When you start out, you have this vision of how your business is going to take off. How the product you have developed is the greatest product ever brought to market. The service you are offering has so many benefits that the public would be mad not to jump at the chance to work with you. That once your customers have tried it, they will be a customer for life.
But now you’ve launched, and so far you’ve had a good response, but where are the raving fans?
It is a little realised fact that customers don’t fall in love with a brand simply because of the product. The rational benefit is great, but any washing up liquid that cuts through grease will do the job, right?
Fairy promises to cut through grease easily to get your dishes sparkling. (Consistent performance that will make the chore easier with great results)
Fairy makes washing up easier as it is powerful on grease. (Ease)
Fairy will last twice as long as other washing up liquid. (Economy)
Fairy is gentle on your hands and boasts a seal of approval by the British Skin Foundation. (Wellbeing)
Only Fairy washing up liquid will give you a world of happiness inside a bottle. (Love and happiness)
Fairy will give you a happy family home. (Love and happiness)
Fairy will inspire your kids imagination. (Love and happiness)
Fairy has been a family favourite since 1898. (Love and happiness)
This is the difference between a generic product and a branded one. This is how you convince customers, or clients, that this product or service is the only one for them. We have to learn to attach emotional value as well as rational benefits, to our product.
These emotional values go beyond just the brand promise, or even the visual representation. They have to come from inside the organisation too. Every single interaction that a customer has with your brand needs to be on message, reinforcing the belief in your brand promise, and engaging the customers with these emotional touchpoints.
Here are four very simple steps that you can help to move your brand into the elite group that take their customers from paying clients to raving fans.
1) Let your employees think like brand owners
If you clearly educate your staff members on your brand values, help them to understand your vision and the mission your company is on, you should then release them. They should be free to do whatever they feel is necessary to do their job whilst providing amazing, on brand, customer experiences. They will be able to anticipate customer needs, correct any issues or faults, act before a problem occurs, and create passionate customers. These will be brand enthusiasts for life.
2) Empower employees to serve the customers
Your employees should not have to seek permissions to act in their day to day jobs. Give clear parameters, including guidance on budgets, to allow them to create innovative on-the-spot solutions for customers, without requiring them to jump through management hoops.
3) Recognise and reward outstanding brand service
If an employee is going above and beyond and truly living your brand, give them a huge round of applause! If they are going out of their way to express your brand promise in their daily work, make sure all your staff see it. It will raise the bar within the workforce and encourage them all to do the same.
4) Take your brand promise to the heart of your business
When you lead by example, and make your brand promise the benchmark against which you measure EVERYTHING that promise will ring true throughout the company. Use your promise as a mantra both inside and outside your business, and find innovative ways to share your brand message, benefits and values to employees, customers and suppliers.