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up.php.jpg Have an impact locally by local branding. The retailers and dealers whether merged into one or an independent entity, local branding will help them immensely.
What is Local branding?
You know big milk brands like Amul, but you buy milk from local vendors. This is the impact of local branding. While big brands have better products, the total customer experience is incomplete without involvement of local player who the buyer meets sees and talks to.
Local branding is about the local player providing service to the customer, keeping him happy and going. He develops trust to a level where he can influence buyers decision even to change a brand. A Simple statement like this age old brand is now not that good, would influence the buyer to change brand. This is the impact of local brands
How to brand Locally?
This is a question that bugs many who know they need local branding and is mystery to many who do not know what it is. Branding locally is being known by your buyer as well as potential customer by name not just of the business but the owner as well. It is about trust the buyer has that comes from total behavior of the owner. If the owner is well mannered social person, his attitude will attract more buyer through word of mouth.
One of the most important aspects of local branding is doing what you promise and promise only what you can do. This is true even for big companies, but often in India bigger companies find it difficult to follow this and there are always loop holes in the law to help them. For smaller players at local level though un-kept promises often lead to quick negative word of mouth and decline in brand leading to much lesser inquiries and conversions.
The second part comes from knowledge of the goods and offering what the customer wants rather than what he asks. Every demand is mostly for a good solution. The local player who talks to the buyer may be dealing in a number of products from multiple brands. The role of the retailer is to understand the need of the buyer, match a product/service that matches his or her needs before looking into his own profit. This delights the buyer and makes sure your brand value increases.
If someone asks for an exterior tile, be sure to suggest him weather resistant tiles rather that vitrified smooth ones which may be unsuitable for exteriors but fetches a thick margin. The buyer does not have in depth knowledge he just knows what he needs. It is the role of the seller to learn himself and educate the buyer while making a solid sale.
After Sales Service is one of the most neglected aspect of retailers in India. They almost wash their hands of the customer once the goods are delivered. After more than 30 years in business, the retailer cannot be proud of 15 constant customers or recommenders. This is the result of lack of good after sales service.
A good after sales service constitutes of talking to the customer after months of buying and making sure the products is working well. In case of complain, be fast to respond and provide a solutions where the buyer does not lose money time and/or energy. Further, make sure the complain is passed on to manufacturer so he can make amendments in design or production as the case may be.
In case of tiles industry, it has been predominantly noticed that most faults in flooring occur due to improper laying techniques. However, the retailers fail to specify the Dos and Donts of proper laying, minimizing customer loss. This is an essential part of retailing too.
Relationship building is last but the most important part of the buyer seller relation. If someone has bought floor tiles, the order is more often than not big. He will also need wall tiles and sanitary ware. He will also need additives and other items that may be at retailer’s outlet. It is best to follow him up. Take a visit to their site. Arrange for a person to talk to the layer. Make sure his tiles are laid well and he becomes you advertising unit in the city. Make sure you keep him in your social media network so he recommends your brand and shop.
Institutional buyers get worked up on strong and sustainable relationship. These buyers need goods almost every month. Specially builders and architects. Make sure you touch them every week directly or indirectly with new products, technology, designs and most importantly offers. A hot relation will make sure you get immediate attention once a demand arises.
There are other passive methods of branding that work on top of these activities, which will be covered in advertising for local branding in next issue. We are sure together, this two part local branding will help the retailers and dealers establish a better local brand.
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