Your brand is much more than your name, logo and tagline.
In fact, your brand is the entire relationship your customers have with your company and its offerings. Your company’s success ultimately depends on this relationship. So, you want it to be great. Doing that means delivering a consistently great experience to your customers. That experience is determined by five essential brand building blocks.
The Five building blocks of a great customer experience:
1 Your brand promise
2 How you communicate it
3 Your ability to deliver on it
4 Your commitment to deliver on it
5 How consistently you deliver it
Building a great customer experience requires a 360˚ approach
Every aspect of your business plays a critical role in building and maintaining your brand – from market positioning, messaging and visual identity to product quality, customer service, distribution channels, operational efficiency, financial strength, and corporate culture. That’s why you must examine your entire business – organizationally, culturally, and operationally, to see if you can actually deliver what your marketing promises. That’s what we mean by Brand360º ™.
Without taking this holistic view to evaluating and crafting your brand, the great customer experience you’re trying to deliver could very well be hindered by critical blind spots – unrecognized gaps in your ability to deliver on your brand promise.
Example: A company promises the moon in its marketing messages. It has a great name, a great logo, a great tagline, and even a great backstory. But behind the scenes, employees are unhappy, quality assurance is dismal, and customer service is anything but. Every customer that experiences the company once vows never to do it again. Worse, these customers broadcast their awful experiences on social media and tell everyone they can to avoid that company.
It’s a pity that when this company engaged in building its brand, the executive team and their branding agency only considered building blocks 1 (brand promise) and 2 (communicating the brand promise) above. Sadly, this is actually where most companies stop, never realizing how critically important blocks 3 (ability to deliver), 4 (commitment to deliver) and 5 (consistency of delivery) are to building and maintaining a great brand.
As they say, nothing kills a bad product faster than great marketing. Marketing can quickly attract customers. But not being able to deliver what you’ve promised in that marketing will put you on the fast track to losing customer trust — forever.
It’s all About Trust
Trust is the bedrock of every great relationship, and hence, every successful company’s brand. That trust is earned and maintained by consistently keeping your brand promise and delivering a great customer experience. It’s why customers will stay loyal to your company and recommend you to others.
To earn and keep customer trust, you must make sure everything in your company’s operation that can affect the customer experience is aligned with the type of experience your brand promises to deliver. That means carefully examining and optimizing every brand building block and its component parts.
One way to look at the totality of everything that affects your customers’ experience is what we call the wheels of Brand360º.
The Five Brand360º Building Blocks and Their Components
Block 1: Your Brand Promise
This is the experience you tell your customers to expect from you – each and every time. Think of this as “the love you are professing for your customers.”
• Core Values, Vision, Mission
• Value proposition
• Key message statements
• Relevance to your target customers’ actual wants and needs
Block 2: Marketing – How you communicate your Brand Promise
These are the written and visual manifestations of your relationship offering.
• Graphic standards
• Marketing communications – voice, tone, style, content
• Point of sale (retail storefront, direct sales, ecommerce, etc.; a.k.a. distribution channels and locations)
• Product packaging
Block 3: Company – Your ability to deliver on your brand promise
Is your company engineered to actually deliver what you’re promising? Or are there areas you need to strengthen? (Or should you go back and adjust your brand promise?)
• Financial stability cash reserves
— cash flow
• Systems and processes
— Cost-efficiency and productivity
— Quality assurance
— Issue identification and resolution
• Engineering capability and innovation
• Manufacturing capability
• Distribution capability
• Pricing that is appropriate to the target market and provides acceptable profitability
• Highly skilled ANDmotivated human talent
• Business continuity plans and processes – can you continue to support your customers in the event of a business interruption?
Block 4: Culture – Your Desire to make good on your brand promise
Does your team have the motivation, the drive, the passion and the discipline to make good on your brand claims?
• Mission, vision, values – all supporting the brand promise of consistently delivering a great experience to customers
• Shared passion for fulfilling the mission, together
• Inspiring everyone to deliver superior a superior offering and outstanding customer service – regardless of functional role – and rewarding this
• Good role modeling – everyone from the chief executive to every staff level models the passion and behaviors that fulfill the mission
• Rewarding innovation and creative thinking at every level that support the mission and brand promise
• Training – helping team members gain the tools, skills, knowledge and experience they need to be successful
• Hiring – people who are capable and willing to deliver the brand promise
• Great working environment Safe
— Pays fairly
— Input is solicited, appreciated and integrated
— Coaching and mentoring
— Team orientation
Block 5: Performance – How consistently you deliver the goods
Are you living your brand, or saying one thing and doing another?
• Do you have the systems to track your success rate of delivering on your brand promise, and resulting customer satisfaction?
• Are you able to quickly make changes to fill gaps in your ability to deliver on your brand promise?
• Nobody is perfect. When things go wrong, how quickly and fully do you make things right for the customer?
The Strategic Brand Audit
Gauging where your brand is now, and where you want it to be.
Whether your company is brand new or has been around for years, it is very beneficial to audit your brand at least once a year to verify:
- Your value proposition still resonates, both internally and with your customers
- You’re conveying the right messages, in the right way, to the right customers
- That you’re presenting the right visual identity, in the right way, to the right customers
- Your company and its offerings are still well positioned with respect to the current business environment
- That your company is able and motivated to deliver on your brand promise. The audit will uncover any gaps between your brand promise and all the other brand building blocks, and show you the path to getting them back into alignment. That could mean evolving your brand promise, your marketing, your company, or two or all of the above.
Learn more about the Strategic Brand Audit
Contact us »
One of BRANDVIVO’s specialties is leading executive teams through a comprehensive, Strategic Brand Audit. To learn more about the process and to schedule a meeting to discuss doing this for your company, please contact us.
The first hour is on us (or two if we run over) — and might lead to some brilliant new ideas for your branding and marketing.