Some of the most frequently asked questions by Maxik’s clients – often when they have just started to think they might sell their business at sometime in the future are: “How can I sell my business for more?”;”How can I maximise the value of my business before going into sale mode”; or “How do I maximise earnings before sale”. These are simple questions but the answers have many complex dimensions.
My advice is that it’s critical to understand how businesses are acquired and the logic and psychology of the buyers. Buyers with serious money to spend will engage or have a professional business valuer. If not they will certainly apply valuation techniques in forming a view of your business.
One of the most important aspects of building and investing in a brand is the necessity for every single person in the organization to be trained in and fully aware of what your brand stands for and be given the skills to ensure every interaction with customers and other stakeholders is on message.
It takes years and often millions of dollars to build a brand but it can be harmed or even destroyed by one or two careless staff who “missed the course”.
So as not to be accused of excessive negativity, in previous blogs we have praised the efforts of, for example, the staff at Melbourne Flight Training in Moorabbin in the way they achieve a consistently high standard of customer action supporting the MFT brand.
Further to my blog of 7 November 2011 entitled Product Differentiation Creation in Motion Channel 10 Breakfast, Melbourne’s The Age newspaper reports under the heading “Off-brand and unoriginal: Why Breakfast failed to satisfy” that the show will go off the air on 30 November 2012.
We are not sure if all the lack of perceived success of the show was, as is attributed, purely due to Paul Henry. Channel 10 clearly had, has and will have some much more serious issues impacting their entire network but nevertheless this is a wonderful study in product differentiation. Also interesting is the cultural differences exposed between New Zealand and Australia.
Today’s guest blog is by Maxik team member and channel distribution expert, Gary Watson who may be contacted either via Maxik or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
I speak to many organisations regarding their marketing management, and their evaluation of the success – or otherwise – of their marketing.
Almost always, the response is framed in terms of sales volumes…if sales increased, then the marketing was effective. If not, then it failed.
Opinion: Are you also suffering from Social Media Fatigue?
Social Media Fatigue (lets call it SMF) may not be a recognised medical term yet, but I’m certain its inclusion into the Medical Dictionary is not too far away. In fact, given the rate at which things spread through social media, it may already be there by the time you reach the end of this page.
I won’t bother to list all the many social media websites and apps for you, aka the causes of SMF, as I’d put money on you using at least one in your daily life, either for personal or business use.
In my last blog I wrote about the demise of Sony, once the world’s greatest brand. A decline that was visible just by visiting their stores and the complete lack of “buzz”, from a customer viewpoint, as well as a lack of sexy new products, in comparison with Apple.
Yesterday Sony confirmed its slide with a forecast annual loss this year of nearly US$3 billion. In the article referenced below three interesting points stand out:
a) The recently replaced CEO had a penchant and reputation for costs cutting, c.f. innovation;
b) The company has lost the innovative flair that they demonstrated with the Walkman and Play Station; and
c) The company is racked by internal structural problems.
What a thrill it is to be watching, in real time, two very different brands being repositioned in front of our eyes, one going north and one heading south. One attempting repositioning by its owners and one being sent south by the market as it looses its magic touch. These are MBA case studies in the making.
First I am referring to Virgin Blue who is spending millions trying to reposition the brand upmarket – as the business carrier of choice in Australia. Today Virgin is offering a one way domestic fare from Sydney to Perth, business class, for $1,399 – more than an economy returninternational ticket to LA ($1,113). And, with all the advertising of plush leather seats and preferential treatment comes an offering to Velocity Lounge members of lifetime membership for close to $10,000. That’s brave, especially when much business talk is of GFC II.
With the lead up to Christmas and for networking I attended many functions and seminars, run by a wide variety of organisations, in multiple industries, in Q4, 2011. I was also involved in hosting some. You could say I’ve been a business and social butterfly this year.
Enjoying some great conversation and tasting the culinary treats – which seemed to be of a very high standard this year, I reminded myself of the maxim that for every 100 people you invite to anything in NSW about 60% will actually turn up on the day / night and in Victoria it’s about 80%.
Depressing as it has been, and remains, to watch the slow death of “Brand USA” over the last 10 years, how wonderful it is to see a
magnificent brand being built before our eyes here in Australia. I am referring to a company I have had a long love affair with since living in Munich in the late 90s and early 00s, German owned supermarket Aldi.
Aldi, following on with their Australia first of standard national pricing, the display of unit pricing and now 100% artificial flavour and colouring free, are establishing a strong brand name, day by day, initiative by initiative.
Example One – A Cafe in New Zealand
Over the Christmas New year period I visited the land of the long white cloud (New Zealand), a place where the term “Coffice” [coffee + office = a place to meet for business and casual meetings, also "Teafficce"] is part of the language and there is fierce competition for customers.
As a consultant I get to visit and observe a lot of businesses. It never ceases to amaze me the way some organisations just don’t “get it” when it comes to understanding the importance of front line staff and offerings in attracting and retaining customers. Let me give you a couple of contrasting examples:
Example 1 | Selling Apples
Recently I was one of the lucky ones to secure an iPad2 (yes, it is as good as all the hype). I needed to purchase a cover to protect my new “toy” and a few accessories like an HDMI connector and earphones.