The dry season is here in full swing. Off the paved roads dust is the default setting. The grass is drying up and sweaty people can be seen everywhere.
More than five minutes in a stationary vehicle that has no air conditioning is enough to make you cancel your trip to the sauna. However, it is also one of the busiest times for the business community.
The Rwanda International Trade exposition is currently taking place at the Gikondo expo grounds. The event will run until the August 10, 2011 and as several companies showcase what products and services they offer, different people visit the stalls to see for themselves.
The expo visitors have a chance to change their opinions about certain products, services and companies in general. For the exhibitors, the main question to answer is, “Why Am I here?”
Before you set up a colourful stall and call on people to stop by, it is crucial to have clarity on why you are taking part in this event in the first place.
Are you there to sell as many units as possible of a given product? Are you there because your main rival also has a stall?
Are you there because you think people will flood the place so you want them to find you there too? Is it because you think it’s good for the image of the company that you are seen at this prime event?
All said, I think it often comes down to the thin line between selling products and selling your brand to the show goers.
There must a degree of clarity on whether you are interested in selling products to as many people as possible or making your brand clear to as many people as possible.
Anyone in the business world should know that selling a brand is always much better than selling products. This is because a brand is the image, the perception and the emotional expectation of a given product or service.
In other words, the brand is what really sells the products.
The world’s biggest brands like Coca cola, Marlboro or even Google have perfected the art of creating brand presence not just in a given place but in people’s hearts and minds.
Few people can tell what exactly Google sells or even where it is located but we have been conditioned to accept Google to search. The brand (noun) has been transformed into a verb!
Companies exhibiting at the expo are therefore better off concentrating on selling their brands to the people before them more than anything else. This is because if the brand sticks, then one will remain a loyal customer for long.
To achieve this, one must concentrate on providing information about what the company offers and where it can be found.
A well branded stall with a person ready to explain everything about a company in as many languages to those who seek information is better off than one where focus is on simply selling goods and playing loud music.
After all, one could still buy your products or listen to music without coming to your stall. Try to give them that intangible emotional attachment that will make them lifetime loyal clients.