Step aside baby boomers and Generation X
One of the most important stakeholders companies must prioritise are customers. The demographics of customers are constantly changing therefore companies need to be flexible and change their strategies accordingly. Currently, millennials and Gen Zs make up the majority of consumers. The Straits Times reported that Gen Z may form up to 40% of all Singaporeans shoppers by 2020. What consumers value, how they make purchase decisions, and their characteristics are of the highest interest for any company. All these contribute to how they perceive your brand.
According to McKinsey in 2020, Gen Zs and Millennials have strong inclinations towards companies with a strong brand purpose. “They’re looking beyond tangible products and actually trying to understand what is it that makes the company tick. What’s its mission? What’s its purpose? And what is it actually trying to build for us as a society?” Some points they consider are sustainability, how companies contribute to the social fabric or the company’s novelty – constantly bringing something new to customers.
McKinsey also mentioned that consumers are more willing to pay for a brand’s purpose that is aligned with their own values because they are “spending it on something” they “believe in”.
McKinsey believes branding is building an emotional connection with consumers, which is differentiating and sustainable over time, along with the ability to communicate authentically with customers and resonate with them. An example of building an emotional connection is aligning the brand’s purpose with what consumers’ value or feel for. The challenge here lies in brand consistency. Companies cannot alter their external brand frequently in attempt to suit consumers’ needs. Instead, they need to come up with a robust brand strategy inside out that is consistent. As McKinsey mentioned, “if you have anything that’s not authentic within your brand story, it’s going to be exposed immediately. brands are really keeping within their story and making sure that they are true to it and authentic.”
Small or medium enterprise companies should not worry that they are unable to position themselves as premium brands using expensive and high-quality materials to command higher prices. The definition of luxury is changing among Gen Zs, where luxury brands are no longer just expensive ones but simply unique brands. As McKinsey stated, Gen Zs are looking for unique items that set them apart.
Having sold more than 1 million chairs in over 60 countries, Secretlab is no secret in Singapore, as well as in most parts of the globe. It is an exemplary example of a brand that succeeded by aligning its brand purpose and business strategies with its consumers’ wants and needs. The brand prides itself on being engineered to deliver comfort to its customers through posture support, essentially ergonomic chairs.
While ergonomic chairs are pricier than normal chairs to begin with, branding played a major part in Secretlab’s success with its chairs targeted specifically at gamers. The price of a typical ergonomic chair could start at $198 (Yoke YOE A8) or $299 from Ergoworks, a reputable company offering ergonomic chairs. However, the price of a Secretlab chair starts from $464, significantly higher compared to typical other brands. Secretlab’s chairs are also not within the list of ergonomic chair recommendations made by popular blogs such as The Smart Local.
Secretlab strongly aligns its brand’s purpose and values with the interests and needs of its target consumers – gamers. Gamers value having a close gaming community and winning their game challenges. Hence Secretlab’s purpose of “engineered for champions”. The company also emphasises being more than just a chair – it supports the gaming community. Its strong brand vision of creating the perfect gaming chair for gamers is strongly reinforced within the organisation, resulting in a strong focus on creating chairs that appeal to gamers.
Through thorough market research on gamers, studying their needs and interests before coming up with solutions to satisfy them, Secretlab launched a product strategy based on a strong brand foundation. From paying great attention to the structure of the chair for posture to focusing on the tiniest design elements such as the stitching on the chairs, along with collaborating with gamers’ favourite games, Secretlab is fully devoted to crafting their brand around their consumers. The company has partnered with various games such as World of Warcraft, League of Legends, Mortal Kombat, Birds of Prey, Overwatch and more to design their chairs according to the games. It also liaises with winners from international gaming competitions to endorse its chairs to gamers, manifesting the winner mindset of its consumers.
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