Author Archives: Rakesh Bhaskar

Birding in Madivala Lake – A Brickwork CSR Initiative

Our CEO, Sangeeta Kulkarni featured in the “Citizen Matters” magazine for her CSR activities (http://bangalore.citizenmatters.in/articles/bird-walk-at-madiwala-kere-bengaluru)

Bangalore, one of the fastest growing cities in the world and the garden city of India has been the symbol of economic growth and prosperity. Rapid unplanned urbanization has taken its toll and Bangalore is struggling to keep up the reputation of being the city of lakes and green spaces. It has also impacted the bird population which used to frequent Bangalore’s aquatic destinations. The city was known for about 400 lakes and tanks, the numbers have dwindled to 64 due to demographic explosion and real estate growth.

Madivala Lake is one of the oldest water bodies of Bangalore, dating back to around 400 years. The lake is very large and has an artificial island in the center to attract migratory birds. The lake and the park is a pleasant outdoor venue for people who love birds and nature. More than 60 varieties of birds visit or live here and birders are often found waiting patiently to photograph some elusive and rare birds.

Unfortunately, most visitors are unaware of the lake’s bio-diversity and the birds that visit the lake. To generate awareness and interest, Sangeeta has installed a large board with photographs and information on the birds that visit here.

She supports the NGO B76, which is involved in activities to revive the Madivala Lake, one being the annual Madivala Lake festival which attracts hundreds of visitors and school children.  As a part of this “Save Madivala” campaign, B76 also conducts bird-spotting sessions on Sunday mornings by professional bird enthusiasts who are passionate about spreading the love for birds.

Through such initiatives, she hopes public awareness about the preservation of aqua spaces will increase and Bangalore can once again enjoy the tranquility of the lakes and the chattering of birds.

IDENTITY Matters

The word identity in a dictionary is declared as a noun with a meaning – “the fact of being who or what a person or thing is”. True in every sense, in today’s world where everything is online your identity of who you are and what you do is perceived and understood by others through your presence on the web. The web today, offers multiple ways of bolstering your individual identity or organization’s identity, as the case may be. It is the most viable and fastest way to reach out to a wide section of people, cutting across time zones, continents and geographies.

Building an online identity is an established practice these days. Companies and individuals are vying for space and attention among their target audience. This includes world’s top sportsmen, politicians, celebrities, NGO’s, large enterprises, small and medium business, subject matter experts,  to name a few.

So, what is the uniqueness of having an online identity? What is its core impact areas? What are the outcomes? How does it impact your reality, both in person and in business? What do you gain?

If your inquisitiveness on having an online identity have triggered these questions, let us try and find the answers which can work for you.

 

Bare Essentials

 

Assess

“Know Thyself”, this Greek dictum is a timeless statement, having more relevance in today’s web based world than ever. The world would know you for what you can offer. Having deep awareness and understanding of one’s abilities and capacities can differentiate and elevate oneself to fame and glory. This can also be extended to one’s business. A pragmatic assessment can go a long way in establishing and showcasing your uniqueness. Once you have made an honest inference of who you are or what your business can offer through differentiation, it’s time you define your marquee space. This space will be your identity.

Define

Once you have clarity on the space you need to be in, it’s time to state the purpose. Purpose gives direction and function to your identity. It is the driving force which propels you to achieve goals and motivates you to do the undoable. It also strengthens your footprint and gives you the confidence to drive sustainable growth. When you define yourself or your company, it helps others understand you or your company better, enabling clarity and context of your identity. With definition and purpose in place, it’s time you explore.

Explore

Find out who would like to buy your product or service. Do a thorough research on the target user segment, what do they really want, your competition and the financial outcomes you can expect from your product or service. This exploration is the treasure key to riches. It would give you a platform to think and optimize your actions, with minimal loss of productive effort. It would streamline your operations, resources and effort and will keep you tightly focussed on generating concrete results.

Also, find ways to assess opportunities, identify prospects and generate quality leads. More you explore, more you discover, this will also instigate you to innovate and drive value. It gives your identity a true meaning and enables you to walk the talk. Armed with the data you gained from your explorations, now is the time to activate.

Activate

You have now positioned yourself to take informed decisions. One of your key focus area should be to create an online identity which has a strong visual impact. This should be an extension of the values, personality and what your product or service should stand for.

Visual appeal sharpens recall value of your product or service and has the potential to help you stand out and be noticed in the crowd. It helps you take advantage of online crowd who would definitely click on something which is slick and appealing. This is possible by creating a logo, tagline and a website.

Now, with all what you gained through assessment, definition and exploration, create a website that would stick with your target audience. Find ways to influence them by a visually arresting website, creating search engine friendly web content, collaterals, blogs, infographics, flyers, corporate presentations, explainer videos, thought papers, view point articles, etc. Given enough forms of artefacts to empower your audience. Write persuasive content and make them contact you.

Social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are today’s mediums used by all to converse and communicate. So, be there. A strong social media presence will go a long way in impressing and influencing your target clients and prospects.

Your online identity has to be built and curated using a website and a social media presence. This presence has to be capitalized along with having a well-defined road map to drive online business.

Capitalize

With a powerful web and social media presence in place, it’s about time you capitalize on it. In this era of digitization, even marketing isn’t spared. Digital marketing is the bandwagon every company has hopped into. You can drive digital campaigns to market a specific product or service. You can leverage on various analytics tools to generate insights and know your website performance. These insights will help you know the number of visitors, the pages they preferred, the geography they came from, what they looked for, etc. If you are selling a product, consider having an ecommerce shopping option in your website, consider having multiple interactive features to make shopping a pleasurable experience. Also, have a mobile app through which your customers can buy your product or service.

Have a customer support forum, where your customers can voice their concerns and issues. Drive your web customers to your social media sites. Engage them, interact with them, build rapport and relationships. This is important in getting quality referrals. Use social media monitoring and analytics tools to listen/monitor what your customers say. You can also drive marketing campaigns within social media and direct them to your website. This handshake of your website and social media site is vital in building a strong online identity having a high brand recall value.

It won’t be surprising that with all these efforts you will have die-hard customers and a sizeable fan following. So now, not to let go all the hard effort put in, it time to think of sustenance.

Sustain

Your online efforts has started to borne fruits. It has given your enough data and insights on how to enhance the intrinsic value of your product and service and facilitate customer delight. This is the tipping point you should be wary off. You are at an inflexion point, this is the time to drive more credibility and reliability of your offering among your customer base. Focus on reputation management, since a customer retained is a customer gained. Build an effective back office team of support personnel who can constantly monitor all customer service requests, customer surveys, your website activity, social media interactions and other administrative tasks. This will help you manage your bandwidth and help you focus on your core business tasks. Have an effective market focussed customer centric communication strategy in place. Reach out to your customer regularly through newsletters, emailers and update them of new offers. Be your customer’s primary preference and this is possible through frequent and effective communication.

In today’s crowded online world, the only way to build a strong sustainable brand identity is communicate regularly with your target audience, listen to what they got to say and understand what they want from you.

A likeable identity

Building a likeable online identity is a time bound exercise. Customer perception has to be built and nurtured through a set of specialized tools, resources and skillsets. A well-defined online business strategy will help you and your business build an identity which is synonymous to quality and value. With due effort, you can have a powerful online brand identity which can drive business and exponentially improve brand awareness among your potential prospects. It will bring your competitive edge and advantage to life, dislodging competition and improving your market footprint.

So, to answer the questions we listed in the beginning on the article, all you need to do is to follow the “bare essentials” or at the most talk to us. We are more than glad to answer any of  our questions on building an effective online identity which can drive your business and rake in more revenue.