Branding for Business Growth

by Dr Kong Cheen Lau, May 2015

Dr Kong Cheen Lau holds a Ph D in Marketing and serves as our Senior Director. The following are excerpts from his speech given at the lunchtime seminar “The Next Lap: International Growth”.

All enterprises — no matter how established, stable, or dynamic — encounter speed bumps. This is true for those seeking to expand locally and for those bringing their business abroad.

To manoeuvre the most common pitfalls, place strategic branding at the wheel. Strategic branding defines your business as market and customer-centric, which drives revenue and profit. It works on both cognitive and emotive levels, attracting and retaining consumers. What does this mean? Strong recognition translates into high recall, which reinforces consumers’ belief in your brand. Strong trust cultivates a strong relationship, which transforms into feelings of love. To do this, you must communicate and assert your relevance consistently.

Among the most common speed bumps hindering business growth are competitive over-crowding, market saturation, evolving needs and lifestyles, breaking through to new markets, and global trademark restrictions. How does strategic branding overcome these barriers? When competing in an overcrowded space, maintaining strong ties with your consumers differentiate you from the rest who compete on price. In saturated markets, a well-developed portfolio that succeeds locally attracts attention from overseas franchisees, making regional and global expansion a natural course. As consumer lifestyles evolve, strategic branding helps you evolve with them. Your brand celebrates heritage and nostalgia even as you connect with younger and broader markets. Driving acceptance in foreign markets and overcoming trademark restrictions — research into the local context assures that your brand name has not been registered by another business and communicates credibility. Speed bumps happen, but strategic branding helps resolve and address them.