Brand building

Entrepreneurs, Found this great article and thought of sharing it with everyone... Enjoy...

When it comes to brand building, customer service is often the last and most-ignored piece of the puzzle. This is a big mistake--and big missed opportunity. Aligning customer service and your brand is an essential but under-used way to attract and retain customers, differentiate the business, and boost brand loyalty. Done right, it can create a truly sustainable competitive advantage. Here are six ways we've seen to use customer service to reinforce brand identity. These methods can be used to align customer service with established brands or to build a brand through customer service.

1. Establish and execute to a brand-aligned customer service intent
Successful companies formulate a strategic intent and execute to that intent for market success; savvy organizations map that strategic intent to a brand intent. While businesses often capture brand intent in their advertising, they ignore it in delivering customer service, whether it is through their websites, contact centers, stores, or branches. This could result in damage to the brand. It is therefore important for C-level executives to launch a brand-aligned customer service initiative to make sure it is implemented across customer-facing and back-office operations.
2. Design brand-aligned processes
Customer service processes often involve multiple steps, tasks, people, and organizations. For instance, contact center customer service includes call routing, interactions, resolution, and fulfillment, and could also include proactive outbound communications, based on pre-determined business rules. High-touch brands should design processes that emphasize human-assisted customer service over self-service, whether it is in a brick-and-mortar environment or in a contact center setting (e.g., phone and web chat). It is also important to ensure that promised service levels are met through robust customer service process management tools. Non-intrusive brands should refrain from aggressive in-person or live chat customer service.
3. Provide brand-aligned human-assisted service
Human-assisted service is here to stay- complex customer service requests and certain transactions require human involvement. Moreover, some customer segments prefer the human touch. As such, it is important for companies to hire and retain brand-aligned people for customer service. HR organizations could match the personality of the brand to the desired personality of frontline reps to ensure brand-aligned agent recruitment and retention.
The knowledge and conversational styles of "role model" (i.e., the most brand-aligned) call center agents can be captured in customer service management systems in the form of knowledge base content and interactive guidance to agents at the point of customer interaction, and even in customer self-service systems. Forward-looking retail and financial services companies are extending such systems to brick-and-mortar stores and branches to improve the effectiveness and brand alignment of in-person customer service.
4. Provide brand-aligned self-service
Self-service provides a great opportunity to further build the brand. For example, sophisticated guided-help knowledge base systems and online chatbots modeled after the company's multimedia advertising spokespersons can orchestrate brand-aligned self-service interactions with customers. A hypothetical example would be chatbots modeled after the gecko or the "cavemen" for GEICO and William Shatner for In fact, a leading financial services company in Japan has used a chatbot, modeled after an actor featured in its television commercials.
5. Use brand-aligned metrics
A critical misstep in customer service management is the misalignment of brand strategy and service metrics. For instance, force-fitting Wal-Mart metrics to a Nordstrom brand intent is not a good strategy. High-touch brands should not emphasize throughput metrics such as average call handle times.
6. Brand-align all touchpoints
Most businesses still have interaction, data, and knowledge silos in phone call centers, online service centers, and self-service systems, where the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing. Of late, many companies have started unifying customer interactions and knowledge bases into common platforms as the first step to unify customer experience across channels and service agents. However, most companies have yet to brand-align customer service across communication channels. A unified platform approach to cross-channel customer service and brand alignment can help them get there quickly, and their customers won't have to face Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde as they go from one communication channel to another, or from one agent to another.


Sempat menjenguk blog Marina Mahathir dan terbaca post yang aku kira sangat menarik untuk masyarakat di negara ini. Kita seringkali dimomokkan dengan pelbagai propaganda yang kadangkala sukar untuk kita percaya. Tetapi apabila melihat dan membaca sepintas lalu sinopsis dan trailer filem MNIK melalui youtube ternyata banyak perkara yang berada diluar jangkauan kita sememangnya berlaku.

