10 Questions with Mitu Samar
Welcome to our series of ’10 Questions with’ some of the most eminent thought leaders within the Marketing, Communications & PR industry. We have Mitu Samar, Founder of a boutique firm ‘Eminence’- A Reputation Advisor, Executive Presence Coach & Media Trainer and guest speaker at our free upcoming webinar on Customer Orientation: A Must for Building Brands.
- Tell us about yourself
I have worked with leading corporates in areas of brand positioning and enhancement for over 15 years. I often wondered- what am I without my designation in a certain company, what’s brand Mitu Samar and how far can my personal reputation take me. That triggered the entrepreneurial plunge about two and a half years back and Eminence- a reputation management company, came into being.
2. Can you share some learnings from your pre entrepreneurial days?
My biggest learning from being on the other side of the table days was to look at solutions from the clients’ perspective. We might believe that our product/ service is the best but we have to demonstrate to the clients ‘what is in it for them’.
3. What was the gap in the market that you wanted to fill with Eminence?
In the corporate setup, teams interact with stakeholders continuously. These interactions invariably result in organizations reputation building. If the teams do not act cohesively or end up working in silos they end up damaging the organisational reputation.Eminence steps in to bridge the gap between the Organization and its stakeholders.
For instance, Customer engagement and loyalty is the responsibility of the Customer Service Team. Can the team ensure customer satisfaction, without the support of the operations team? Or human resources team? Or even without the financial team? Eminence identifies these gaps and offers customized solutions.
4. How does Eminence help brands and people?
At the core of our offering lies reputation management.
- For corporates we offer strategic consulting to implementing stakeholder engagement strategy.
- For start-ups & SME’s, we create and manage brand visibility.
- For people, leadership coaching and developing their personal brand.
5. What are the key elements and activities essential for building a reputable brand image?
Reputable brand image is a planned outcome of sustained and cohesive effort starting from the management team and percolating down to the entire organization. Some essential elements for this include:
- Creating consistent but differentiated visibility
- Creating authenticity through multiple stakeholder engagement
- Including customers and employees in the stakeholder value chain
- Sharing the responsibility of customer engagement across the entire organization.
- Leveraging the power of word of mouth publicity and customer recommendation to influence purchase.
6. What is the role of customers in brand building?
Customers are the soul of any business. Unless businesses make themselves customer centric, they become unviable. As an entrepreneur, one may be brimming with passion but if the customers are unhappy and reject the product, neither passion nor processes yield viable results. Whatever be the scale of an organization, customers are the most important link in the stakeholder value chain.
7. What excites you most professionally and personally?
We are a boutique firm with direct client interface in most cases. My favorite professional moment is when our leadership coachees write back telling us how we have been able to influence their lives. It makes everything we do seem worthwhile.
On a more personal note, time spent with my family, accomplishments of my children and the touch of pride on my father’s face are my eternal drivers.
8. Most interesting project you have worked on?
Amongst the many exciting opportunities, my favorite would be the Customer Delight Enhancement Project for a leading insurance company in India. It involved measuring the outcome through Net Promoter Score (NPS). What made the project unique was the commitment of the company towards its customers, the willingness to accept recommendations across customer journey; be it improving processes, reducing paperwork, identifying training needs or strengthening technological support.
9. Your favourite thing to do outside of work?
I enjoy meeting new people, one of the many benefits of entrepreneurship. It’s interesting to see life from different perspectives. I welcome opportunities to interact with people informally.
10. What is your favourite book and why?
I believe books are great influencers. One book that had the great impact on me is ‘The Secret’. It might sound cliché but this book transformed me into a happier individual and that in turn helps me be a better professional.
To know more on how companies can leverage customers as brand ambassadors to build and popularize their brand. Register for our free online webinar with Mitu Samar.