The shift from the corporate to the entrepreneurship world has started. The youth of this generation after getting a taste of the corporate world want to quit it and start their venture. They want to pursue their passion and dreams now rather than giving them the backseat.
This is visible from the statistics given below-
In 2016-17 733 start-ups were founded in India. Whereas in 2021-22 over 14000 start-ups have been founded.
In the US on average 600,000 new businesses open each year.
This shows how every sector is getting saturated with millions of small, medium, and big brands. It gets very difficult to get market share and dominance. But still, most brands are sustaining and growing.
How does that happen?
Brands have become much more than the products and services they sell. They stand up for a social cause or have a personality of themselves. They have become more like humans. People enjoy interacting with brands that think, act, and communicate like a human.
This change is a result of the internet. With the rise of social media, people are talking to each other as well as brands more than ever. Brands cannot control all kinds of reactions of people now.
How does social media facilitate more interactions?
People ask questions about brands on social media and take advice from fellow netizens. The influence of netizens is high when it comes to consumer behavior and attitude formation. If people recommend one brand over the other people will shift their preferences.
Good reviews and brand advocacy from known and unknown people on social media play a huge role. People trust reviews from unknown people rather than from salesmen. Before going to stores to buy products people look them up on the internet. They search for reviews. Even when they are in the shop and the salesman is explaining everything to them, they will search it up on the net before purchasing.
Is this an advantage or disadvantage?
It can be both. Brands have a good image and brand advocates will flourish on social media. The advocates will recommend and suggest the brand and convince people to buy it. whereas if brand advocates are fewer or if the brand does something controversial, netizens will not spare it. Social outrage, boycotting hashtags, or negative comments will flood social media.
Brands need to monitor the mood of people on social media. They cannot control everything but if something is going wrong, they can do damage control for it.
How do brands engage with different customers on social media?
You have fought with your siblings but you want her to help you make your project. What do you do?
You apologize and make amends. In the same way, whenever a customer gets angry at a brand the brand should apologize and make amends. The biggest mistake that brands do is blaming someone else for their mistake. Customers dislike brands that shirk responsibility, blame smaller players, and deny their mistakes.
The most human thing is to make mistakes and apologize. Customers want brands to do the same. Whenever an angry customer shares their experience on social media the brand should react to it. say that they will investigate the matter, and give the customer redressal as soon as possible. This gesture can make the customer loyal for life.
How do big brands add personality to themselves?
Open Zomato's Instagram account and read its post. It reflects a humorous, and friendly personality. Now go to Cultfit's page. You will see a more sporty, energetic, on-the-go personality.
This is done using consistent templates, tone of voice, and advertising. Instagram posts, comments, and replies by brands reflect their personality and make them more human.
Whenever a brand abruptly changes its personality consumers get angry at it.
For example, AU Bank's new campaign ‘Badlaav humse Hai’ talks about the change in societal marriage values and how as every norm is questioned the bank also questions and changes every banking norm. But customers did not appreciate it. Users wrote a lot of negative comments on Twitter, and Instagram saying that a bank should stick with banking laws and norms and not talk about marriage.
This shows how brands should not change their tonality abruptly.
How can small businesses do it?
Small businesses can leverage social media and create a personality for themselves. Select your brand colors, tone of voice, mission, and vision. Based on that consistently post on social media, and reply to customer comments and queries.
Learn from what big brands are doing and tweak it to suit your business.
Shimbi Growth Labs
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