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Business Growth Entrepreneur Leadership/Management Marketing Strategy Self limiting beliefs Talks Trust

Boldness in Business – Lord Karan Bilimoria, Founder and Chairman Cobra Beer

Boldness in Business  – Lord Karan Bilimoria, Founder and Chairman Cobra Beer
The first in the 2017 UWE Distinguished Address Series was from Lord Karan Bilimoria, Founder and Chairman of Cobra Beer on 25 January 2017.  The idea of Cobra beer evolved from combining the refreshment you get from lager with the smoothness of ale without leaving a bloated feeling; particularly good to accompany Indian food.  A simple big idea.  Cobra Beer now has won 88 gold medals. It is ingenious because it is less gaseous and is still a very fledgling beer of only 25 years! (Think Kronenbourg 1664!).  Not being a great lager/beer drinker myself, I tried it and I was pleasantly surprised.  Will be on the shopping list!
Lord Bilimoria’s lecture covered many aspects of being bold in business….. Here’s some of his thoughts on how to succeed.

Cobra Beer
Cobra Beer

How to succeed in business

  • You need boldness, creativity and restless innovation; boldness to adapt or die and the ability to persevere against all odds,  even when nobody thinks you stand a chance, including your own family.
  • You need vision “to aspire to and achieve against all odds with integrity”.
  • You need to Inspire people to become loyal brand champions
  • You need luck – when determination meets opportunity. Picture waves going past you – you might just catch one if you are lucky
  • Serendipity – seeing what everyone else sees but thinking what no one else has thought
  • Blue ocean thinking eg Cirque de Soleil – bringing together ancient art forms to create a new entertainment. Now a multi- million company
  • You need the guts to do something in the first place and stick with it when the going gets tough
  • Your business is not just what you do but how you do it.
  • Trust is key – Empires were built on trust
  • You need to be a great leader
  • The fear of pain is greater than the pleasure of gain
  • What do you do? play to win or play not to lose?  If you’re already at the top of your league for example, as was Alex Ferguson’s team, the biggest challenge was to get the team to play to win again
  • You need to deliver a unique and relevant consistent experience
  • You need to deliver extraordinary profits
  • Always hire for attitude rather than for skill
  • “Good judgement comes from experience ; experience comes from bad judgement”  attributed to Dr Kerr L White

To work in partnership and with others you need the same culture and the shared values of Integrity = wholeness . The former Archbishop of Canterbury,  once explained that “integrity” comes from the Latin word “integer” – the whole number,  thus “wholeness”. You cannot practise integrity unless you are whole.
Start your own foundation to give back to society.   Cobra Beer has a joint venture with Belu water where profits are donated to water aid to help transform lives through access to clean water and safe toilets in South Asia.

Categories
Marketing Marketing Strategy

The 7Ps of a good marketing strategy

I’ve led a sheltered life and have only thought of the 7 Ps of a good marketing strategy in marketing terms:

  • Product/Service
  • Price
  • Place
  • People
  • Process
  • Physical Evidence
  • Promotion

However, I recently discovered that the Military also adopt a 7Ps:  Theirs is a little different:
“Proper Planning and Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance”
so think how powerful your marketing strategy could be if you combined both?
I often smile wryly if I introduce myself to someone who concludes that because I am in ‘marketing’  I dabble with some  ‘advertising’!  If you take a look at the list below, you’ll see that advertising is one part of offline communications which is one of the 7 Ps of marketing.   I’ve given up trying to convert!
I’ve touched really briefly on the various elements of the marketing mix – but please do call if I can help you work through anything in particular.  This is the tiniest snapshot of the breakdown of marketing.  But it is good to sit back from your business and challenge yourself with some of these questions.
Product/Service: 

  • Is there a market for what you do? How do you know?
  • Why should people buy what you offer at all and why should they buy from you?
  • What makes you different from your competition?
  • Who is your competition – when did you last do a competitive SWOT?
  • What are the overall growth trends in your sector?
  • What is your sales pattern? What area of your sales is strongest and why and can you harness this strength elsewhere?
  • And what area is weakest? What are you doing about it?
  • How well do you treat your customers?
  • Which profitable customers can you win from whom? How?  Why? Where? When?

Price

  • Have you built value into your pricing?
  • Are you competitive?
  • Is your cost enough for you to work with profit?
  • How do you set your price?
  • Will you discount?
  • How will you avoid being always known for discounting?
  • What do your competitors do?
  • Keep It simple

 Place

  • How easy/convenient is it for your customers to buy from you?
  • Where and how are you currently selling your products and services?
  • What are the opportunities to extend these?

If you are selling a service on the web, are you supporting with testimonials and case studies?
People

  • Are your people one of your main strengths of your business?
  • Or are you the bottle neck in your company? Are you better than everyone else and does everything have to come through you first?
  • What type of leader are you?
  • What is the path for your team to voice their concerns other than coming through you?
  • Are your people your best ambassadors or are they whinging about you/the business as soon as they are out of the door?
  • Are they as well trained as they can possibly be?
  • Did you involve your team when you last undertook a company SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) –really powerful.

Process
One of the vital Ps but often overlooked and often designed for the company’s benefit rather than the customer’s.    Ask yourself:

  • Can your team deliver a consistent level of service to all customers and at all times?
  • Customer retention is critical.. how failsafe is your process to ensure you don’t lose any?
  • How effective is your sales process?
  • What processes have you in place for telephone answering/billing/communication with your clients/recommendations/operations/

Physical Evidence (Brand)
Your brand is defined as

  • Signs by which you are known and remembered
  • A bundle of explicit/implicit promises
  • A reflection of personality
  • A statement of position.

Have you thought about/discussed what does your company stand for? What’s its personality and philosophy? What’s your one key brand promise to your customers?
Your brand is so much more than your logo.  Think about a new visitor’s journey to your web site – does this reflect the look and feel of any communication they have had from you hitherto?  Will they recognise this as being part of the same business?  Have you had your website made mobile friendly?  Really important.
A few hours spent on this are far from fluffy nonsense.  See my article on local company Mulberry here
Promotion (Communication)
Just a few from the hundreds of options

  • Off line
    • Face to face
    • WOM referral
    • Networking
    • Telesales as part of a process
    • PR
    • Exhibitions and events
    • Direct marketing and sales letters with appropriate follow up driving to the web
    • Postcards
    • Events and seminars
    • Advertising but think carefully before you embark here. One off random ads are a waste of time and money! Is it the right target market?  Don’t be dazzled by offers…

 On line

    • Website and how are you pushing your web? Does your copy talk about ‘you’, ie the reader?  Are you  making regular blog posts and updates?  Have you considered more SEO eg PPC,  back links, etc
    • Online videos on YouTube – how to/ about/testimonials – so many options
    • Social media – which?
    • Facebook advertising
    • Email news and updates

So then, back to the military version:
Using your marketing knowledge to create a good strategy/plan coupled with the military 7Ps of “Proper Planning and Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance” will surely lead to improved business performance for 2016?  But do remember that marketing is not a quick fix.  Think of it as your new exercise regime for 2016 – little and often on a regular basis.
My audit is a really good starting point – Give me a ring or email me on debbie@armstrongbeech.co.uk  if you’d like to chat over.