Imagine your client gets approached by a new vendor (as they do continuously!). She patiently listens to the spiel and witnesses all the razzle dazzle that this hopeful sweet talker can muster, then politely and passionately says “Thank you, but no, there is no way on God’s green earth we would even consider anything other than [insert your brand name here]”.
That’s what brand owners dream of, a growing customer base of die hard raving fans. Raving fans are both loyal and vocal promoters of your brand, telling everyone who will listen about you.
What businesses with raving fans know, which others don’t, is that the key to creating raving fans from your customers is creating raving fans of your staff (and being one yourself of course!).
Passion is contagious, yet it must be guided in order to deliver a brand experience that is exceptional. This is a requirement. Good enough simply does not cut it. There are processes to creating a brand worth raving about and rarely does it happen by accident.
Many businesses invest a lot of time and money in building a brand image, refreshing their brand or rebranding, but stop short of developing a program to instil the new brand throughout the culture of the organisation. This is much like buying an Aston Martin and leaving it locked in the garage where no one can see enjoy all its glory.
Branding is a whole lot more than the brand logo and strap line, the website, or a piece of advertising. Your brand is really about your client’s choice to align with your brand’s story. It’s their expectations of your service or product and quite often how they are perceived by others for choosing you from the available options. Much of this relates to their purchasing experience and how your staff make them feel. This is why the cultural aspect of brand and having internal raving fans is so critical.
Apple do this well. When I’ve been to Apple stores I am approached immediately by friendly and helpful, creative looking guys or girls. They are clearly Apple fans and are enthusiastic about their product, and they use it to get my issues sorted as quickly as possible. The whole experience has been designed so that I come away feeling great about the brand. Apple has a specific hiring process to ensure their people are aligned with their values, and clearly it works.
You don’t have to be the world’s most profitable brand to reap the same benefits. Simply define the key drivers for your business, your big why for existing, your values, your brand promises and measures, and your key differentiators, then create the framework to ensure everyone in your business not only understands them, but lives and breathes them.
It’s your leader’s job to enthusiastically and authentically beat the big brand drum. Your people will learn to dance to the same beat only with constant repetition. Think of it as becoming the soundtrack to your brand.
The steps I mentioned take a great deal of thought and time to define and build processes around, and are much faster and easier when facilitated by a skilled consultant. It also helps to use an external resource as they often can see what you cannot from within.
I love learning about businesses and brand cultures. Share with me your experiences.