“If you are not a brand, then you are a commodity. Then price is everything and the low-cost producer is the only winner”.
This great quote from Philip Kotler at Kellogg School of Management should be top of mind in almost every business at present. When times are tough we naturally shrink a little. We curb our spending. Expect more for less. We pass on the angst and the pressure to our suppliers and contractors. But this process is a transactional process – it is not relational – it is typically what we would call “not personal” (as in “you didn’t get the business, sorry. It’s not personal”).
But in the business life of a brand – “personal” is EXACTLY what you want. You want to transform the transactional nature of your business so that every purchase decision that your customers make becomes PERSONAL. And this means trust. It means being social – and helping to facilitate social judgement.