Truly Becoming ONE with Your Consumers!


What does it mean to truly become one with your consumers? In contemporary business thinking, the approach has been to identify a gap in the market, a need for customers, and then create a product or service that addresses that void. This customer-centric approach is well-known, but how do you truly connect with your audience and make your product or service known? How do you develop a societal camaraderie that translates into a loyal following for your brand?

Sharing Your Story: People love to hear stories, not just at bedtime, but also about the people behind the everyday brands they indulge in. By sharing your story, you allow your audience to better connect with your brand and create a more rounded experience.

Mask Off: Don't try to be a well-established brand if you're not. Instead, embrace your status as a new entrant and be confident in your offering.

Unashamedly Admitting Mistakes: Customers are more forgiving when you're a new player trying to make inroads in the business space. Don't be afraid to acknowledge and learn from your mistakes.

Embrace Imperfection: As long as you're genuinely striving to fix them and improve over time, imperfections are acceptable. In every business, at every stage, there are various variables to navigate: evolving customer tastes, changing trends, technological advancements, market dynamics influenced by economic swings, and more. It's a constant learning curve for any business, regardless of its stage in the business lifecycle. However, it's crucial to address rookie mistakes head-on and be prepared to combat them.

Engage Customers in Growth: By involving your customers in every sense, you allow them to guide you in fixing flaws, developing new products, and understanding what you do best. It's important to note that while there will always be a few who don't provide constructive feedback, you can confidently ignore them and focus on the vast majority.

Let me provide an example of a local brand, BIG T BBQ, run by an unorthodox chef known as Big Chef Tasty. This story holds a special place in my heart because I was a restaurateur myself for over four years, and I understand the challenges of building a credible food brand and pleasing customers when they have so many excellent options to choose from. Big Chef Tasty has excelled in all the aforementioned points. As a relatively new player in the Dubai food scene, this brand has taken the industry by storm. Everything about their outlet is unorthodox.

Location: Tucked away in the industrial Al Quoz area, right next to a garage.

Set-Up: The industrial appeal of the establishment exudes a unique charm. If you're expecting a plush experience, this might not be the place for you.

Limited Menu: While the menu is limited, each item is a signature dish. Even if some items run out, there might be something else that appeals to you.

Social Media Following: Big Chef Tasty engages his audience through live videos on random topics, such as the sharp knives he uses to cut his meats or a new limited-time soda variant. Surprisingly, people genuinely engage with his posts and video content.

Three-Day Week: This is the coolest part. Most restaurants fear closing even for a single day due to the fear of losing business. However, Big Chef Tasty tests the waters by opening for just three days a week (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday).

Long Queues: On most days, customers patiently wait for 35 to 40 minutes, plus an additional 20 minutes for the food to be served. Real-time updates on the restaurant's social media feed keep customers informed. While many people tend to avoid eateries with long queues in Dubai, I know of customers who keep going back again and again for the same experience. The restaurant owner has made genuine efforts to reduce wait times by making improvements in logistics behind the scenes.

What's clear from this example is that while you need to offer a superior product, it's essential to establish a genuine and open connection with your customer base. This becomes critical in gaining that initial push when you're a startup.

By embodying these principles, you can truly become one with your consumers, fostering a deep sense of loyalty and engagement. Remember, it's not just about meeting a need in the market but also about creating an authentic relationship with your audience.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any organization. The information provided is based on the author's personal experiences, observations, and insights. While the author strives to present accurate and up-to-date information, it should be noted that the content is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice or guidance. Readers are encouraged to consult with relevant experts and conduct their own research before making any decisions or taking any actions based on the information provided in this blog.


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George Ninan

Managing Partner