Monday, October 10, 2011

Making your Brand All Pervasive

In the HBR article by Anand Subramaniam, ‘Six Ways to Build Your Brand Through Customer Service’ highlights the manner in which companies seem to forget brand building, as an exercise, at the customer service level. Building on this thought, he further outlines steps which can be taken by companies and the next ten minutes of reading shall, hopefully, take this thought to its fruition.

Expensive advertising, flashy brand ambassadors, thousands of minutes of prime time television space and ‘shout at the top of your voices’ ambient campaigns seem to be the only way companies believe a brand can be built. They cannot be blamed for this view as it as an approach that has worked effectively but only in the short term. Companies do not realize that the only significant outcome of the above measures is creating excitement and not necessarily building the brand. So how about using ‘customer service’ as a game changer for your brand building efforts?

To build your brand using customer service, aligning your brand intent to a strategic intent becomes imperative. A company needs to look at its overall strategic direction and brand related communications. From there it should look at its available resources and develop a plan around its existing customer service practices to ensure the brand spends more time building itself in the customer service stage. To do this a company has to put certain checklists in place.
-          Companies need to ensure they can build brand aligned processes into the various touch points accessible to the customer. This can start from a quick response system to customer complaints to even human assisted customer service over self service in case of high touch brands. Care of this magnitude will always be rewarded with greater brand recognition and loyalty.
-          Companies need to follow up the above measures with brand aligned metrics that allow them to judge success and work on improvements. Brands which are high touch need to look beyond routine customer service metrics to numbers that can help map service intent to the brand intent.
-          Unifying knowledge bases and customer service touch points can be another valuable step in aligning brand and service. By brand aligning your touch points a company can ensure similar treatment of customers across channels which guarantee the customer hearing the same brand message across channels.

The above measures mainly emphasize the need to align your brand with all customer service related activities. By doing that a customer can easily connect with the brand, instead of just connecting with the product, which in the long run builds stronger brands with defined brand commitments and not just flashy flirtations.

This is what we think, what do you think?