COMMUNICATING to increase brand awareness is not easy. A key factor in doing business is how a start-up can successfully convince customers to recognise its product and service, how it can demonstrate peerless quality in a crowd of competitors.

Good and appropriate communication skills in providing an overview of the brand are therefore essential and start-up founders must understand these, study their targets and do their homework. By so doing, they can create content to communicate effectively and ensure recognition of brand value.

With their limited resources, it’s very challenging for start-ups to build communication that is to the point, in the right place, and at the right time so as to gain customer loyalty.

Last month, AIS DC (AIS Designed For Creation), a meeting venue for AIS The StartUp members, was honoured to welcome Korn Chalakorn Panyashom, chief operation officer of Workpoint Entertainment Plc, who offered tips for building effective communication skills.

The first step, Korn said, is to understand customer groups, namely who they are and what they want to hear. No two people understand start-ups in the same way and 100 people will probably have 100 different interpretations. The majority of people, and even the start-up founders, know exactly what they mean but are unable to communicate these messages to others and get them on the same page.

Thus, another key point for doing homework is how the start-up can develop figurative speech to make listeners understand its business idea. Here, Korn recommends finding a hook that will identify the customer’s pain points from the beginning and then describing how the product or service being offered can solve these problems.

In this way, then, the start-up is communicating what the customer needs to hear. If people understand the message despite having no prior knowledge of the services and product the start-up is offering, then the communication has been successful.

A case in point was the reality show The Masked Singer, which attracted its largest number of viewers via its online platform. Whether on TV screens or through popular online TV channels, finding the right content was one of challenges facing the producers. Every day, up to 1,000 hours of video are posted online, meaning there are one billion competitors out there. The question is thus how to create content that’s more outstanding than 900 million hours of video.

Rather than spend time worrying about the competition, the focus should be on producing content that responds to viewers. How do you make content stand out in a world where people are competing for time and whoever gets the most time is the winner?

One aspect content producers might overlook is how, having captured viewers’ interest, they can keep them around. Start-ups should therefore disseminate content constantly, bearing in mind that it is rare that a video goes viral or becomes a hit. Constant posting of videos helps reduce costs and compiling viewer analytics gives clues to what your prospects want to watch.

Korn also underlined the themes of content to be presented, noting that the most popular content was monsters (The Mask Singer, Naga), crime (Preaw, the murder and dismemberment of a karaoke bar worker), and comedy and romance (Pee Mak Phra Khanong). The most re-watched content in the world is the comedy movie.

As people are usually saddened by the same stories, but laugh at new ones, Korn said the challenge for producers was how to make people laugh with the same content.

Start-ups face a similar challenge. When founders have a business idea, it’s important that they know the target customers in the same way as the producer knows the preference of the viewers and what will please them. That allows the producer to translate a creative idea into a product or service that’s right for the market.

“Start-ups are very difficult for Thais,” said Korn. “If you go out of Bangkok and tell people that you’re doing a start-up, do they understand what you are talking about?

“Communicating the ideas of a start-up is not simple. When you ask 10 people what the start-up is, the answers will all be different. I suggest therefore that you forget the word ‘start-up’ and instead explain how your business is beneficial to customers and how it solves the pain points, because you handle everything yourself,” Korn concluded.

Every month, AIS organises executive leadership networking for selected start-ups. If you have ideas, send your work to win a chance to participate in the monthly pitching to

Srihathai Prammanee is head of AIS The StartUp Advance Info Services Plc.