As the director of a marketing firm, I have the opportunity to meet with business leaders on a daily basis. Most of these folks lead great organizations and are—in general—great people. Most of these meetings start with: “We have a killer product and a great company; we just need more people—or the right people—to know about us.” This is where we get to go away and write a dynamic brand message or create a campaign that aligns their consumer perception with the reality of their excellent product/service and—in turn—creates a wave of customers that beats down their door. (At least, we hope.)
As many companies that exist like this in the Upstate—great brand because of a great product—there is an overwhelming amount of the very opposite: Those brands that spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on marketing in an effort to overcompensate for a bad product or service.
Take a look at the signage outside of your favorite fast food restaurant. Compare that image to the object on your plate. Not a fair comparison?
The truth is your customers may face this same comparison with your company. You may have had an agency or someone in your company write brand positioning statements for your company—statements that position you better than your competitors in certain areas of focus. The problem in most cases is “Your actions are so loud we can’t hear what you’re saying”.
“We’re the leader in innovation.”
- Website still needs a flash player to view and isn’t mobile friendly.
- Thinks “My customers aren’t on Facebook.”
- Says “Well, that’s the way we’ve always done it.”
“The best customer service—hands down.”
- Sales/Account reps don’t return emails or calls.
- The phone constantly rings and leads to a fax line.
- Customer service reps are unfriendly.
“Attention to detail is our highest priority”
- Misspellings in their sales pieces
- Lawn hasn’t been mowed
- Office is dirty
Don’t just give your customers a headline to memorize. Give them an experience they’ll never forget.
Don’t just tell your customers you have a friendly staff—BE FRIENDLY.
Don’t tell your customers that you are the leader in innovation—INNOVATE.
Don’t just design a poster of the perfect burger outside of your restaurant—MAKE A GREAT BURGER!
You may not be making burgers for a living, but you get the picture.
Challenge: Take a look at your brand positioning statements. Compare them to every touch point your customers (and potential customers) have contact with your brand.
Then: Refine, review, repeat.