Promise Big and Deliver Bigger
What do successful companies have in common? They all have robust, differentiated brands; fervent clients; and a culture driven by a shared vision, values, and purpose—all focused on their clients. As I’ve recently been reminded, the secret to success lies at the intersection of client experience, employee experience, and brand experience. These functions work together to deliver your firm’s brand promise and showcase your value proposition.
In this blog post, I recall a recent conversation I had with Alder Yarrow, CXO (chief experience officer) at San Francisco design agency CIBO, and inspiration from the article referenced below by Tim Asimos. I’ve got to admit, the CXO title was new to me—and I LOVE it! Here we go! Thanks, Alder and Tim!
Your brand is not a logo, label, or website—it’s your promise: At its core, a brand exists in the mind of your audience. It’s the sum of their thoughts, feelings, and experiences with your firm—the good, bad, and ugly.
Every brand, regardless of the industry, promises something. Marketing and branding should reinforce what your existing clients experience when they interact with you and offer potential clients/customers a glimpse of what they can expect.
Branding is the process of defining, conveying, and maintaining your firm’s core values and differentiators. It’s about figuring out who you are, what you stand for, and why it matters to your audience—and then reinforcing that promise in a meaningful and consistent way.
Strategic marketing promotes that promise: To successfully hold its place in the market, an organization needs a codified brand strategy. Marketing plans are fluid and change over time as new information and opportunities become available. But the brand strategy should remain intact over a long period of time. (Think how long “I ♥ New York” and “Virginia is for Lovers” have heralded these super-successful state tourism brands.)
The promise is realized through experience: Your firm’s brand promise can only be realized through the experience you serve your clients. No amount of marketing and communication can change what clients actually experience. This is why it’s critical to align brand experience and client experience.
We all can think of a brand whose marketing promises are completely incongruent from what customers actually encounter. Sadly, Gallup surveys have consistently found that most companies fail to live up to their brand promises. Experience is where your branding is either validated or discredited. So get clear on your brand promise, build your marketing strategy around it, and let customer experience be its showcase!
How’s It Going?
We’re always eager to see great brands in action, so please share your successes and best practices. Please post here or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d also love to chat. Perhaps we can help you build a brand experience that matches your desired brand. Call me at 541.601.0114.
Here’s to your successful brand!