Living up to your company’s promise

DELIVERING on your brand’s promise might sound more fluffy than it is useful. But you would be mistaken. Customers’ perceptions of whether or not your business is offering them what they expected are bound to have an effect on profits. But how does one go about measuring this sort of thing, not to mention preventing it from harming your business? Marketing guru Gary Moss of Brand Vista explains.

1 BE BRUTALLY HONEST

They say you have to be cruel to be kind. This is especially true when it comes to marketing a product or service. Moss says you have to get brutally honest advice: “If something is rubbish, someone needs to say it is.” The business in question, he explains, needs to hear it more than anyone else. This can only happen by asking your customers and staff for their opinions as often as possible.

2 HAVE A (SIMPLE) VISION

We’ve all heard people quote the “keep it simple, stupid” catchphrase, but this is vital for creating branding that customers recognise, with a promise that they believe your company delivers on. Moss says: “If you can’t say it in one line, it’s not worth having. And businesses should never have more than four or five brand values.” Brand values should be straightforward, basic things such as low prices or high quality service. It all needs to be simple and mean something to stick in the consumer’s mind.

3 CHANGE FROM THE BOTTOM UP

Make sure all branding and marketing factors in the frontline staff – after all, they deliver it. Moss says: “Brand values are always built from the inside out and require cultural change.” Every branding re-vamp should include staff training. Moss says: “Simply changing a logo and sending out new marketing materials never works.”

4 WATCH CLOSELY

Prevention is always better than cure. Using surveys and regularly talking to customers and staff are the simplest and most effective ways of catching your customers’ changing perceptions early. Media monitoring services take a more sophisticated look at this, but cost around £20-25,000 for a year.

5 PLAY FAIR

Sounds obvious, but always offer value for money. No marketing or advertising will ever trick customers into thinking your service is great. Your branding needs to reflect the fact that you offer genuine value for money.