Brand is how a particular individual, business, or company is perceived by others. Building your brand is all about creating trust and a strong relationship with customers or any individual you may be connecting with. Your brand is how you are recognized by others and how you are able to stand out in a crowd of millions of online users.
Brand is not a product or logo — brand is an idea people have about something and it exists only in human mind. Brands are important because those ideas in your mind determine your attitudes and actions. You see — when people had the idea that earth is flat they even did not think circumnavigating it.
You haves idea about PalmOlive soap, Apple, Sony, Napoleon, Russia, Nike — and those are just ideas. They are not objective — but subjective! They are your interpretations. This is the most important thing to understand — people will not perceive your product objectively but subjectively by interpreting available information according to their subjectivity.
Business is all about profit but in order to make profit you need to have loyal clients. But for the loyalty to emerge you need to establish relationships with your customers. But relationships by definition can exist only between two personalities. So the main task of branding is to create personality to which people can relate and then develop relationship between people and brand (in the form of personality). Therefore brand has to be like a personality — unique, consistent, homogenous, have attitude and set of values — just like any human being has. And brand has to communicate in order to express himself. You want your brand to become great — think what great personalities do and adapt those techniques to your brands personality.
So to sum up — brands emerge naturally as people form their ideas about the world and phenomena in it. You will have a brand no matter of you create it or not — it will emerge by itself anyway. Sure it’s better to manage peoples perceptions the way you need them than let them form on their own.
Your “brand” extends well beyond the scope of your service or your “widget.” Your brand is your reputation. Your brand is how customers think about your business, how they state your business, and the way they feel regarding your business. Yes, we said how they feel regarding your business.
Today we are presenting Prateek N Kumar CEO & Managing Director of NeoNiche Integrated Solutions, His company had been empowering business to spread their wings and reach to the vertex in this tough competitive world leaving behind a mark of excellence, a recognition and identity on customer’s mind via NeoNiche Branding Services. Lets See what Prateek Has to Say About His Venture & His Journey.
1.What is the Name of Your Venture? Any specific reason for this name?
Neoniche Integrated Solutions Pvt. Ltd.
When we were planning our startup, all the founders were sitting across my bed room and we almost brainstormed for 6 hours and rejected more than 200 names that came to our mind. We were not sure what the name should be, what we were sure of was it should be unique and short to be remembered across demographics & geographics. The name was coined using two different words ‘’Neo” – which means new, fresh out of the box, something which is in modern form and “Niche”- which means specialisation. The word was then joined together to form the word Neoniche.
2.Who is your target Audience/clients?
Any business whether startup or an established enterprise which has a need to market its products and reach out to its customers are our potential clients.
3.Where is your venture based (city, state, country) & What are your geographical target areas?
Neoniche is head quartered in Mumbai, with its presence in Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai. We have strategic partners across the globe and local partners across India through whom we have executed some campaigns across the globe.
Currently we are focussing on Indian sub continents and APAC region.
4.What problems does your venture resolve? What are your products or services?
We are in the business of creating remarkable experiences which connects product to prospects, brand to buyers & companies to its customers.
We do so through our fully integrated portfolio of experiential marketing services.
5.Share the idea or story behind the venture. How did it came to an existence? What motivated you to start your own venture?
Refer to the video.
6.Who are your biggest competitors and how do you differentiate yourself from them
I would not like to name any company in particular but any organisation which provides services in any sphere of marketing, both offline and online is our competition.
Our proposition of bringing value for money solutions which create remarkable experiences for customers, our team & our vendor partners if what differentiates us from the rest.
We also focus on the “startup ecosystem” which other companies don’t.
7.How did you identify your co-founder? Tell us some thing about your co-founder/s
In a business you need to have a core team which creates a right complimentary mix of knowledge and expertise.
All my co-founders were at some point of time hired by me and were my reportees. I knew their strengths and weaknesses and each one had the “do and die” attitude. It was only logical for me to have them as my co-founders.
8.How did you hire your first team members? What skills Do you want in your employees/team?
First few team members who joined us had their faith in me and the plan and they were ready to join either at the same salary or were ok even with salary cuts, to them I am forever indebted and I am glad to have them as my strategic leaders.
For us, the important qualities that a person joining Neoniche should have is a streak of ambition, he/she should be a goal oriented team player but most importantly having an entrepreneur bent of mind and who is not afraid of failures.
9.What expansion plans are you looking for the next 2 years, next 5 years?
Our immediate plan for the future is to create a value based solutions for Startups and SMB segment, who have either limited or non-existent marketing budget. A performance driven model with profit sharing as we think that lot of innovations can be created in this untapped segment. It’s difficult to outline the specifics 5 year down the line, what I can truly say is that in 5 years NeoNiche will be creating more values for its Stakeholders be it our Clients, our ecosystem partners, our employees and society in general.
10.Where do you want to see yourself in next 10 years?
