Branding is more than skin-deep; at least, it has to be if people are going to believe it.
Some businesses promise the moon and stars in their marketing messages, but the actual customer experience falls far short. Why? Because the marketing team is making a promise the rest of the business can’t deliver.
Many businesses tend to forget that customers aren’t working with marketing departments; they’re working with customer service, salespeople, and to a lesser extent, shipping and inventory. If those departments can’t deliver your brand promise, customers walk away, and they talk about it along the way, guaranteeing a cold response in future marketing efforts.
If you want your brand promise to be real, get the rest of your business up to speed. Here are some examples of how key areas of your business need to be reconfigured to bring your brand to life.
We’re all in a rush, so fast service is quickly (pun intended) evolving from a luxury to a necessity. If your business can’t do it fast, customers will find one that can. Your marketing team can’t make your business the fastest in town; only your back-end operations can do that.
Basically, this means streamlining your supply chain. Implement solutions that update inventory and shipment data in real time. Configure your warehouses and distribution centers to ensure quicker and more efficient deliveries. If you deliver your own products, schedule trucks and use tracking systems to monitor and improve driving times. Take all the wrinkles out of your delivery times and be known for fast service, not just talking about fast service.
A sale is never final, or at least it shouldn’t be. This is especially important since consumers see companies more and more as trusted sources of information. Any site can offer great prices, but how many can offer knowledge? With the right staff in place, yours can.
This falls mainly on the shoulders of customer and tech support. Most businesses hire people to look up order status and do little else, but customers will remember a business whose reps can answer complex questions, offer strategic advice, and make smart product recommendations. When you hire knowledgeable, friendly people to talk to your customers, you’ve just made your brand promise of reliable support come true.
A certain chain store that can fill two football fields took off because its prices were lower than the mom-and-pop competition and even the less big chain stores. You’re never going to be able to complete on prices, but you can compete on quality if your operations make it possible.
Here’s where your purchasing team comes in. Source the best materials for your products and negotiate the best prices. Find the most efficient manufacturing methods and utilize everything from safety standards to quality assurance tests. Constantly monitor suppliers to ensure their standards are as high as yours. Maintain high quality throughout your supply chain and you’ll have no trouble assuring quality to your customers.
A brand is more than skin deep; it goes all the way down into the teams that keep your business running. Your brand promise can be reliable and true, but only if the rest of your business is delivering it.