A brand is an expression of the personality of your company. This may be associated with your company’s services or goods but nevertheless it is an expression of your company’s personality. No matter how good your marketing department is, that personality will eventually be tested when a potential client comes into contact with a member of your organisation.
This may be through a website or in a store, but no matter where it takes place, first impressions count. If your brand is fresh and innovative and your service is sluggish and difficult, the consumer will leave the experience with a tainted impression. The consumer will then begin to question whether the brand is truthful and provides everything they expected. This is dangerous and can be compared to having caught someone lying to you – you’re always going to question everything they tell you!
Service provision and innovation
If however, you experience excellent customer service, perceptions can change. How often have you been told of an excellent exchange policy or an experience where an individual who was dissatisfied with a product, was totally ecstatic by the customer service? This can change a consumer’s impression of the brand completely.
Through great customer service you can build consumer advocacy and brand champions, but if the service is wanting, you can also create brand terrorists. Brand terrorists are those people who have been let down or experienced poor customer service – and share their experience with others. This is potentially very damaging to a brand’s reputation and should have special attention paid to it.
Make sure your operations are integrated and aligned with your brand proposition
It is important to make sure that when you are developing your brand strategy it is a proposition that you can own or you are committed to owning. Too often companies spend a lot of time and money coming up with a great brand only to be let down by it’s implementation. This is best illustrated in the customer experience. Make sure you business operations are closely aligned with you brand strategy. If needed, make changes to your working practices to ensure they will deliver the brand promise that the market demands: if you do not, you will pay the price!