Sure, the company’s ops department is responsible for ensuring operational excellence in the customer experience – but for most chains, competitive advantage is largely dependent upon the values and attributes which differentiate the brand. So, operations must be about more than delivering efficiency and quality. Aligning the customer experience with the brand vision is critical to establishing and sustaining a strong brand.
Furthermore actions speak louder than words and the research findings make it clear companies need help putting brand values and attributes into action.
One way to do this is to use a brand toolbox to inspire, inform, and instruct everyone in your organization how to interpret and reinforce your brand.
A brand toolbox is a collection of tools such as:
- a brand strategy users’ manual which explains the brand essence and positioning and the rationale behind them
- principles and guidelines for delivering brand values and attributes in day-to-day situations
- decision guides and process outlines to facilitate on-brand decision-making and behaviors
- virtual reality platforms which enable employees to practice using brand principles to deliver customer experiences consistent with the brand promise
- a forum through which employees can share their insights about how to bring the brand to life
Importantly a brand toolbox isn’t some yay-rah-rah feel good “invertising” effort which simply promotes the brand to employees. Nor is it a dense training manual which collects dust on a shelf. It’s a dynamic resource integrated into the company’s standard operating procedures.
When you promise your customers one thing, but give them something else, it is bad business.
Denise makes this point in her post on Future Lab (see excerpt above) and she gives some tools on how to align the customer experience with the brand vision. These tools are great, but only work if and when the company knows their brand DNA.
What makes your brand tick? Before you communicate your brand to your employees, have your employees communicate to you. As one of the tools, start with a forum through which employees can share their insights about how to bring the brand to life. Take this message and find the storyline, the narrative that makes your brand.
Then it is up to you to:
1. Clarify the brand story.
2. Communicate the story (using the brand tool box).
For more of Denise's thoughts visit her blog.
For more thoughts on Marketing Stories read Seth Godin's book: All Marketers are Liars.