Brand Beyond Marketing-darren hayes

Imagine you are about to embark on a trip of a lifetime. Youve received brochures for a luxury resort. The rooms are lavish; the grounds impeccable. Photos of the restaurants signature dishes look delectable. Youre sold. You go to the hotel. The room is musty and a tad dirty. The food is barely passable. Service is brusque and spotty at best. When you .plain to management, youre met with indifference, or worse, silence. You leave disillusioned and disgusted. For all the resorts slick marketing, theyve fallen woefully short. Branding goes well beyond marketing. It will not be successful without ensuring that all aspects of your business reflect and support your intended brand. One of your most valuable assetsyour peoplemust be well-trained in articulating and delivering on your brand. This step is particularly important for service organizations that dont have concrete products. Their offerings are soft assets like knowledge, experience and people. When employees dont deliver the brand, it can be the kiss of death for a business. Dont believe me? Visit a hotel review web site like TripAdvisor… Peruse travelers .ments and youll likely .e across more than a few who cite poor customer service for their negative hotel reviews. Conversely, employees who represent the brand flawlessly and consistently can propel a business to stardom. Brand: The Sum of All Its Parts Despite what many believe, brand isnt about your logo, tagline and glossy brochure. Instead, a strong brand integrates multiple .ponents, all of them necessary, including customer interactions, employee .munications, corporate philosophy and advertising/marketing efforts. Your brand extends to your employees, customers, the media and even the general public as the above story illustrates. If these .ponents dont consistently reinforce your brand, customers will be.e dissatisfied. The negative impact of their perception, should they voice their opinions to other potential customers or even the media, could have a ripple effect on your business. This can erode your brand equity and create misperceptions about your .pany in the market, that in turn could lead prospective customers, employees and investors to pass on your organization. On the other hand, brand consistency throughout all levels of the organization helps drive an organization to grow and prosper. Strong brands can drive an increase in sales. The .pany is better suited to attract and retain the best employees. Vendors can see value in your brand and look to establish partnerships with your business, while investors will see the business and your brand equity as a valuable .modity. Branding Through Your Employees Your employees are one of the most critical touch points for your customer. Here are several steps to ensure that they are representing your brand in the best light possible. Develop a .pany Philosophy. A thoughtfully planned philosophy that guides how your .pany operates is the first step to reinforcing your brand among your workforce. The prestigious Ritz Carlton Hotel .pany is an excellent example. They have created the following five Gold Standards for their business operations that reinforce the brand and detail an employees role in delivering on this brand: 1) A vision to revolutionize hospitality in America by creating a luxury setting for guests and a credo that states the .panys .mitment to the genuine care and .fort of its guests. 2) A motto that exemplifies the level of service for its guests: We are ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen. 3) Three Steps of Service: a) A warm and sincere greeting that uses the guest name, if and when possible b) Anticipation and .pliance with guest needs, and c) A fond farewell that uses a guests name, if and when possible. 4) 20 Basics that outline the responsibilities and expectations for how the .pany delivers on its service (including #13Never Lose a Guest). 5) The Employee Promise (At The Ritz-Carlton, our Ladies & Gentlemen are the most important resource in our service .mitment to our guests.) Maintain Brand Consistency. This step is essential to building a strong brand. However, it is often one of the first steps to unravel. You must establish consistency throughout all aspects of your organization. But setting the standards is not enough. You must constantly evaluate your actions. Establish checkpoints for each aspect of the business that interacts with customers and the general public. Ensure that each employee is empowered to identify and address inconsistencies in your brand. Fail to deliver on brand with one customer, and he or she might forget. Fail to do so for another, and he or she might not be so forgiving. It only takes a scant few to dispel the brand you are touting. Practice What You Preach. The best way to lead is by example. If your brand projects your organization as one which supports its employees and then reneges on that promise, your brand (and sales) will suffer. Case in point: Wal-Mart. The .pany says, We believe that one of the keys to our success is our people and how we treat them. However, the retail chain has been the subject of unfair employee wage practice lawsuits. Moreover, though they say they value their target customer (the hard working middle class) their actions arent necessarily consistent with the rhetoric. Implement Brand Guidelines. In order to ensure brand consistency, your organization must establish a framework or set of brand guidelines for all to follow. Were not merely talking about logo or corporate identity guidelines, but actual brand guidelines that .municate the .panys brand positioning statement, key messages, core values, brand attributes, measures of success and processes for handling customer issues or feedback. Federal Express was an early pioneer in this idea. The international shipper utilizes an Internet-based program which outlines the .panys brand guidelines. This detailed approach provides guidance on everything from the graphic standards for use of the .pany logo to how cultural differences affect brand (particularly important for global .panies). Establishing brand guidelines leaves no room for misinterpretation and helps maintain consistency throughout all levels of the organization. Understand and Address Cultural Differences. With advancements in technology, .munications and the Internet, we are truly be.ing a global economy. Considering cultural differences when building a brand is more important than ever, particularly if your business has international reach. Words and phrases in America might not translate to the same meaning in another country. What customers value and perceive as positive in the United States may be perceived radically different elsewhere. In the past, the United States was the model that all others wanted to emulate. That isnt necessarily the case today. Therefore, it is incumbent on corporations to ensure that their brands can transcend these cultural differences, if they are to have a greater geographical reach. Brand extends well beyond your marketing efforts. Your brand is only as good as the people behind it…and the people in front of your customer. Take the time to effectively build a corporate culture that mirrors your brand. Train your employees to represent that brand. Evaluate your consistency in delivering your brand across all aspects of your business. In doing so, you will strengthen your brand equity and position your .pany for greater success. 相关的主题文章: