Branding is about consistency not only advertising

by Ashvini on March 8, 2012 · 8 comments

in Business

Do you have a brand that delivers services consistently to your customers? Often branding is thought only in the context of logoand advertising. It is about somehow letting people know that you exist and then getting customers to your door.

A good brand is however about the consistency with which you delivers goods and services to your customers.

I remember a great snack shop in my hometown, which made tasty and the highly diabetes inducing Winking smile sweet food, you could ever eat. I could not miss it, whenever I visited the town. The shop was popular not because of its food but because of the person who owned it. A lot of people knew him. He used to smile at each customer and this probably made the sweets even more tastier. The combined experience was way too good. A combination of great food with great courtesy, every time. The shop was a roaring business.

Unfortunately, a few years back he died. I felt a perceptible change in the way the sweets tasted. They were not the same. The smile was gone too. The story that the shop owner once created really lost the flavor.

A good brand = consistency in customer’s experience

A brand works because there is a consistency in the message. It works because when customer comes to your shop or  restaurant or website, she expect the same experience almost 100% of time. She expects the same urgency in attending to her. She expects the same courtesy as countless other times. She expects the same quality of product as last time.

It is what you create in the mind of customer that matters. That way there is an interesting mix of marketing and product or content. First you create great content and then deliver it consistently using marketing( not necessarily advertising). Thus You create great experience.

Branding is not only about splashing advertising on the billboard or in a newspaper. If you promise something and only deliver 50% of it , your brand is broken. It won’t matter then even if you hired the best designer to design your logo.

Customer’s experience starts right from the time, she gets in touch with you. It may be a call, a visit or a support request. It is your only moment, to make your brand image come true. If  customer loves the experience, she would come back many times over. And who does not love a returning, paying customer. This is the principle on which even social media branding works. Content that supports a brand and vice versa.

A great brand strategy is with great content and not without it. It is all about the experience you offer to customer and with a consistency.

About The Author

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Sabrina Sabino March 21, 2012 at 11:39 pm

I’ve been thinking a lot about branding recently actually. I have just started off as a freelancer and I’m being advised to use a brand name as opposed to using my own name. It can be quite confusing. I don’t know if it’s a smart move to use my name as a brand.

Reply

Ashvini Kumar Saxena March 22, 2012 at 5:29 pm

Hey Sabrina,
I think it all depends on how you want to progress. If you wish to create a name for your own, you can be a brand yourself. If you wish to start a business where you will employ people later on and you will want to do something else, you may go in for a brand name.
You can always convert your brand name to company name anytime( merge them). It won’t be much of a problem. I think till that time you can concentrate on building relationships with your customers.
I hope it makes sense.

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Sonia March 15, 2012 at 12:57 am

I know what you mean Ash. Years ago I was a secret shopper for a local grocery chain in my state and they were very big on customer service and made sure their employees stuck to their guidelines. I would go in and “shop” them for the simplest thing: “Thank by name, offer to take to the product or asking if I wanted help out to my car”. The worst offenders were Management; the same people enforcing the rules. I would literally be done in minutes and have to report my findings. This really opened my eyes to the lengths stores will go to retain and satisfy their customers. Till this day I still shop at this store for groceries because I always get the same service and they are always consistent with everything else.

Most businesses know what they have to do to get customers, but some don’t know how to keep customers. From products, services, and employees, you have to make sure that everyone is in-line with your company methods and stick to it. One sour apple is all it takes to ruin it for everyone else. I can remember stores I use to frequent that has changed or appear as if they don’t care. A customer for life wants the same service all the time.

Reply

Ashvini Kumar Saxena March 16, 2012 at 6:04 pm

Hi Sonia,

Thanks for your awesome example once again. I think at the start every company has a vision it follows diligently. With time, the “management types” take over and from there the vision turns to profit making. It goes all downhill from there.
When the owners move on , the organization loses touch of the reality and then it starts fleecing customers, employees and partners. That is the way probably they go out of business when a new company with better fundamentals take over :)

Thanks for your comment . Really appreciate :)

Reply

Adrienne March 12, 2012 at 9:23 pm

I couldn’t agree with you more Ashvini and I can relate to your story about the shop owner and how his passing affected his brand,

We had a soda shop we use to always visit and when we walked into that store, it felt like home. Everyone was so nice, so helpful and just cheery. It was a drug store but today you would look at it like a Walmart but with beverages served. Those were the days when we were made to feel welcome when we entered a store.

I hope that the big brands can come back to making us feel more at home when we step into a store. It’s always nice to see familiar faces.

Thanks for sharing this message Ashvini. Now, enjoy your week.

~Adrienne

Reply

Ashvini Kumar Saxena March 16, 2012 at 6:06 pm

Adrienne,
Perfect example. We have seen all these nice stores converting to money making machines. And we do feel sad about them. I think with time, they lose the touch with customers. Its all because money takes precedence over customer care. Sad to see this happen but there is a lesson for us , right?

Thanks for your comment. Great to see you here as always :)

Reply

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