As we dive further into brand strategy, we need to cross into developing a thriving brand culture so we can deliver brilliant products and services to our customers.
Over the last 2 months on the podcast, I've spoken and blogged all about brand foundations, intentionally aligning your values, repelling and attracting your customers and zagging.
It's all led to this podcast and blog. And like always, you can listen to or read all about it.
Delivering on your promises is what we're gonna talk about today. One thing that rings true is the old adage that 'actions speak louder than words'. Bear that in mind as we journey through today's episode.
Successful businesses deliver exceptional service throughout the whole customer journey.
Think about a business that has lost its way and ended up shutting because it didn't adapt its business as technology evolved.
Blockbuster didn't adapt; its service wasn't exceptional. It did what people expected. You went in, rented 3 DVDs for a week, and that was it. They went from cornering the market to dead while Netflix gave you seemingly infinite choices. If you wanted, you could fill a month bingeing episodes of Stranger Things and Orange is the New Black. That's delivering an incredible customer journey.
If you learn one tiny thing from me and my podcast, it's this, your brand is worth nothing if you can't uphold a promise through each customer interaction. Your branding had better align with your customer experience, especially if you want to gain longevity and build authentic connections with your audience.
Can you just stick your branding and customer experience in a blender? No. We have to get our lab coats on and make a culture.
Like a good sourdough culture, a culture requires patience, feeding and the right atmosphere. It's not an overnight thing. A good culture is the best way to ensure your company delivers on a brand promise. Why? Because if your staff send mixed messages about what your brand stands for, your customers won't connect. The easiest way is to look at it with an inside-out approach.
You need to look at four things to give to nurture that little sourdough culture:
We discussed Brand Missions on the intentionally aligning your brand episode of the podcast. Your team needs to understand your how, what, and why to provide a unified outlook.
If you provide a clear vision, your team can pour their hearts into it and become a tight-knit little unit. One way to look at that is to have weekly hands-on meetings, so people can throw out ideas and know what's happening day-to-day. You can also solve problems, inform them about evolutions of the business and see how your goals are tracking.
If you are hiring - look for candidates who embody your values. It will make teaching them how to deliver the brand's promise much easier. Because they're just singing from the same hymn sheet.
It's important to not hire someone in a customer-facing or a leadership role, especially if they don't align with the way the brand thinks. If they pull in a completely different direction, they'll struggle to deliver the brand's promise.
Transforming your brand's delivery is easy if you empower your team to get involved. Your brand's strategy constantly evolves. It's not stuck for 15 or 20 years.
Get them involved in planning out your vision. Looking at your values and setting values together is so good. It gives them that sense of ownership and makes them invested in the brand so that they incorporate the values, vision and feelings the brand wants to communicate. It all starts to just become second nature! It's gonna really help align your culture.
Critical to my design work has been the ability to accept feedback constructively. It might be a new way of seeing how you can complete a task.
Without feedback from customers, peers and staff, that thing you created might be amazing but going in a totally wrong direction.
So, encourage your team to give you feedback and let them share their thoughts and criticisms openly. Let them be open with you, be humble and respectful, and you'll start building a great culture.
Feedback is vital to future plans – and helps improve systems and end results.
Four tips for cultivating your brand's culture and delivering your brand promise are:
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