Building Mind Share in Competitive Commoditized Market
Posted on Thursday, November 19th, 2015 | By Mr. Sumant Kathpalia
Over the last few years, the Indian marketplace has become increasingly dynamic and competitive. Consumers demand more from brands and service-providers and rightly so. As our consumers evolve, so must organizations innovate if they wish to remain relevant in the ever evolving volatile market.
However, in an environment where product features are quickly replicated and prices instantly matched, a number of services and brands have become commoditized. This is especially true of the banking sector where most products and services tend to look and feel the same. Even when new products or services surface, it becomes difficult to sustain those innovations before competition catches on. So how can organizations such as Banks build mind share in such markets?
An effective way to build mind share with customers is to put the customers in the driver’s seat. The journey that an organization undertakes as it transforms into a brand with significant mind share coincides with the journey that a potential customer takes as she transforms from a customer to a brand evangelist. Apple, Coca Cola, IBM, American Express and other top brands have built significant mind share as they successfully helped their customers become their brand evangelists.
There are three success critical factors that influence this journey.
Creating a Branded Customer Experience
Banks are learning what their customers want and what drives customers behavior. By tracking the consumer journey and leveraging consumer analytics, banks could rigorously include the customers voices in the process, measure their satisfaction levels and operationalize the insights accrued, to deliver a consistent branded experience. By no means is this an easy task, but banks today have the ability and potential to get there. Those banks that fully leverage their analytics capabilities to create a branded customer experience will find that they would have built a sustainable mind share with their customers.
Re-inventing the Organizational Model
With the emergence of new channels and technology, the old silo-based organizational models are proving to be cumbersome, complex and ineffective. Customers want lower turnaround times and easy-to-understand processes. For banks, this would mean designing and developing integrated operating models that allow front-line managers to take quick decisions. In the long-run, by doing away with the old inward facing organization models and having an integrated approach that revolves around the customer, a new decentralized organizational model emerges in which empowered front-line managers are more vigilant to new opportunities in the market as well as more finely-tuned to the needs of the customers.
Building a Culture of Innovation
For most banks, managing complexity is the #1 barrier to innovation. Bankers often compete with each other while dealing with stringent regulatory demands, burdened with legacy systems and managing multiple stakeholders demands. Thus, building a culture of innovation in such volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) environment is essential. While some may argue that it is cost-effective to replicate the competitors innovations, there is far more merit in building a culture of innovative thinking and leadership. Innovations in the financial services industry need to benefit the end customers and help the society while being within the ambit of regulatory frameworks. These innovations could be in the way a bank communicates with its customers or even in building clutter-breaking financial products and services where the customers are substantially empowered.
The journey to building sustainable mind share with the customers is a long winded one. The only way to build a lasting relationship with customers is by moving away from the traditional vendor-based approach to a more social, relationship-based approach where customer needs are pre-empted and presented as an offering that ensures they remain hooked to the brand.