Sebagai contoh, ketika aku berada di tingkatan dua, salah seorang keluarga terdekat aku menyatakan di Indonesia terdapat pasangan keluarga yang hidup bersama tetapi mengamalkan agama berbeza. Aku menganggap perkara itu sebagai enteng. Tetapi gambaran itu rupanya benar! Dan ia direalitikan melalui MNIK. Mungkin aku agak ketinggalan sedikit dalam bab ini tetapi aku bersyukur kerana Malaysia masih cool.

Bagaimana Islam seringkali dikaitkan dengan pengganas dan bagaimana MNIK menyampaikan mesej kontradiks anda boleh discover dalam filem ini.

** ada DVD filem ini? pinjam jap.

Sign of the day of judgement

The true story of Sime Darby

 Alkisahnya bermulanya cerita ala-ala filem Avatar di negara ini....
Syarikat konglomerat membuat pelaburan besar
By; Dr Chan Chin Cheung
Taken from chedet comments.
MAY 19, 2010 — Poor Datuk Seri Ahmad Zubir Murshid, I sympathise with his present predicament. He was not the first executive of Sime Darby to be mired in circumstances which went beyond his control — the force of historical circumstances which dated back to November 1976.
All these began on Jan 2, 1972 when I proposed to a high government official that Malaysia would be well-placed to have a conglomerate of its own at the inception of the New Economic Policy (NEP) conceptualised by the team led by the Father of Development, Tun Abdul Razak, a statesman.
At that point, I had not the faintest idea what it was all about. All I knew was that my Malay contemporaries were very keen to do business. They grew up with me in the environs of higher education in the United Kingdom in the 1950s. We were all fired up with the things we could do in a socio-economic way.
Eventually, we all returned and I by force of circumstances became a planter. Then, I could see my Malay friends were quite poor compared with myself. Also, I realised the British dominated the banking, the plantation and tin mining sectors, because the biggest rubber estate owned by a Chinese then was only 7,000 acres and the non-Malays from the urban areas did all the menial business and the hard and unrewarding work at the leading edge of the nascent ‘independent’ Malaysian economy.
The change came with the NEP which promised to give all Malaysians a new beginning.
I thought without a huge business entity controlled by the Malays with the co-operation of the non-Malays, we, the Malaysians, would be mired in unhealthy competition socio-economically amongst ourselves.
This would lead to self-destruction because 70 per cent of the Malaysian economy at that point was still controlled by the British, not the Chinese. We would be getting at each other’s throats for third class assets.
Without Sime Darby, which eventually became the flagship of the Permodalan Nasional Berhad, non-Malay billionaires, some of them foreigners, would not be created during the NEP period.
Prospek besar dalam bekalan tenaga & peluang untuk mashuk
Hence, I proposed that a Malaysian-owned and managed conglomerate should be established or acquired. By chance in October 1973, Sime Darby was involved in its first scandal concerning its chief executive, and Pernas Securities moved in with the tacit support of the Minister of Finance and the Prime Minister, who both had this great foresight to do what was best for Malaysia on free market terms.
This was their finest hour to agree to take-over a British conglomerate at fair market prices. Arising from this proposal, Tan Sri Taib Andak, the Chairman of Maybank, and myself were appointed as non-executive directors of London-based Sime Darby PLC in October 1974.
But, at that time, there was not much money available for the Bumiputeras. Without informing anyone, I managed to garner the support of important investors residing in a neighbouring country, who entered the fray and helped us to win against all odds by November 1976.
During this period, the British were at their weakest being beset with political turmoil, by the weak pound and a disinterested City in ex-colonial assets. Malaysian control was achieved with a few million ringgits, about RM 23 Million.
Unfortunately, at the crucial moment, our prime minister, Tun Abdul Razak passed away. Then, my view was: Who pays the piper calls the tune.
In other words, Malaysians should be put immediately in place to steer this great ship with a purpose that some national sovereign funds only set out to do in the 21st century.
But from this point onwards, no one asked me for my views and this was the theme of the executive management to the day. I was asked to resign 18 years later by the executives who benefited from my concept.
Kerja-kerja pembinaan dan pemantauan sedang diusahakan
It was all fine and dandy if there were no financial mishaps. The executive management reigned supreme over the Board to this day. This anomaly must now be rectified in the interests of the shareholders. This is not ethical and more.
The management was not “Malaysianised” until 1982.
