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Imagine this scenario:
You’re just a regular guy. Not too tall, not too short. Not skinny, not fat either. Not too fair, not too dark either – just regular-looking.
You’ve just moved to the city a few days ago, and you’ve barely unpacked. But your friends have invited you to their party, because you’re new in town and it’ll be good to make friends.
So you get to this party.
And there you see this really beautiful girl. Falling in love at first sight, as they say. You know she’s The One, because you’ve never felt like this before. This is the first time this is happening to you, and she looks so elegant in your eyes. It would be nice if she could be my wife, your heart whispers to you.
You’d like to make your move – you want to see if she likes you too. There’s no point if this is a one-sided thing.
So in your head, there are several ways you can do this. The important thing is that the outcome must be such that the girl likes you too.
Heck, you know it’s not easy to make people who don’t know you not only like you but fall for you as well!! (You’re not crazy! Or are you?) You also don’t know how long it’s going to take for this journey, but you know it’s going to be worth it. You know it will take some time. Maybe a week, a month or a year. But she’s going to love you, or at the very least, like you – and be willing to spend time with you.
The above situation is the same scenario that can be applied to marketing. It’s not easy to make people decide to buy your products, especially when they’ve never even heard of your brand.
In fact, they probably don’t even know of the existence of your product!
So the probability that they might buy something they have never seen, heard, or had suggested by their friends, is of course very limited.
To get people out there to notice your products, understand your quality, why they need to buy your brand, etc. when they’re looking for similar products will take some time. You may already have done everything right, but it’s not going to happen immediately.
Building a brand takes time. From samplers, to social media engagement, to events you run – everything takes time.
Unfortunately not many entrepreneurs are patient. And only those with great patience will enjoy great success.
That’s why, when I hear brand owners (especially small and medium entrepreneurs) who complain about no sales when a marketing strategy is in place,
“I get the feeling they don’t really understand what marketing is.“
Think about this – if you really look at any big and successful brand, most would have been around for no less than 2 years and some up to 10 years before they arrive at their current level. Are you willing to keep going at it for at least 2 years or more?
The simplest example I can use here is the Under Armour’s high-performance clothing brand. It was built by Kevin Plank, a former American football player at the University of Maryland in 1996. Originally Kevin and his team just wanted to have a high quality T-shirt, capable of absorbing sweat at a faster rate than usual. Kevin was tired of the existing T-shirts they wore because they needed to be changed several times as sweat wasn’t well absorbed.
At that point, the brand was too small to be noticed because it started as a home business venture. But it all changed when the brand was seen by fans of The Replacement movie, (starring Keanu Reaves), and Any Given Sunday (performed by Jamie Foxx), in 1999.
Even then, the Under Armor brand was actually never known in Malaysia before. It only started getting the attention of world sports fans, especially in Malaysia in 2015 when it was featured in the Avengers: Age of Ultron movie, whose main characters were seen wearing the designer clothes.
So, if you’ve just hit the first few months of your marketing strategy, don’t worry. Keep going and make gradual changes to your existing strategies until you have the best momentum. Remember, marketing is more of a marathon race rather than a sprint.
Azleen Abdul Rahim is the co-founder and editor of Marketing in Asia, a resource centre for all things marketing. Our peers in the online magazine world, the site hosts experts in marketing who have influenced and inspired powerful marketing concepts and ideas that are both shareable and immediately applicable. SME Assist is proud to collaborate with Azleen in bringing you thought pieces of experts in their field as well as the best approaches you can take to upgrade your marketing. You can visit the Marketing in Asia site at www.marketinginasia.com, and follow Azleen on LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/in/azleenabdrahim).