That is what we are doing at NSE.
Let’s face it, being widely known with firmly established name is always good for a brand. Yet in this era seems it is not enough. The right question to answer is this. How to make your brand stands out when there are thousands of other competitors out there that offer similar products and services like yours?
When I established NSE years ago, I had to scratch my head trying to find a way making the brand stands out – far beyond others. I need to make a movement out of this. But how?
Then I began to ask myself these questions:
What is the real gap in the market that NSE could fit into nicely? In February 2011, I notice something weird. While majority of large brands execute engaging integrated marketing that covers the entire stream of traditional marketing channels, the small and medium brands need to look at their budget first and execute just marketing. While larger brands have deeper pockets to execute super duper powerful billboards and print ads, the smaller guys just do billboards and print ads. Cost comes first, then only quality.
Everyone knows that smaller guys aren’t designed to fight large brands via the traditional marketing way – due to cost. The war is lost there, big time. It is the wrong battlefield for small medium enterprises to fight on. Realising this, they then turn to online and tried their luck there. They’re changing their battlefield, from offline to online. Yet, same thing happened. Cost is again the major obstacle. They are still producing content, but just a content – average and not even close to become a killer. Nothing special, not enough excitement, no emotions and not enough power to fend off their larger competitors. On the other side, their larger counterparts retaliate with bigger ammo and bulldoze the entire market with their engaging content.
Here, I could see the gap is very obvious. SMEs whether they realise this or not, they need help. If they can’t produce results, they’ll die.
What are the real solution to offer them, which they will find it extremely useful and hard to resist? I decided that NSE needs to be on the SME side and fight against their bigger deep-pocket enemies out there. We came up with a simple yet powerful value proposition to them. To make this work, the only thing these SMEs need to do is to change their mindset. The proposition is very straight-forward. We play their social media presence on their behalf, creatively. On top of that, we do killer creative content too. Create awesome content and distribute them aggressively. Now that’s unique.
How can I do it for almost free so that the clients think that NSE is on their side? The soft spot for SMEs is price. They are extremely sensitive when this topic arises. So to make the proposition works, NSE is doing all the work for ‘almost’ free. The social media management and the content development. With the highly valuable proposition being offered at the almost free price, it’s just nuts. We make them not to think much about it and just proceed with the work. We immediately took out the obstacle and put it aside. We want them to see the value they will get out of this, and win the game through us. We all love free and almost-free stuff, aren’t we?
Is the solution following the trend? We are now in a new era and decade altogether, and no longer in 1990s. In this era, content plays a very important role in capturing attentions. Some likes to read while others are lazier – so they scan. The other thing is, how do you make your content to be right before their eyes most of the time. Now that’s critical too.
Can they live without NSE? Obviously they can live without us, but they don’t have too. You see, there are not many value for money agencies out there, unless they really can and want to pay for those. They have a couple of options then. One, hire a graphic designer and work on the content themselves internally. However, the graphic designer may not have a clear understanding, direction or crystal objective as per what a marketer has. Technical guy and marketers are wired differently. And two, outsource the creative work to a freelance graphic designer. Same thing will happen, no direction where the content is going. End up, it will look plain vanilla. Will they achieve their objective and win the game? I don’t think so.
A great product or service that comes with a powerful user experience will always win. We hardly do any aggressive marketing actually as the word of mouth starts spreading by itself out since then.
Now you know the formula. As a brand yourself, you need to create a footprint or maybe a boot print in your own respective industry or slowly end up being irrelevant and die.