Executives Forum Business networking means establishing a mutually beneficial relationship with other business people and potential clients/customers. It refers to building and cultivating relationship with people of similar interests in ways that can benefit all parties.
People have been networking in Singapore for Executives Forum as long as they’ve been communicating. Effective networking is to make you known. Primary purpose of business networking is to tell others about your business and hopefully turn them into customers. Purpose of business networking is to increase business revenue. Business networking helps you eventually attain business growth and increase the profits.
You can use networking as a tool for finding customers, investors, staff, suppliers and business partners with minimal cost to business by being a part of any Executives Forum. Networking is important in business as it’s a means to form relationship with others that helps to grow your business. Business networking is one of the most effective marketing and prospecting tools you can use to grow your business.
Networking with TheNewHandshake is a socioeconomic business activity by which business people meet to form relationships, to create and act upon business opportunities, share info and seek potential partners for ventures.
Networking can be done via local/ regional/ international Business Networking Groups, Mastermind groups, Community service groups, Professional associations, and Social media/ online business networking groups.
Benefits of business networking:
- You gain new contacts and referrals, increasing your business. Help you identify opportunities for partnerships, joint ventures, or new areas of expansion for business. You get much higher quality leads.
- Visibility, as it helps keep you front and center in the minds of right people. This helps raise your profile.
- You stay current, keeping up with market conditions and overall trends in your industry.
- You find solutions to your business problems, such as financial problems and finding ideal candidate.
- You expand knowledge by taking advantage of the viewpoints and prior experience of others.
Internet age offers new Executives Forum networking tools. Online social networking sites have taken business networking to a new level. Many websites provide business-oriented social networking online. Some people also make good use of blogs for networking. Social networking sites help you reach out to people at your convenience, without having to attend events or meetings. But good business networking shouldn’t begin and end with online social networking. They don’t replace face-to-face networking.
Brand Strategy - Brand Value - Brand Identity Guru
What is a Brand? Put simply, it defines the identity of an organisation, product or service. It's more than just names and logos. The identity needs to be based on a unique idea and told through a compelling story. It needs to connect with potential customers and form positive emotional bonds. The idea needs to be distinctive from the competition and relevant to the target markets worldview. It also needs to be authentic, meaning that it's not enough to simply make empty claims. The organisation needs to actually live its brand.
Brands increase the value of products and services by differentiating them from the competition, creating positive mental associations and forming emotional relationships with the customer. Philip Kotler from the Kellogg School of Management famously said that "if you are not a brand, you are a commodity. Then price is everything and the low cost producer is the only winner."
Competing on price may increase short-term sales, but is a dangerous strategy for anyone serious about building a profitable, sustainable business. Brands provide businesses with the means to free themselves from constant price competition, increase the value of their services, reduce their marketing costs and develop long-term customer loyalty.
Building a successful, sustainable brand requires careful planning and consistency. It needs a strategy. Brand strategy is the plan that defines defines the ideas and stories behind the brands, the structure and relationship of the brands within the organisation and the core identifying elements. These can include elements such as company and product names, tone of voice, logo's, colour schemes etc. It also provides the framework for implementing the brands throughout the organisations operations and for using them to efficiently work towards the businesses goals. It's not just a cosmetic exercise; it's a key element of business strategy.
With a clear strategy in place, managers can make appropriate, co-ordinated, informed decisions not just in marketing, but in all departments from product development through to customer service and recruitment. This process of embodying the brand idea throughout the organisation is what we call branding.
The beauty of branding is that by telling your customers authentic, compelling stories, you not only make your goods more attractive and valuable, you give your customers something to talk about. Humans naturally love to tell and share stories. By giving them good stories to tell, you gain access to what is by far the cheapest and most effective form of promotion - word of mouth.
Few organisations manage to achieve the full benefits of word of mouth, and worse still, for many organisations it spreads more negative stories than positive. To compensate for a lack of positive word of mouth, organisations spend huge sums of money on ineffective marketing exercises. Without an effective brand strategy these exercises are often unfocussed, inconsistent and unauthentic. Consequently, they rarely pay for themselves, let alone make a profit.
So what is the role of marketing? To a large extent, branding is the antithesis of marketing. Branding is the most effective way of generating positive word of mouth, making it both cheaper and more effective than traditional marketing techniques.
Marketing without a clear brand strategy is a chaotic, costly exercise that in essence is little more than shouting and showing off about your products and services. People don't like or trust show-offs. If you want to make an impact, you need to talk to them like grown ups. With exposure to thousands of marketing messages every day, consumers have become largely immune to meaningless promotional messages, filtering them out and filing them in their mental recycle bins.
However, there is still a place for marketing and in many cases, marketing is part of the branding process as it provides a means by which to spread the brand story. This explains why there is so much confusion regarding the difference between them. Marketing used to be about the promotion of products and services. Successful marketing now focuses on the promotion of brands.
If an organisation developed a perfect brand idea but did nothing to promote it, then no one would ever have heard about it. The story would never spread and the strategy would be unsuccessful. It's therefore important to combine the strengths of both branding and marketing in order to reach your target market.
The most successful organisations combine a confident and forward thinking idea with a robust and organised strategy. They then use carefully targeted marketing to help get their story out. The success of their brands means that as time goes on, the need for formal marketing reduces and the effectiveness of any existing marketing increases, thus paving the way for increased profits and organisational growth.
In conclusion, brands are a key element of building profitable businesses with long-term sustainability. When executed well, they increase sales, add value to products and services and reduce marketing costs. They also give focus to a business, boost staff morale and increase share value.
Building successful brands is not simply a cosmetic exercise. They need to be consistent, true to the organisation and embodied throughout their activities. This is only possible when a clear brand strategy is in place to act as a framework for their implementation, and to ensure that they are always working towards the business goals. Marketing has its place as a tool for promoting brands, but once they have made a connection with the core of their target market, successful brands can sell themselves through word of mouth.
Networking can be a waste of time if done incorrectly. Trading business cards with dozens of people, sending mass email blasts, racking up hundreds of friends on social media may not accomplish much.
Although increased sales is the end goal, don’t participate in business networking to sell. Successful networks build relationships. Find and develop relationship with people. At TheNewHandshake we believe networking can be a very powerful tool in enhancing your ability to lead and influence other people, but only when you provide value to the people in your network.
Develop a network before you need it. Stay in touch. Cultivate respect and trust. Be genuinely interested. Choose the right group. Be responsive and develop relationship.