, structured events, networking has been mostly informal and inexpensive in comparison to cost they otherwise spend on different channels. But membership is growing in many formal, long-term networking groups, and so is the price tag.

Our groups are not groups for generating sales leads, nor are they places where individuals can drop-in to gain quick advice on an immediate challenge.  Members also sign a confidentiality agreement and benefits from the guided mentoring to help each other.

These groups include an experienced facilitator and use a structured discussion method to ensure appropriate participation.