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    Carey Smith on Customer Relationships

    The creation of a brand within a brand has become the hallmark of many successful companies as they diversify their customer base from Commercial Importance to Very Important.

    How do they do at it? Should more of us being looking into this growth area rather than leaving markets unexplored?canada_centurion

    The airline industry has been able to achieve this thinking and in most instances been a regular part of their long haul services.  Everyone gets onto the same plane, the branding is consistent for each customer yet the experience of travelling economy to travelling first class is distinctly different and the value to the airline also is based on a per customer spend.  The level of loyalty between customers in different classes is known to be much more successful when better levels of service are offered.  Clearly the price you pay with an airline can determine the service that you get. 

    What about the credit card industry?  American Express is a prime example of how they can differentiate their brand by simply understanding the wealth distribution throughout the community.  They go from a standard corporate card and then begin to spread their influence in different ranges of services to those people. There is American Express Blue, Silver, Gold, Platinum and American Express  Black.  The Black card is actually made of titanium.  The black card cannot be applied for it is by invitation only and has no pre-set limits.  One commonly known story is about Britney Spears using her American Express Black card to bail her husband at the level of $1m.  How do American Express achieve such a distinct level of branding within a brand? 

    lexus_logo-295x238Toyota, close to 15 years ago, set themselves apart by establishing a second brand called Lexus.  Well known through its different points of service, Lexus has become a market leader in that field and Toyota have continued to gain marketshare across the world for their base product.  Did Toyota believe that there branding was locked in to a certain market without any ability to grow without introducing a completely different brand, Lexus? The different model choice within Toyota stops 10% under the model choice of Lexus. 

    So, is placing a brand within a brand more about differentiation than it is about the core product?  How can we as service providers in the sales industry find a point of difference and is it possible for individuals to create and benefit from two brands?  I wonder whether there will be more thinking put into the service they could potentially be provided by an individual within the real estate industry.  Could we provide two different levels of service under one brand with a derivative formula?  The banking industry achieved this behind closed doors where we see tagging such private banking, distinguished customers and personal services.  Is it time for individuals to take a number of levels of branding and respond to the community with choice similar to the way Qantas, American Express, Toyota do their branding today?  They have moved and understood that there are two customers that ensure the success of a business a CIP (Commercially Important Customer) and a VIC (Very Important Customer). 

    The CIP makes up 90% of revenue, the VIC makes up 10% of revenue and 90% of your referral base.

    Which one is more important? more leadership articles click here www.careysmith.com

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