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  • Writer's picturedragonfish

Building your brand… from the inside out

Updated: Dec 4, 2018

You can download your free copy of our white paper here.

The first brand disconnect

Brand. There's a word we hear bandied about a lot these days. But it's a word that's meaning is equally as often misunderstood.

A brand is so much more than a logo on a letterhead or the livery on a vehicle. It's what we at dragonfish call the 'promise' we – and every organisation - make to the outside world.

It's what we want our customers, prospects and other stakeholders to think and feel when they hear or see our name.

So here's our first brand disconnect. It's between those who think a brand is something they're going to find locked in old corporate identity manual, and those who know it's something far bigger and more important.

Your brand exists – what does yours say about you?

Like it or not, your organisation is – or maybe that should be has? - a brand. Even if you say nothing, you're saying something.

That’s because your brand is simply a set of associations customers and others build based on their interactions with your company.

In fact, one of the most critical roles for a brand – is setting expectations for your customer experience.

If your customer experience matches the expectations set by your brand, your customers will love you for it. So will your senior managers – particularly your finance director - because this breeds customer loyalty, repeat purchase and increased profit.

A recent global study by Gallup showed brands which are seen to keep their promises have, on average, a 50% higher operating margin.*

Let's take a bite out of Apple

According to Forbes, Apple is the world's most valuable brand at around $130 billion. From their products and packaging to their in-store service, Apple seem to have it consistently right. It's a brand that lives up to its promise. Which is why they can charge premium brand prices.

The second brand disconnect

There's a clue in the comment about Apple above: '...their in-store service...' The people part of every organisation that actually delivers a brand's promise.

If there's a gap between your promise, what your customers expect and the reality they experience you have a problem. This gap erodes trust, loyalty and ultimately profit.

You can't declare one thing – through your press advertising or website, for example – and deliver another. And for most organisations, the successful delivery of a brand's promise is undertaken by their people.

This is a common problem

Research with 18 million consumers shows that only half of brands keep their promises all the time. Little wonder the world finds it hard to trust brands.*

Most management teams, from the board to marketing and HR departments, will work hard to define their brand position and promise. What lots of organisations find difficult or don’t prioritise, is translating that into the practicalities of a desired customer experience.

According to the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) only 18% of Marketing Directors agree they have a clearly articulated 'desired customer experience.' **

Yet this is where every interaction, big or small, contributes in some way to a perception of whether you’re living up to your brand's promise.

And, as we said above, generally it's your people who should best represent your brand.

So whether it's on the phone, in person, in a retail outlet or in writing, via a letter or e-mail, your front line staff manage critical opportunities for delivering your brand promise.

Even your head office teams, who support your front line staff supporting your customers, make daily decisions that impact customers, your promise and your brand.

The only way to ensure happy, loyal customers is to understand the links between your brand, your customers' expectations, and the way your people deliver what you promise.

Here's how we can help you

We're highly experienced at helping our client’s people understand their brand – it’s direction and how they fit in.

So we have a lot of useful information, inspiration and original thinking on how to close the brand disconnect that so often exists in complex organisations, including our Top 8 Tips for getting the critical relationship between your brand and your people right.

You'll find all this and more in our FREE ‘Beat the Brand Disconnect' White Paper. You can download your free copy here.


* Gallup Business Journal, July 26, 2012

** The Chartered Institute of Marketing, CEM Report


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