Bringing the 3 stakeholders of a Brand Promise together
Posted on Friday, June 22nd, 2012 by Steve Prodger
There have always been three major stakeholders in creating and delivering the brands that we love – consumers, the brands themselves, and the locations that keep the brand humming. Unfortunately, over time those three groups have been pulled apart.
We live in a world of mass media, where the most common way to connect with consumers is through advertising. Too often, brand advertising is simply yelling generic messages at consumers and does not invite them to be engaged participants in the brand. Traditional advertising is a one-way communication and treats consumers simply as transactions. This is in direct contrast to what we see from our customer surveys and from consumer participation in social media where they really want to talk about their experiences – both good and bad.
These days the internet is allowing consumers to respond back at advertising. However, the power of social media is making the problem worse, not better. Social media and online review sites such as Yelp and TripAdvisor are mostly populated with outlier experiences – usually the bad ones – creating even more tension between brands and consumers. Rather than starting a real dialogue, consumers are using the internet to vent years of frustration.
Employees in the locations have also become apathetic. For years management has been giving them well-intentioned but often unfocused and inconsistent directions. The result is that employees are left feeling powerless over how best to do their jobs. Employees who feel no ownership have little accountability to the success of a brand.
Taking a social approach to Customer Experience Management can bring these three groups back together so that each is able to affect change to improve the experience, help the locations deliver the brand promise and drive advocacy.
Social CEM is about delivering great experiences. These great experiences are the foundation of a healthy brand and sales growth and are driven by:
- Knowing what great experience looks like – what makes the brand special to their customers.
Brands need to better understand what truly makes them special in the eyes of customers. Listening to customers is the first step in building a brand promise that drives advocacy. By engaging in a customer dialogue the most successful brands are able to understand their customers, to be able to focus on the parts of their brand that drive happy customers to become advocates.
- Consistently delivering great experience across all locations.
Locations need to be engaged and accountable. Consistent, exceptional experiences in the location delivered by engaged employees, are the catalyst for advocacy. To do this, locations need tools that help drive positive changes in behavior across all the team members.
- Creating advocates who share their great experiences through strong word of mouth.
Brands often fail to get the most out of their most valuable asset – happy customers. A lot of money is spent on marketing (to get customers into their locations) and operations (to keep them coming back) and there is a huge opportunity to further leverage the voice of these customers. Starting a dialogue with customers can provide insights that help fine tune your brand promise. By delivering experiences that reflect what really makes your brand special in the eyes of customers you can mobilize happy customers to become active advocates becoming a powerful marketing channel to drive your growth.
To become a place where everyone loves to work shop and dine, brands need to deliver a customer experience that addresses all three of these groups. In doing so they can stand out from the competition and drive growth.
This entry was posted in Why Implement a Customer Experience Management Program? and tagged advocacy, Brand Advocacy, customer loyalty, employee engagement, loyalty, Social CEM. Bookmark the permalink.