By 1982, the best assets of Sime were sold in haste, e.g.
the beverages firm Shaw Wallace of India, an Indian monopoly, with the valuable Assam frontier tea-estates. It is believed the son of the purchaser became a billionaire of India and owns the Kingfisher Airline.
the two Orchard Towers, Singapore which are still standing even though the management urgently advised with photos that these would collapsed any moment and had to be sold back to the contractor for S$23 Million quickly.
the Amoy Canning land in Hong Kong, which Sime tried to auction off but failed due to the fact that only the Hong Kong Government auction-off lands to balance its books. Eventually, a joint venture was formed with a member of the property syndicate operating there. This property became the MRT terminus!
And only the 200,000 acres of plantation remained. Lastly, Wisma Sime Darby does not belong to Sime because the company had no money at its completion in early 1980s as the Board was told.
In 1981, a foreign business paper reported that I was instrumental in helping in the sale of Benta Berhad to a well-known gentleman. Unfortunately, I took legal steps too late to clear my name. The famous Singaporean lady lawyer told me that I was a non-starter.
In 1982, as a Director of Consolidated Plantations Berhad I proposed that Sime should enter the China palm oil market. But only a small palm oil refinery was established at Port Said, Egypt.
In fact, in 1972, at another institution, I was urging my colleagues to take note that eventually, palm oil would overtake petroleum in the years ahead for Malaysia. By the early 1990s, all the vital port facilities in China were controlled by other Malaysian palm oil producers but not Sime. We went west instead of east. And sometimes, Sime’s physical stock of palm oil was sold to traders who were caught short.
In 1990, I heard in the market place and from friends who gave me a quizzical look that the well-known gentleman who purchased Benta in 1982, acquired a parcel of plantation land from Consolidated Plantations known as Bukit Berutong for RM4 million.
I asked the executives in charge why this sale was not presented to the Board for approval and was told that since the sale was so minuscule, less than 2 per cent of the total assets of the Company, there was no necessity to do so. From the gentleman, this property was warehoused in a public-listed company and finally sold at the top price of RM 88 Million.
Ironically, the Edge exposé of Sime dated May 17, 2010 also carried the story of the disgraceful state of affairs at Bukit Berutong. I also asked the executives why the valuable property was not sold to Sime-UEP. There was no answer.
In 1992, I was requested to sign a Board resolution authorising the purchase of an oil palm estate in Sabah which no one wanted for many years, for a sum of RM32 million. This money was used to purchase the Sabah Shipyard for RM 22 Million.
I refused to sign because as I was knowledgeable about the plantation industry and was aware that this plantation was hawked around for much less for many years previously.
I was asked to resign the following day by the executives. In 1974, the late Tun Abdul Razak and Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah supported me, not Tun Tan Siew Sin who had died in 1989.
Pembinaan berjalan lancar & dikawal ketat
Thereafter, the Sandestin Golf Resort, Florida was purchased for US$72 million and it was reported in the press that the purpose was to train Malaysians to manage hotels even though the Mara college was already founded in the 1960s.
After the crash of 1997, Sime announced that the resort was sold for the same sum in ringgit, arising from a depreciated ringgit. The loss in US dollars was not announced.
A bankrupt British refrigerator company was purchased and an attempt was made to revive it in the Philippines. I believe it was written off together with an investment in Mindanao.
And then came the cataclysmic events of 1996.
In the early 1990s, I travelled across the Atlantic by Serendipity Air and sat next to a German gentleman who claimed to be the head honcho of the family business of Hitler’s chief spy. I asked him why he did not travel by Lufthansa. He told me that for every US $100,000 he spent with this airline, he got a kick-back of US $30,000. His comment struck a bell in my mind as I noticed that someone was always encouraging the top executives to fly by Serendipity Air.
And Sime through its benevolence followed the executives of the travel division overseas where it has become a favourite watering place for privileged Malaysians connected with Sime. I heard they are doing great things via Hong Kong and other parts of Australia without fanfare. It is a small world!
Sime Darby was unfortunately caught by the historical circumstances which surrounded its early promise at the beginning. From November 1976, to the present, its leadership was provided by the executive management which enjoyed its magnificent perks.
