The legend goes that if you drink from the Holy Grail, you will gain immortality. Translate that into the SME brand world, where organizations compete with each other to find their place in the mind of the consumer. What could be such a game-changer that would rise above the rest and become a brand that everyone remembers? Social Media.

What is it about social media that can become indispensible for SME organizations to build their brand constructively? First off, social media is where social interactions take place in the virtual world, specifically the internet through mobile and desktop platforms. Some social media sites include Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Quora, etc. SME’s using social media can avail of the following advantages.

  1. Directly connecting with your audience: Social Media is ALWAYS interactive. When you post something on social media, you will get responses to it directly from your target audience. You will be always connected with them.
  2. Reputation Building: Sustained presence on social media and relevant material posted online will improve your reputation both as a brand and as people in the know.
  3. Great Value for Money: If you have a limited budget, social media is for you. As opposed to any media, the pay per click concept is unique to social media. The investment that you put in social media is minimal and surgically targeted towards your audience. While traditional media is not easily quantifiable, social media content can be quantified accurately through efficient tools such as Google Analytics, Google Trends and several others. With this treasure trove of information, you can redesign your content to get better traffic into your content and make real-time conversions more regular.


Indiana Jones didn’t just know where to find it. Finding your Social Media Holy Grail will require some spadework. Here are some pointers.

Know your audience: You have to first understand who exactly your target audience is. The first step to create an effective Social Media strategy is to have a clear picture of your end consumer. Chalk out the following details:

  • Understand Demographics: Whether targeted towards male/female, their age group, they can probably a specific ethnicity, anything that will narrow down your target from the masses. Ideally, it should be ONE CHARACTER that exactly signifies your target audience. Let’s call him/her Alpha.
  • Gather Topics of Interest: Now, Alpha will have specific topic of interest. It is in your interest to find out what are their likes and dislike. With this information you can choose your tone of communication and your overall strategy.
  • Assimilate Response Behaviour: How do they respond with content that they like and things that they don’t like? Do they share with their friends? Ignore it? Go on and purchase? You can adapt your strategy according to these inputs.
  • Use available resources: Google Analytics and Google Trends are great tools that will help you bottleneck your audience into a tight, concentrated group, who WANT your communication.


Differentiate or Die

Charles Darwin wrote in his Evolution of species that genetic mutations allowed species to evolve. Those that evolved differently from their peers to adapt to the special conditions surrounding them won the survival race. Many brands today are fighting a similar survival for market share. Here is a quick look at why and how brands, especially corporates, can win the survival race.

Michael Jordan vs Vietnam

As an ardent socialist during my days at Mumbai University, I remember a debate where I had sprung an ace at my opponent. My question was supposed to be unassailable in a debate to prove the merits of socialism over capitalism. 

"How can Nike pay Michael Jordan more than the entire staff of the Vietnamese shoe factory?"
While I grinned confidently, my opponent answered smugly - "there are millions of Vietnamese workers ... But there's only ONE Michael Jordan". I learned the concept of diminishing marginal utility well that day. I also learned how we, in a capitalist society reward skills. Like the Vietnamese workers, many of the corporates and products are relegated to sphere of commodities, fighting for marginal cost and a bid to survive another month. Differentiation here was Michael Jordan's skill. For brands, it needs to be a unique and relevant position in the mind of the customer.

Differentiation for B2B

Many of the business promoters we have met of the last decade have heard us make this point and have reacted in a similar manner. "Branding is for products, and it needs a lot of marketing." Our submission is that a differentiated brand starts from the Corporate Level.

Why differentiate at a Corporate Level

  1. Attracting the right investors and business partners
  2. Attracting and retain best in class talent
  3. Using your differentiated corporate brand to help your new business divisions gain respectability and margin share faster than other competitors
  4. Leverage the social impact of your corporate while others only hawk products
  5. A distinct and different corporate brand becomes a rallying point and a biding agent for your stakeholders and helps drive a common vision and agenda
There are enough and more examples how differentiated corporate brands are able to straddle different business easily. One of our favorite corporate brands is Virgin. The company has been able to take the image of it brash, nonchalant explorer founder and use it to build diverse business across the sectors like airline, telecom and entertainment.Even the name suggested they are proud of not having baggage in any industry yet having the gumption to take on existing players.

Becoming the different Finch starts with You.

In Darwin's research, finches that has specialised beaks for coconuts did better than other finches on the island. While Finches may not be conscious about the process of evolution, as business owners and corporate managers,we need to be mindful of the need and power of differentiation. The quest for differentiation and survival start with your own conviction.

Devatanu Banerjee
Head - Integrated Corporate Practice