Sow, Seed, Harvest: How to create a ‘sticky’ brand and survive economic uncertainty

Sow, Seed, Harvest: How to create a ‘sticky’ brand and survive economic uncertainty

As we learn to navigate a season of rising inflation and economic uncertainty, there has undoubtedly been a knock-on effect on consumer behaviour, but it’s not all negative. While many households across the globe are reviewing and trimming down their monthly outgoings, they are still spending on the things they value. According to the June 2022 PWC Global Consumer Insights Pulse Survey, “Consumers are more likely to use comparison sites to seek product availability and shop across multiple retailers. However, with supply chain snarls and inflation ramping up prices and wait times for delivery—both online and in-store—consumers are switching between channels to find what they want.” What this means for your brand is key opportunities to stay connected to your customers’ needs and shore up your brand loyalty. 

Here at QIVA, we help our clients grow their innovative brands in China with a strategic approach called Sow, Seed, Harvest. Although consumer behaviour can differ in the Chinese market, global trends can have a big impact and this approach allows us to build trust slowly and sustainably, regardless of global events. What we notice time and time again, in the face of often concurrent global crises, is that the brands who make themselves ‘sticky’ who weather the storm. This is one of the main advantages of Sow, Seed, Harvest - a methodical, strategic approach that builds momentum with intentional action. 

What is the Seed, Sow, Harvest approach? 

When you talk about planting seeds, one of the phrases it gives rise to in Chinese is “I’ve been seeded” which translates to “I’ve been persuaded”. At QIVA, we started out taking a strategic approach that sought to answer this idea of slowly ‘seeding’ the Chinese market on the our clients’ brand launches. Amongst our peers however, many other companies were launching brazenly with out-of-context messages. Our approach is to ‘seed’ first, where we equip your brand for entry into the Chinese market and consider any adjustments you might need to make to your positioning or message. Next we ‘sow’ where we generate influence in the market, to drive consumer trust. Finally, we ‘harvest’, converting that customer trust into commitment and sales. 

How do I use this approach to create a ‘sticky’ brand? 

The fact remains that if you want to drive brand loyalty in your existing market, or a new one such as China, your brand needs to be the one that ‘sticks’. Here’s how to put Sow, Seed, Harvest into action: 

-Seed - rather than just solving one consumer problem well, consider the cluster that problem is a part of - could you solve a collection of related problems with the same quality? What data or research do you have available to inform your product development roadmap? 

-Sow - create feedback channels and really listen to your customers - if you aren’t talking to your customers and acting on their feedback, you are losing out on opportunities to earn their trust and loyalty. What other market influences can you draw on to spread the word about your product? 

-Harvest - keep your eye on the long-term - even when you’ve ‘cracked’ the strategy to achieve your short-term goals, don’t forget to spend some time thinking about the long-term. Customer loyalty is a long-term commitment so don’t completely lose yourself in the now. A good gardener plants seeds all year round so he can harvest all year round! 

-Bear in mind that not all the challenges in your path are ‘big’ problems. At QIVA we use the sow, seed, harvest framework, which reminds us to focus on solutions, rather than problems.  

-Keep it simple! The most savvy and successful business owners are people who see things simply and are never afraid to bring it back to basics.  

Could we be the strategic partner you’re looking for? 

We need to talk! Get in touch to discuss how we can help you establish and grow your brand in the Chinese market.