Great brands are ope-rationalized. They’re built to do what they say and say what they do. When a brand delivers on its promise consistently and well, customers view them as authentic, trustworthy, likable and, ultimately, valuable. Those who manage such successful brands know 4 things that others don’t: what their customers value, how to turn customers into brand ambassadors, how to live by their mission statements and how to create a powerful organizational culture.
1. Your customers go first
It’s surprising how often this seemingly obvious rule gets overlooked. When you have a deep understanding of your customer, their daily realities, desires and needs, you can offer the right solutions, in the right locations, at the right price. Most importantly, you can create a relationship between your brand and your consumer that has immediate bottom-line impact and long-term results.
Focusing more on business realities than your audience will result in failure, every time. Knowing your customer is the not-so-secret yet too often disregarded ingredient for brand success.
2. Your customers are your best ambassadors
Understanding and creating solid relationships with your audience is key if you want to turn your customers into brand evangelists, and your goal should be to do just that. Now more than ever consumers are sharing their brand experiences with others, whether good or bad. A positive relationship with your customer means greater referrals, lower customer acquisition costs and a dramatic increase in brand awareness and value that no amount of direct marketing spend can match.
Studies of consumer psychology also show that when your customers recommend you, they’re much more likely to remain loyal to your brand or business.
3. Your mission and values set your foundation
The actions of any great brand are built upon foundational values. They have a powerful and compelling purpose which unites and focuses the actions of those who serve the brand.
Businesses with a long term commitment to their mission and values are more often the brands with high levels of profitability, higher levels of trust, liking, affinity, recognition, respect, authority and power attributed to their brand.
There’s a very practical reason for this. When every employee from the receptionist to the CEO can ask themselves, “does this align with the brand’s values?” and, “will this help fulfill our mission and purpose?”, when these core tenets are clearly defined and understood, every employee’s actions and decisions align as part of a cohesive whole. The result is a strong, unified brand.
Even as team members change, the brand remains consistent. New employees are able to quickly integrate and make sound strategic and tactical decisions based on the preset principles of the brand – driven by well-defined and focused behavior – not by the employee’s personal opinions or lack of brand understanding.
This brand equity directly affects profitability. In essence, great brands enjoy the compound interest derived from consistent and congruent decisions over time.
4. Corporate culture matters
If your existing corporate culture doesn’t deliver positive value to your employees and customers your marketing costs will continue to increase even as your brand equity, market share and profitability decline. The more money you pump into marketing a poor customer experience, the quicker your brand will rot with it. The more the quality of your workplace degrades, the harder it will be to attract and retain the talent you need to grow. Both require a healthy corporate culture to thrive.
Quite simply, culture is the foundation from which your business succeeds or fails. Business leaders are responsible for promoting the kind of corporate culture that is both positive and productive. In fact, their company profits and long-term viability depend on it.
Culture builds or destroys and great leaders create great cultures.
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Robert Wright specializes in strategic and tactical branded sales and business development, offering support to many of the world’s biggest companies.
The social and psychological well-being of society is of the utmost importance to Robert – in ten years’ time Robert will retire to focus his energies on supporting disadvantaged social groups in developing their own businesses and helping empower them to achieve their full human potential.
In the meantime, Robert will continue to develop and support the success of the customers served by his companies, whilst empowering his colleagues and staff to be brilliant people and professionals.