Customer value is one of the most talked about aspects of marketing today, but many senior decision makers are hard pushed to articulate how exactly their business is creating meaningful customer value and how that tangibly contributes to their business being more valuable and competitive. Even if they can put that into words, a powerful customer value proposition itself is really just the start. Harder still is maintaining customer value over the longer term. Here’s why.
Some time back, I looked at what it took to get a brand promise right. In this post, I want to examine the converse: when (consumers feel that) brands have not lived up to what they said they would deliver. What happens to generate customer disappointment?
Why do consumers keep brands in their lives? Relevance.
Marketers love patterns. But repetition is not always the most reliable metric for brand loyalty. What makes your brand attractive?
Perhaps it’s inevitable. At some stage, a brand is going to do something to upset customers and prospects. That’s the price companies pay for trading in an era of greater and greater transparency. The key question is: when something does go wrong, will your brand be forgiven?
Brands are quick to identify customer experience as an area of critical success for them. Yet too often those responsible for its delivery lack the authority or the experience to fully act in the interests of those customers.
There’s a lot of things that brands keep doing that can turn their value south. By way of a checklist, these are the things I see happening far too often.
I admit it – I called them for dead. I thought Blackberry were gone. I think a lot of us did. But if this article in AdAge is more than just hype on the part of the company and its ad agency, perhaps that call was premature. I am still cautious about whether Blackberry are growing or simply not fading, but the great news for brands that seem to be in a death spiral is that you can pull out, or at least halt the decline, if you’re prepared to make the changes needed. So what are Blackberry doing that others could learn from?
In a market filled with possibilities, there is power and focus in constraint. I pressed this point home recently in a discussion on why brands can’t just continue to add to their visual language. The argument I was getting – we need an extended palette to show the diversity of what we do and to prevent our brand looking monochromatic. My view – that adding layer upon layer of visual language to a brand doesn’t free up anything. On the contrary, it adds complexity that make no sense to buyers and that end up looking confused in the shopping aisle.
Marketers can be surprisingly heavy-handed. The temptation, especially with big brands, is to thunder out answers that let customers know, in unequivocal terms, that they have been recognised. Think about the almost coarse way in which airlines greet their frequent fliers – with a bunch of features dressed up as privileges and a tiered recognition system that allocates them a colour.