As the year is drawing to an end, I want to engage you all in my thoughts on our brand. Branding survives because it enhances the present value of future cash flow of every company. This is why wise companies spend allot of time and resources to build and position their brand a certain way in your mind because how you perceive a company is how you pay for it.
For us to succeed in properly branding NewMax, we need to first understand that brands need to be cared for in much the same way as parents care about their children; know their strengths and weaknesses.
For us to succeed and see a proper returns in every investment we make into the brand of our company we must be mindful that creating just “mystique” around our brand is not enough. Mystique has to be complemented with a true psychological contract between the customer and company.
For that contract to be effective and rewarding, every one of us MUST be be charismatic and charming in everything we do or say that relates to NewMax. Charismatic branding must go hand in hand with delivery of the functional service values. The equation is not based on an addition but multiplication.
Brand values x service delivery = customer satisfaction!
In this equation no one variable is more important than the other. Choosing one over the other is like assuming eggs are more important than chickens or chickens more important than eggs.
As a small and young brand, we can ONLY succeed in having an impact by carefully benchmarking where our brand really is, rather than where we have convinced ourselves it should be. This is central to this process.
The outcomes from the benchmarking process will even inform us in the kind of partnerships we build and the kind of contracts we chase because they invariably have an effect on our brand and our bottom line. We will be able to avoid the “Kote” type of partners, where we are sharing the same bed and dreaming different dreams.
For our overall brand appeal, we should think globally and act locally. You can’t decide to roll out a brand globally and just do it. Local attitudes, approaches and sensitivities must all be taken into consideration.
Going into 2017, I encourage you, especially as we try to market our services to be “bewildering instead of bewitching”. We should use the 20: 80 rule.
We will market to 20 percent of our prospective clients. But when we do, we will sell to them as if we are trying to convert them to becoming not just clients but ambassadors. When they are bewildered, they will go and bring the rest 80 for us. For us to be able to bewilder instead of bewitch, we must sell not just services, we must sell the brand and sell our values and let them all cumulate into substance that they can measure. We succeed when we not only make their businesses better, but their lives better!
Our service value and quality are what we owe to ourselves, our market value and quality are what we owe to our customer, so let’s develop a market value!
With NewMax, what we offer has to be coherent in every aspect for a brand, no matter how big or small, old or new, rich or poor, appeal can be fragile.
Also in 2017 I will be paying particular attention to human resource like never before. Don’t be surprise when I begin to make drastic changes into your individual roles when necessary. We will also be hiring strategically with key emphasis on what “people are born to do” instead of “trained to do”. We need to start hiring people who like change and who understand that change must always affect service quality and it’s core values. After this many years of running NewMax, if there’s one lesson I’ve learnt and learnt well, that will be Good service comes from the heart. It has to be experienced, not advertised. And it doesn’t come from a training manual. It should not be necessary to say “Make sure you have good eye contact and smile”. It’s much better to hire people who smile in the first place and put them in position where they feel respected and rewarded.
The ability to meet the needs customers don’t know they have is what MUST continue to drive our business forward. Giving our brand some meaning, something engaging and appealing to consumers is crucially important. We must keep things simple, but not simplistic, otherwise we will sound and look patronising. For any brand to succeed it must be built to be on the customer side.
Remember we cannot just be another company out there. We must be NewMax; New Ways To Maximise!! However we cannot be a different type of brand unless we have a different type of business behind it.
The balance between functional and emotional delivery takes years to fine-tune and by all means, branding has a crucial role to play in it.
Striking a balance between a well rooted corporate culture and at the same time promoting a customer culture takes time and tact to do yet it can be done and must be done if we want our brand to transcend time. I am very much open to suggestions and recommendations from every single one of you on how we can achieve all the things I have listed in here. I also want honest and written commitments from you on how each and every one of you will play your individual roles to make sure you are a catalyst of growth in 2017.
Prince Etornam William Attipoe
Chief Executive Officer