It takes a company to develop its own culture over a period of at least 10 years. Sometimes, this did not succeed, as in Sime. Apart from its beautiful advertisements, Sime’s real core business is in its plantations with attempts at financial engineering from one company to another to create profits.
Penduduk membantah projek itu
Thus, Consolidated Plantations was hollowed out and had to be sold as a shell for whatever the reason! Any analysis of Sime will show it did not do anything since 1976 but was embroiled in scandals of seismic proportions after 1992!
The real substantial shareholders had no say. Because of this, once anything goes wrong in Sime, it goes very wrong. It pays to have a look at divisions where it is difficult to control usage, buying and selling or overseas.
The travel business is one of the most difficult to manage and control because it is a cash business from which Sime should keep clear and has no reason to sully its reputation.
The real purpose and the contribution Sime could make to the corporate life of Malaysia were that it could have acquired worthwhile international companies overseas during the 1970s and 1980s. It was alleged that 10 per cent of Harrisons Crosfield was available for Sime to control this conglomerate world-wide, which would have provided valuable expertise in engineering and other fields for training and transfer.
But somehow, we ended up owning the Golden Chersonese estates in Kelantan for a similar price. The lucky person who was involved, retired to the Scottish Highlands to shoot pheasants.
In my wildest dreams, I did not expect Sime to undertake directly such stupendous engineering works and before this, owned a commercial bank which went bankrupt.
As a born optimist, I say Sime Darby is still the valuable company which the late Tun Abdul Razak and Tengku Razaleigh envisioned it to be — a major flag bearer of Malaysia overseas.
Menyebabkan ia sedikit terbengkalai
It must undertake to do the right business tasks with the right business personnel, i.e. round pegs for round holes, square pegs for square holes.
The business focus of the company has to be reviewed in line with the socio-economic environment at its base and its colourful historical past, notwithstanding the vital and living world in which we do business to make money.
To take a quantum step in catching up, Sime has to co-operate with others or own specialist companies without losing sight it has to contribute to the up-lift of all Malaysians in terms of transfer of knowledge, jobs and a reasonable return to its shareholders in a businesslike manner with transparency.
It definitely should not compete with local business entities as far as possible, e.g. property development, motorcars, travel, vegetable gardens, etc. This was not my vision at all times from 1972.
Sime has better businesses to do overseas.. And greenfield projects should be avoided because many shareholders are Trusts. Decisions should not even reach the risk management stage as information is readily available in today’s world.
By this normal approach, Sime Darby will be recognised world-wide unlike now, a bull-frog in a small pond which only has a feel-good feeling by its wonderful advertisements expounding maybe non-existent overseas businesses which should all be closed down!
In passing, the chief executive of another conglomerate rang me up and said, “Doc, I think we should buy a yacht to entertain our principals.” I replied, “Sorry, Tommy, I am not into yachts for self-entertainment. But if the other Directors agree, I have no objections.” I did not hear from him again.
Not too long afterwards, I was standing by the Star Ferry, Hong Kong, one winter in the early 1990s. A huge yacht berthed beside me. Two young expatriate families disembarked with an Indian butler and matron in attendance.
At the aft, below a huge Hong Kong flag, I saw the words “Sime Darby”. I did not know Sime had a yacht. Later, I asked the management why we had a yacht in Hong Kong, and I was told this was one way to make the expatriate staff happy.
The question logically arose in my mind: What did the management do to make the Directors and the shareholders happy?
In the 1980s, it was alleged that the governor of Hainan Island and two local Hong Kong employees went to jail for illegal business activities.
Dan..pemenangnya adalah Filem Avatar & yang rugi Sime Darby
It is never too late for Sime Darby to do serious business to support, contribute and work within the policies of our Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his 1 Malaysia Concept for the good of the country and the company’s shareholders.
It can be done if Sime is focused on its responsibilities to the Nation and its shareholders.
* Dr Chan Chin Cheung was a director with Sime Darby between 1974 and 1992
* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication. The Malaysian Insider does not endorse the view unless specified.

