Building a strong brand is a very big challenge, especially for an SME. While large scale companies can afford to splurge Crores on a product to create a nationwide brand recognition, SME would find it difficult option. Here are some unique strategies SME brands have beaten the race, often with lots of common sense and ingenuity at pocket expenses.
Freemium strategy – Many startups have successfully used this strategy in IT to reach out to prospective customers by first offering the product free, enshrine them with experience and lock-them up. The Grand Sweets is a famous snack chain in Chennai that has successfully built its clientele by offering tasty rice puddings (puliyogare or belebath) in a small doses to attract all walkers in the street. The tasty “Prasadam” offered to all their customers after morning and evening prayers has made this brand a cult brand. It is a clear cut strategy to get people into the shop to try the mouth watering freebies and then they end up buying something from the shop.
Greed Pull strategy – Biryani’s come in many flavors and the market is crowded. How as a late entrant would you grand the eyeballs and keep the counters ringing?. Here is what a Biryani joint, Donne Biryani did in Bangalore, offer a 1 gram gold coin. One customer gets the gold coin in their Biriyani everyday. The joint has stopped the plan, but words of mouth and loyalty built by this drive have made it a top of the mind place.
Community Pull strategy – Sticking to a clan always pays for an SME. Many a SME have built successful businesses catering to only a particular community or a region. Madurai idli or Chettinad hotel, have successfully targeted communities and have created a place for themselves in the market. Successful brands here not just create particular community ambience, but emerge as platforms for these communities to meet and extend their social networks. Target the localities with higher concentration of the community is a must strategy.
Ride on Newbie bandwagon – Smart SME food joints know a change of throne is the right time to reach out to newer segment. Rayalaseema Ruchulu, a food brand in Hyderabad serves only cuisine from a particular region of Andhra Pradesh. They timed their entry with the coronation of Late Rajasekhara Reddy, the ex-CM from that region. Both political masters and taste masters liked the concept and the joint has expanded multifold in the capital.
Iyengar Rusk strategy: A common strategy successful bakery joints perfected is in the first week bake early, bake little, let the aromas flow into the street and close early. Convert the loaves into rusk and other items and close the shutters early for couple of days. They were implementing a successful strategy called “signaling”. By closing early and signaling quality and high demand. Similar strategy is adopted by a very popular Gujarathi joint in Koramangala, Bangalore. The joint successfully created successfully a myth around its Dhoklas’ by prominently displaying the board, “sorry all our Dhoklas for the day over due to popular demand”.
Innovation & Fusion: SME brands have realized the best way to be heard over the din is being innovative. How about “Masala” sandwich or “Peanut Pineapple Sandwich” to become a house hold name?. More so if you have a bunch of hungry, pocket light student population to try out, give feedback and spread the brand around city for free. This is what “Dharmavaram Sandwich Centre” has perfected to glory.
R.Ganapathy & Deevika.A.P