4 ways to strengthen a business brand ‘moral bank’ in the current market


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Recurring customer purchase is key to sustaining a business. Meanwhile, no business can successfully convert first-time buyers to customers without going the extra mile to provide valuable motivation for repeated purchases. This is where the questions of brand ‘moral bank’ come in, especially under the current market situation.

 A brand moral bank is the subconscious store of the experience a buyer has at each point of interacting with the brand products and people. 

If what the buyer experiences during 

product use and contact with personnel from the business matches what the brand promises – such as ‘speed of transaction’ pitched by a bank, or an airline that proposes ‘no flight delays’ on its marketing document – the brand would have succeeded in gaining the confidence of the buyer. This would increase the brand sales capital going forward.

If the buyer has an experience that in no way matches what the brand had promised in its brand proposition, it becomes a moral issue. The buyer reaction would be to hold off, lose interest or tell others about how the defaulted brand lacks integrity. The low ball actions of the brand would dent the image of the brand. This is a perfect case of a brand moral deficit; it stems from a business’s lack of prioritization of the buyers’ experience.

Brand integrity is becoming a strong competitive advantage. In a highly globalized, and inflationary market environment buyers are picky and cautious. They scrutinize brands. They are careful about each purchase. They are determined to avoid rip-off in any way.

Therefore, a business brand that aims to attain a leadership position in its segment must work hard to:

  1. Understand the buyers’ preference – Buyers have aspirations and expectations that may not be readily expressed. Probing into their history, culture and current situations could yield valuable insights into what they value and how they want to be treated. If a business could factor these useful insights into the conceptualization and presentation of its products and services it would likely connect deeply with the target market.
  2. Analyze the competitive environment – It is critical to examine an existing market to find out about an underserved segment. Of course, there is hardly a market that is fully served. New tastes emerge every day and this shifts the envelope in terms of what the consumers want next. Committing to taking the consumers on a trip to the next phase of the consumption aspiration such as done by Apple Inc. each time it upgrades its product, would create a love affair between a brand and its target market.
  3. Prioritize the ‘best fit’ product features uncovered – Having uncovered the personalities of the buyer segment and analytically delved into emerging tastes in the market a business may not have all the resources to meet these needs. Instead of going for a kill, a business can dissect the ‘best fit’ features that are still missing in the market, rank them on a scale of importance, take the most important features it can deliver consistently profitably and go to work on it.
  4. Be cautious in developing and communicating a market position – Many consumers have placed a tight hold on their spending because of the highly inflationary environment. Inflation hovers around 18% in Nigeria, 79.6% in Turkey, and 15.9% in Russia. The UK is tilting towards recession. It is the same story in every part of the world as the gruesome effects of the 2020 COVID-19 outbreak combine with the terrible impacts of current climate change and war in Eastern Europe to set the world economy into a tailspin. Hence, the consumers are hard-pressed and angry. This is not a time to mess with them. It is instructive for a business to promise what it can deliver and deliver it.

These market insights hold the key to understanding and serving buyers in ways that meet or surpass their expectations under the current market situation.

Toyin Afilaka
Toyin Afilaka
Toyin Afilaka writes with simplicity and insight. He aims to enrich the Nigerian small business landscape. Through Hustle24 he connects entrepreneurs with information about new policies, enterprise solutions and opportunities that will aid their 'hustle'. He has written extensively for CobraReview, a product review portal, and served as a lead project manager for MarketingMix where he consulted as PR consultant for MTN Project Fame and Business Next Titan etc.


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