Perjuangan lagi..

Setelah  seminggu bermalam di office akhirnya kerja-kerja editing dan grafik siap. Tetapi perjuangan belum selesai.Banyak perkara lagi yang perlu aku, grafik dan editor Jutawan perlu selesaikan. Salah satu daripadanya, make sure kerja-kerja printing berjalan dengan lancar. Disamping itu memastikan color menepati standard yang kami mahu. Kalau dahulu dalam akhbar, tugas-tugas seperti ini tidak perlu aku fikirkan.Tetapi sekarang lain ceritanya. Since aku dah terlanjur membantu banyak perkara terhadap transformasi Jutawan why not aku belajar banyak perkara dari editor aku yang sememangnya banyak pengalaman. Siapa tahu ada rezeki aku akan memiliki syarikat publshing sendiri hehehehe...

Esok adalah hari berharga dalam hidupku apabila berpeluang untuk mewawancara Tun Mahathir Mohamad di Putrajaya. Kalau mengikut perbincangan awal sepatutnya lokasi interview di tingkat 84 KLCC. Tetapi tidak mengapa yang penting aku nak bersemuka dengan Tun dan nak tengok tindak balasnya terhadap soalan-soalan yang telah kami rancang bersama editor.

Lagi mengujakan apabila CEO aku yang merupakan founder DCL dan beberapa puluh anak syarikat di bawah naungannya ikut sama menemubual Tun.Semalam sahaja kami menghabiskan masa hampir dua jam berbincang tentang soalan-soalan yang akan ditanya memandangkan masa diberi kepada kami hanya 45 minit sahaja.Malam ini perbincangan akan bersambung lagi di rumah Dato Stapa Omar di Country Height, Kajang. Yang bestnya aku turut berpeluang bermalam di rumah bernilai hampir RM10 juta miliknya itu. Nak tahu kisah Dato Stapa Omar?

** Bilik tetamunya sahaja menyamai ruang tamu rumah aku!!

Bedak batu dan Datuk Maznah

Anda memang layak berjaya! tagline yang begitu mengujakan. Lebih-lebih lagi apabila Datuk Maznah Hamid yang sinonim dengan gelaran 'iron women' Malaysia menyebutnya. Sikap slambanya dan tidak kedekut ilmu untuk berkongsi kejayaan sedikit sebanyak membuatkan aku kagum. Baru lima minit aku melabuhkan punggung di kerusi empuk Hotel Dorsset Subang dua hari lepas ketika membuat liputan preview "Konvensyen dari kosong sampai jutawan II', gusiku tidak kering dek mendengar lawak slambanya yang memang slamba mamba.

Mesti anda tertanya-tanya apa perkaitan kedua-dua gambar tu. Sebenarnya, ketika aku meminta autograf Datuk Maznah di bukunya yang bertajuk `Motivasi memburu kejayaan', banyak perkara yang sempat aku bualkan dengannya. Amazing! bagilah masa sebulan untuknya bercakap tanpa henti dia pasti boleh dan jangan risau anda tidak akan bosan.

Ketika dia bertanya kepada ku kalau nak jadi jutawan aku dengan slamba menyahut ya aku nak jadi jutawan!! Tidak semena-mena dia bercakap boleh dengan syarat ubah penampilan! Kemudian dia mulalah bercerita tentang bedak batu cap opera yang suatu ketika dahulu begitu popular dikalangan ibu-ibu  veteran. Katanya, bedak batu cap opera itulah yang telah mengubah penampilannya khususnya selepas dia tidak lagi menggunakan produk itu.

Maksudnya, berubahlah!!


U.S. Spells Out How It Will Combat World Hunger

Ranbir, twenty-six-months, who weighs 5 kg and suffers from severe malnutrition, waits for food at the Nutritional Rehabilitation Centre of Shivpuri district in Madhya Pradesh April 7, 2010. REUTERS/Reinhard Krause/Files.

