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Business, Management, and Marketing

What Does Your Brand Smell Like?!

Coffee and PastryIn his book Brand Sense, Martin Lindstorm mentions how your brand can have look, feel, sound, and smell. It is an eye opener on things I never knew existed. There are bits and pieces here and there that when put together makes great brands what they are today. An example from the book; the Coca Cola bottle designed in a way that when smashed, it is still recognized as, oh well, a Coca Cola bottle.

The sensory experience is not only theoretical; actually it cannot be more practical. In different occasions I stayed at Rotana hotel series in Dubai. Once you are inside the hotel you cannot mistake the distinguishable aroma in the corridors nor the look of the natural flowers dipped in the water bowel with lit candles beside it. You find this when you least expected it in a derelict connection tunnel between hotel and mall.

So, can this be applied in small businesses? Yes absolutely :-). If you have a bakery shop, why not install exhaust fans to the street to let the “smell” sour outside. Why not to put a small bird house and feed them with bread crumbs (look and sound). Or may be have a small table for two with fresh flowers and a small coffee machine around the corner for the sake of aroma (look and smell). People might not buy coffee or the small table might not generate “revenue” but it will certainly bring up happy memories of loved ones and will add up to the sum of the experience ;-).

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Focus on “Focus”

Do you know what did Steve Jobs tell Nike New CEO Mark Parker in his first phone call?

Recently, I was showing my new garmin navigation device to a relative when he interrupt me and said: I went to the garmin store and I have seen that they have hundreds of models, so I just left the shop! It was so much headache! To a geek, this doesn’t make any sense… or does it?! In an interesting post, in an eye on saudi blog, my friend Saad has shed light on a recent study concluded that 60% of people want less choices. This is the essence of Steve Jobs message to Mark, or in his wording “cut the crappy products”. When Steve came back to apple in 1998, he killed different products allowing resources to be focused on the important ones. The idea is simple, create a fewer products but do them well.

“Focus” should be the focus, specially at start ups, to have a consentarted products with impression of “wow” instead of ten “meh..” ones. However, customization and diversification is also nice, right! So, How to strike the balance?! In my opinion, first is to really understand the segmants and not over segmant you customers. Second is to have a basic product and allow customization as topping. Like having two colors of iPhone yet gzillions of third party covers.

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