I’ve been discussing brands a lot with my clients lately. Without a strong brand to guide them, customer experience efforts can wander aimlessly. That’s why “compelling brand values” is one of the four customer experience core competencies.
As I’ve said before, a true brand is:
The fabric that aligns all employees with customers in the pursuit of a common cause
There’s a very important implication of my definition: Companies don’t own their brands. Let me say that in another way: You don’t own your own brand.
True brands are an asset that are jointly owned by organizations and their customers… and it’s a fragile relationship. Even if your brand represents something today, there’s no guarantee that it will continue to be perceived in the same way or have the same impact in the future.
So how do you build true brands? With promises. Brand building is based on three ingredients…
- Making promises. Companies need to be explicit about the purpose of their organization which translates into promises that they make to customers.
- Embracing promises. It’s nearly impossible to keep a promise that you don’t know about, so everyone in an organization needs to understand the customer promises.
- Keeping promises. Companies need to make sure that they live up to their promises during every interaction in every channel.
The bottom line: Make, embrace, and keep your promises