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Branding for SMEs – The Key to Growth

- Financial Times Feature (28 Aug 2012)

 

 

The article “Strong branding holds the key”, in the Business Times (28 Aug 2012) features FT Consulting guiding its clients to overcome the challenge of building a strong brand name.

 

As consumers become more informed and expectations about quality rise, the need for businesses to differentiate themselves through branding has become more pertinent for business continuity. However, the demands of such a process can place immense pressures on the already tight time and manpower resources of SMEs, signaling the need for brand consultancy. This is where the expertise of FT Consulting comes in.

 

FT Consulting has created its own proprietary methodology known as the FBE, to manage client issues. It represents the Fundamentals, Branding and Exploitation methodology, which is a holistic, sustainable and proven approach taken from best practices of successful companies worldwide. It aims to improve client’s business model, strengthen their brand positioning and exploit the intellectual assets of its clients to propel their business to the next level.

 

FT Consulting also acknowledges the importance of human capital development and having people at the core of the FBE is essential in ensuring brand-people alignment in companies, says John. This involves interacting with the staff of clients and communicating to them new policies and communication channels targeted at raising team morale.

 

Although most clients approach FT Consulting having identified their problem as one stemming from branding, the consultants may discover that the root of the problem is not isolated to branding but is a spillover of other areas relating to the company’s fundamentals or its methods of exploitation. The FBE thus ensures a more holistic way to solve each client’s problems. In other words, FT Consulting’s pool of consultants are able to help its clients resolve the classic issue of not knowing what one does not know.

 

For instance, a local snack company engaged FT Consulting with the aim of rebranding to capture the market share among youths. However after some market research, it was found out that the client has identified the wrong target group and should be targeting the PMEB (professionals, mangers, executives and businessmen), with greater purchasing power and brand loyalty. Therefore, in its recommendations, FT Consulting adopted a two-pronged approach and recommended the addition of new sales points in the CBD area to target PMEBs and suggested new product line-ups meant to appeal to youths. These efforts resulted in a significant increase in the client’s profits.

 

In spite of coming up with a comprehensive set of recommendations, FT Consulting frequently faces clients with internal staff who are resistant to the changes proposed. In such situations, John advises against forcing recommended solutions doing the clients’ throats, but have the consultants be more “situationally aware by observing the situation of the client”. What this means is to “keenly sense and work with the management to identify the right influencers to get the message across to the whole organization” he says.

 

Aside from clients from the SME sector, in recent years, FT Consulting has become the choice consultancy firm for other bigger players such as the Paris Gallery Group, a luxury retailer from the Middle East, for franchise development.rolex replica watches replica watches for sales replica watches replica rolex watches rolex replica watches

 

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