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- Pierre Mare
- Hits: 214
In the previous column, I described the various facets of identity and image. If you did not read that, you will need to read it in order to understand this one. You can find it on my blog.
The object of managing the perception of identity and influence the resulting image is to develop the correct relationship. The relationship should contain the correct emotional content and should be supported by facts, firstly because people may need to use them to defend the brand and secondly because people need the reassurance that there is a factual basis.
As the brand is primarily an emotional beast, even a financial brand, the emotion is critical.
Physique is the first aspect. The physique, or physical experience of the brand, has to live up to the claim of the brand. Using service as an example of this, if a service claims to be helpful, it has to live up to that claim. If a brand claims expertise, don’t send a junior staff member to provide the core of the service or communicate the expertise. If a product claims to be classy, the packaging has to be beautifully designed to suit the aesthetic.
This is where most management of perception stops and amazingly, where many brands fail. Sometimes services aren’t helpful, and sometimes products which claim an aesthetic suffer from very poor design.
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- Artur Illmer
- Hits: 199
You may have had the same experience as I that a car’s battery always seems to pack up in winter just a month or so after the expiry of its guarantee period.
Early September 2011 I also capped this column with a similar headline. It was at that time when many holders of Old Mutual life insurance policies that were taken out in the 80’s and 90’s were told that the guarantee period on their policies was about to expire and what the consequences thereof would be.
To keep the life cover benefit intact the clients were offered the option to convert the existing benefits to a new policy under a new product range.
This conversion was available without any medical evidence of good health but the premium for the benefit is calculated on the client’s current age and not the age when the previous policy was taken out. Many of these guarantee terms were15 years so you can imagine what a fifteen year age difference does to an insurance premium. In my previous article on this topic I cited an example based on one of my own policies where the guarantee is to expire soon. The current premium of N$740 per month will escalate to N$2600 per month if I were to convert a so-called South African policy taken out in Namibia prior to 1998 to a new policy unless one had a South African bank account to fund it’s premiums. Due to this impediment I already had to kiss one policy good-bye.
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- Rikus Grobler
- Hits: 180
We are on the topic of planning for innovation. In the previous article I touched on goal setting (SMART and BHAG methodologies) and laid the foundation for a Monthly Execution Schedule for innovation with innovation goals for each of the first six months of the year. In this issue I want to share the innovation goals for the last six months of the year and touch on the “how” of reaching these goals.
Planning for innovation
With the compliments of Paul Williams, here are the rest of the innovation goals:
July - Think about a portfolio approach to managing your innovation pipeline. Each idea you decide to invest in should be carefully considered for risk and “audacity.” Spread your idea funding budget across safe bets, probable wins, maybe wins and long shots within your portfolio of development projects. Use these “levers” to adjust overall direction based on risk tolerance, economic reality, etc. August - Lead, don’t follow. The pursuit of “best practices” is important when you are playing catch-up to your competitors. But once you’ve caught the pack, take the lead with “next practices.” This requires a lot of courage, so be prepared to fight the risk-averse within your organization. Let your competitors pursue your “best practices.” Be a leader! September - Data lies. Data can be constructed to tell you whatever you want to hear. Use quantitative data, as it tells one part of the overall story, but give equal weight to qualitative data; it tells another, just as important, part of the overall story. The crux of the matter is to consider the facts holistically and trust your intuition. October - Become a trend hunter. Scan your surroundings. Pick up on the soft signals of momentum. What is hot at the fringe? What is potentially cyclical that may be ready for a come-back? What are the technical experts excited about and working on? What is coming and what has already moved on? November - Demand executive leadership engagement, not just support. Innovation management should be treated as a business discipline, no different than Marketing, HR, IT or Finance. Innovation is not a one-time event at some posh off-site venue.
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- Lorato Khobetsi
- Hits: 245
Sleep tight dear Minister
I met the late Minister of Education, Dr Abraham Iyambo when I started doing educational stories for our newspaper and I fell in love with his personality. He was the friendliest minister I knew. He was so down to earth and always seemed happy. Over night, he became my favourite minister.
I do not only speak for myself when I say I was deeply shocked by the untimely passing of Dr Abraham Iyambo, last week.
When I heard of his passing from a colleague on Saturday, I could not believe it because just a week before he assured the journalists at a media briefing that he was in good shape and more than ready to start with his work at the ministry.
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- Yvonne Amukwaya
- Hits: 200
Yvonne has been awarded a scholarship to study Media Management at the Sol Plaatje Institute for Media Leadership at Rhodes University in Grahamstown. She returns to the Economist in December this year.
The challenges of new beginnings: Eugene F. Ware; All glory comes from daring to begin.
Whether it is in business, love or life, starting something new has its difficulties. There is no real certainty at the start of a journey and ‘like taking that last step in the dark’ it can shake the senses right out of you, flood you with anxiety and downright scare you.
With all of that said it almost sounds like starting something would be near to impossible, doomed to fail yet we do it almost every day both subconsciously and consciously.
I believe that the most basic tools for facing any new endeavour is making a list and checking it twice. ‘Success is opportunity meeting preparation’
Similar to making a grocery list, we begin any and all journeys with where we want to go and what we desire to achieve. Having a clearly defined purpose, one can built a strong resolve.
In business one may call this the business proposal, in love it may be the first attempt at getting a special someone’s attention and in life it may be simply observing what needs to change.