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16 APR. 2018

How Platform Brands in South-East Asia (SEA) Define Their Brand Positioning: Communicate Your Benefit

Min Li Chan

Brand Strategy Team, Singapore

This is the 2nd part of our 'How Platform Brands in South-East Asia (SEA) Define Their Brand Positioning' article, which will guide you through principles and great cases to better define your brand positioning. Read the 1st part here.

3. Determine the most compelling benefit that your platform can own in comparison to your competitors.

In addition to creating a strong relevance and resonance between your brand and your user groups, it is also important for your platform brand to be distinctive across the competitive set. The point of differentiation usually lies in the way your brand provides the product and service offerings.

Case: Eatigo – Connecting empty stomachs and tables through yield management

Thailand-based restaurant reservation platform, Eatigo aims “to connect empty tables with empty stomachs through time-based discounts”, to maximize the value of the dining experience to both its user groups. In operation since 2014, the platform brand is now serving F&B establishments and diners across 8 Asian cities; from Bangkok to Manila, Hong Kong to Mumbai.

Eatigo was founded to address the issue of underutilized capacity in restaurants. To do so, it performs a system of yield management, which provides discounts to consumers in bait to modify their behavior to dine during off-peak hours. By selling tables through Eatigo, restaurant owners (sellers) are guaranteed additional profitability to which would otherwise be zero. The ability to control the number and time availability of discounts offered also avoided the situation of overworked staff and overcrowding which could potentially spoil consumers’ dining experience. Allowing for reservations via Eatigo also provides an additional channel for restaurants to reach out to a group of value and convenience-seeking consumers.

The proposition to provide the maximized value of a dining experience also resonates strongly with consumers in South-East Asia, who are greatly influenced and motivated by discounts. The discounts range between 10% - 50% for all food items, which make it affordable for diners while providing access to a wide variety of restaurants. In addition to discounts, Eatigo also features food images along with a click-through menu to ease decision making as the tastiness/appeal of food offering is a key purchase consideration factor for dining choices.

Eatigo’s ability to drive traffic to restaurants at non-peak hours through discounts to consumers was a clear differentiating factor to competitors such as Chope or Groupon. For consumers, convenience (reservation as opposed to queuing) coupled with discounts wins the game. 

4. Communicate reason to believe.

You have done all the groundwork in identifying the needs of your target audience and designing the value proposition to address these needs. Now it is time to provide proof of your capability to deliver. Brands express their value proposition(s) to target audiences through different touchpoints; the way they shape their business models, the way they design their product and service offering and most importantly, the way they communicate these initiatives to reach the hearts and minds of the target group.

Case: BeLive – Making the world your oyster

BeLive is a mobile live streaming platform. Launched in 2015, the brand emphasizes on the delivery of quality content to its audience and acts as a testbed and talent identification platform for content creators (the seller group of this platform brand).

BeLive knew that the way to deliver quality content is a safe and nurturing platform for its streamers (content creators). One that encourages them to present who they truly are and be creative with the type of content they create. To do so, BeLive designed its business model to address the underlying concerns of the streamers; incentives, technical support, brand sponsorship and the opportunity to be identified and a chance at stardom.

Backed by MediaCorp, a media conglomerate in Singapore, BeLive was able to provide technical support (to resolve streamers’ technical queries and provide training to develop expertise on content production) and create opportunities for brand sponsorship by reaching out to brands as a platform. By doing so, BeLive lessen the need for content creators to worry about sponsorships and provide a stage for streamers to unleash their creativity. Stars wannabe can also capitalize on the platform brand as a potential channel to be spotted for their talents.

The strategic partnership with MediaCorp has not only created an opportunity to appeal to the intrinsic needs of the content creator by offering a chance to stardom but also differentiates BeLive with its strong technical support offerings. Above all, it contributes to lending credibility to BeLive’s proposition as a safe and nurturing platform for content creators. 

Conclusion

As a platform brand, you are uniquely shaped by the characteristic of the business model to be appealing to two (or more) user group. There is no one-size-fits-all solution in determining which target group you should focus on as the center of your brand positioning. In order to gain traction to build the critical mass required, you need to develop a sound understanding of your user groups and their intrinsic needs. Beyond what the platforms offer, it is what your brand can do to enhance users’ brand experience that makes them stick to you. With increasing prevalence of platform brands serving a wide variety of users’ need, it is better to get started on refining your brand positioning sooner than later. 

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