10 years would be a very long tenure in today’s changing digital world. However what I am assure of is I would be creating more value for my stake holders including my team, vendor partners and customers.
11.What are your goals over the next 1, 3, 6 and 12 months?
Currently I am working towards my vision 2020, strategically inclined towards making NeoNiche the most respected experiential marketing company interms of people practices, customers excellence and revenue.
My focus is also to spend more time with my family as I haven’t been able to while I was building Neoeniche.
12.Have you raised any funding? Or have any plans for the funding?
Neoniche was started as a boot strapping company where the founders worked without any salaries for the first 6 months. This insured that we were profitable in the first year itself.
Currently we have a healthy balance sheet and we don’t require any external funding. However, future global expansions may require us to look for funding.
13.What were the problems you faced during the starting days and how did you resolve them?
The only problem that we had initially like any other start-up was lack of funds and resources. We addressed the same by founders not taking any salary for the first 6 months.
Furthermore I decided to only take notional salary for next 3 years at the same time we insured that our focus remained creating remarkable experiences for our clients. During those times, the co-founders played multiple roles, infact we were sleeping in our office. Slowly and steadily the business started coming in and our customers referred us to more customers.
14.What was the most challenging parts of your journey till now? How did you overcome those challenges?
Enterpreneur journey doesn’t have any refresher course, You have to learn on the go. It’s like jumping of the plane and create your own parachute on your way down.
There were different set of challenges while were still a startup. Today while we are on the growth stage we have different set of challenges. An entreprenuel journey is pretty lonely sometimes, the best way to learn is to have a trust group on entreprenuers where you have a shared learning. I have such a trust group. I also like to look up at entrepreurs who have made it to the top before me and l have learned from them.
15.Are you married, single or in a relationship?
Happily married with twin sons and two dogs whom I call my daughters. Infact my wife is my biggest support system and deals my idio syncrasis most of the times.
16.What are your hobbies? What do you do in your non-work time?
I like to write about my experiences in my free time.
17.Whats your favorite food & holiday destination?
I love potatoes, and can gauge on them for 365 days a year.
I barely go on vacations but I would love to visit British virgin islands.
18.Whom do you consider your idol or biggest motivator
I consider my kids the biggest motivator for myself. They are not scared to fall down, they always get up on their own and try again.
Something what we grownups have forgotten to do.
19.What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?
Entrepreneurs are big risk takers, they are ready to let go of every comfort chasing an idea that they believe in. sometimes those ideas work sometimes they don’t.
Entrepreneurship is about differed gratification. You have to let go of all worldly comforts just to chase your dream and it’s a difficult thing to do.
20.If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
If I have to start all over again, I would still build NeoNiche however, over the years I have come to realise that our personal life takes a beating while we build an enterprise. Our families sacrifice a lot in the bargain.
21.How has being an entrepreneur affected your family & Social life?
In my entrepreneur journey I feel I have short-changed my family and my own health while I was building NeoNiche.
If I have to start all over again, I would possibly lead a more balanced life.
22.Anything, you would like to say to our readers or upcoming entrepreneurs?
It’s always difficult to score your first win- be it getting into college of you choice, getting hired at your dream organisation, hiring the first employee, closing the first vendor or getting the first project but if you are consistent and are able to follow your dream, its just a matter of time before people start trusting you. As an entrepreneur specially as a start up you ned to be passionate and belive in what you are doing only then the world will take notice, you need to be a scavenger without ego. If the business means you have to wait outside prospective clients office for hours you just go ahead and do it. Look at creating value and profits will follow.
23.Tell us something about your education & family background.
I did my graduation in Zoology (honours) from St.Xaviers, Ranchi and my Hotel management from IHM Mumbai ,I am a first generation Entrepreneur I have 2 younger brothers who have taken cue from me quit their jobs and have created their own successful startups.
24.What is your USP which makes it unique & different from other start-ups in similar domains.
Unlike other organisations in our space we also have focus on offering for startup eco system where we work on our unique low cost + profit model.
25. What do you think is the biggest threat to the success of small businesses & Start-ups today?
The biggest threat is the lack of knowledge.
26. Do you consider yourself successful and by what means do you measure success?
I consider myself a servant leader who’s job is to create value for the ecosystem and the same takes persistence that cannot be viewed from a window of only 6 years of being the business.
I measure success in the creation of value for the entire ecosystem whether its employees, customers, vendors and society in general. Because a business cannot grow In isolation it has a larger role to play in the society.
27.Please share complete name, address, phone number, email id & website of Your Business & Contact Person
NeoNiche Integrated Solutions Pvt. Ltd.
2nd Floor, Avan Abad building, 6 Walton Road, Off Colaba Causeway, Mumbai – 400039
Land Mark: Above Hotel Oliver, Near Electric Hous e
Tel No: +91 22 22887878 I Mobile: 07045949186