WASHINGTON, May 21 (Reuters) - The U.S. global anti-hungerstrategy will focus on a small number of countries where collaborative projects can expand local food production and reduce chronic hunger, the Obama administration said on Thursday.

Rajiv Shah, head of the U.S. Agency for International Development, outlined the administration's strategy, called Feed the Future Guide, at a daylong conference. It described how to match international donations and expertise with local efforts.

At the G8 summit last year, nations pledged $20 billion to combat chronic hunger around the world. One billion people suffer from food shortages. The figure climbed when food prices soared in 2008.

Key to success, said Shah, was for national leaders to develop hunger-fighting initiatives, based on proven techniques, that have local support. A month ago, the United States said it would focus on hunger in 20 nations in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

"We are supporting this country-led approach because we know it can unlock the potential of all our development partners to make sustainable, systemic advances towards a food-secure future," said Shah.

Investments in agricultural productivity, along with local market development and new research will result in more food and lower prices, said the administration.

The 20 focus countries are Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia in Africa; Bangladesh, Cambodia, Nepal, Tajikistan in Asia; and Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, and, Nicaragua in Latin America.

Oxfam America, an international development group, said Congress should approve a White House request for $1.6 billion to support the initiative and pass legislation to double U.S. spending for agricultural development in food-short regions.

© REUTERS 2010

Mari hiburkan hati

Teringat zaman kanak-kanak terpaksa buat karangan berulang kali. Cuma aku taklah seteruk ini hahahaha...Yang kelakarnya budak ni, walaupun dah try banyak kali masih juga failed. (kalau nk baca lagi clear klik kat gambar tu). enjoy.. 

$$$ is not everything

By Christine Kearney Christine Kearney

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The son of billionaire investor Warren Buffett has an old-world spiritual message for today's money-rich parents: teach your children values and do not give them everything they want.

Musician and now author Peter Buffett preaches the message in his new book "Life is What You Make it: Finding Your Own Path to Fulfillment". Recently released in the United States, it describes how he wound up a "normal, happy" person instead of a spoiled child to one of the world's richest people.

Buffett, 52, teaches the rewards of self-respect and pursuing one's own passions and accomplishments rather than buying into society's concepts of material wealth.

"I am my own person and I know what I have accomplished in my life," he said. "This isn't about wealth or fame or money or any of that stuff, it is actually about values and what you enjoy and finding something you love doing."

People who are born with a silver spoon in their mouth can fall victim to what Buffett said his father has called a "silver dagger in your back," which leads to a sense of entitlement and a lack of personal achievement.

"Entitlement is the worst thing ever and I see entitlement coming in many guises," he said. "Anybody who acts like they deserve something 'just because,', is a disaster."

But Buffett wasn't always this wise. His own family gave him $90,000 in stock when he was 19, a small sum from such immense financial wealth. After studying at Stanford University, he moved to San Francisco and lived in a studio apartment with just enough room for his musical instruments.

"I was really searching," he said, adding that he began his musical career by working for free writing music for a local television station.

"I was kind of lost, but trying to find myself. It was definitely this strange period where I didn't really know where I was going," he said.


As well his musical passions, the values taught to him growing up and a sense of a bigger picture in life stayed with him during those trying times, he said.

"I was not only not handed everything as a kid, I was shown that there are lots of other people out there with very different circumstances," he said.

Although many people he encounters assume that his father wanted him to go into finance, he said his father accepted his choice to become a musician beginning with commercials then his own albums and composing for television shows and films.

"It was encouraged for a moment when I was open to the idea," he said about pursuing finance. But he added that as he grew older, it became clear the financial world "was not speaking to my heart."

Along with the book, Buffett has embarked on a "Concert & Conversation" tour in which he plays the piano, talks about his life and warns against consumerist culture and damaging the environment.

He said he eventually inherited more money after his mother died in 2004, but by then he had learned his lessons. Now he works on giving back to the world -- another of his life philosophies -- which includes through working for his father's NoVo charitable foundation.

"Economic prosperity may come and go; that's just how it is," he writes in the book. "But values are the steady currency that earn us the all-important rewards."