Your Brand Value and The Current Reality - Part One: Reflection

Now is the time to ask yourself, as a leader in your organization, what is important to you? What is important to your team, your employees? What is important to your customers? It may be very different from the last time you asked. And it may be the same. It’s likely somewhere in the middle.

As you’re reading this, millions of people are determining what brands they want to bring into their homes and their lives. And they’re reassessing how they trust those brands.

Your brand is the expectations your customers, employees, vendors and other stakeholders have – based on the promises you’ve articulated and others they’ve come to expect.

Which promises can you still keep? And are there promises you can’t keep any longer? What are the promises your employees, your customers and your stakeholders are seeking right now?

People are scared and angry. People need hope. How can your brand provide a sense of security, comfort, consistency and hope?

What makes your company relevant today? It’s not a message about how “in these uncertain times we care.” Of course your company does – and so does every other company, including your competition. But what are the relevant brand promises only your company can make, and deliver on, that are going to keep people loyal to you?

What you do now will impact whether your customers will keep your brand in their lives, how they embrace your brand, and how your employees interact with your customers.

So what should you be doing now? Ask the questions that will help you

Assess your brand promise – where are the gaps? Do we have hidden strengths? Where is the most value in what we promise? Is it still relevant?

Align your ability to deliver on your brand promise – does my team have the soft skills to deliver? Do we have the technology (and training)? Are we rewarding the right behaviors? Are we celebrating our victories?

Strategize – are we ready to move forward? How has our competition changed?  Are we in the right position in the marketplace? Do our customers need additional education or training to access our products and services?

The insights uncovered by asking those questions will give your organization a better understanding of your individual brand strengths and weaknesses, positioning your company for solid footing now and accelerated success when the economy recovers.

You have a singular opportunity to ask important questions. What are you waiting for?

To get started, contact us today.

Next: Part Two: Communication

 

© 7/2020 MBM Marketing


Your Brand Value and The Current Reality - Part Two: Communication

You’ve completed an assessment of your brand promises. You’ve aligned your strengths and closed the gaps. And you’ve built a strategy to move forward in the now and you’re thinking about a stronger future. Well done, you!

But just because you have this work complete and your senior team is feeling confident doesn’t mean your employees, your vendors, and your customers are. They don’t know what you know. At least, not until you communicate with them. 

There are three keys to successfully communicate what you’ve discovered:

Communicate what’s the Same

Communicate what’s Different

Make your communications Stand Out

Start with your employees. Build their confidence in the future of your organization, and the important role they play. To do this, you must 

Communicate what’s the Same – tell them what they will continue to do that delivers on your company’s brand promise. Reminding them about the great things they’ve done (and will continue to do) to help grow the company will help them lean in to the changes you’re making. Make them feel a sense of ownership. Only then should you… 

Communicate what’s Different – tell them about any processes and procedures that will be changing as you move forward. Give them time and opportunity to understand these changes, ask questions, and make suggestions to make them more effective. There’s already been significant upheaval in how they’re performing their jobs, and it’s critical that you get this right. Then you can…

Make your communications Stand Out – share with your team how your company will continue to be different, and better, than your competition. This is team building at it’s very best as you bring your employees into your vision of the future, motivate them and encourage their loyalty.

Next, you should communicate with your vendors. Follow the very same steps as with your employees – first the Same, then the Different and finally Stand Out.

Only after your employees and vendors are on board should you communicate with your customers. You must be absolutely certain you can deliver 100% on what you’re promising in order to maintain the trust of customers. As you communicate with your customers…

Communicate what’s the Same – remind your customers of the brand promises they’ve counted on, and how you’ll continue to keep them. Change can be disorienting without the support of knowing that some things won’t change.

Communicate what’s Different – tell them what you’re doing differently now to continue to earn their trust. Tell them how these new products or initiatives will make their lives better, easier, more enjoyable. Show them how these differences are meaningful. And tell them how you’ve changed your processes and procedures to deliver 100% on what you’re promising.

Make your communications Stand Out – work with your internal creative team or external ad agency to make sure your messages Stand Out. None of the “in these uncertain times, we care” messaging that everyone else is using. How can your messaging Stand Out to your current customers as well as attract new ones?

Congratulations! You’re well on your way to success. You’ve assessed your brand and made the changes necessary to be relevant in the now. And you’ve been strategic and thoughtful in how you’ve communicated those changes – to your employees, your vendors and your customers to ensure you can deliver 100% on what your brand promises.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.

Next: Part Three: Disruption and Innovation

In Case You Missed Part One: Reflection

(c) 7/2020 MBM Marketing


Your Brand Value and The Current Reality - Part Three: Disruption and Innovation

You’re well on your way to success. You’ve assessed your brand and made the changes necessary to be relevant in the now. You’ve been strategic and thoughtful in how you’ve communicated those changes to ensure you can deliver 100% on what your brand promises.

Now what? 

Two big words in the pre-2020 business world were “disruption” and “innovation.” Companies around the globe were trying to be disrupters in their marketplace, looking for innovation in their industry and their processes. 

Well guess what? 2020 has been the ultimate disruptor, causing us all to innovate on the fly as we pivot our companies to the new normal which seems to be changing every day. 

Does your industry need additional disruption right now? Have your employees reached the apex of their ability to innovate? Now is the time to double down on your core business, making sure your strategies are sound and your key leaders have a chance to leverage their expertise.

Now is the time to optimize your brand promises and maximize your touchpoints with your customers:

Optimize

The best use of your time is to document the lessons learned, review the efficiencies you’ve uncovered and determine how your organization will move forward smarter and wiser. 

Take this time to make sure your mission and purpose are sound. Make sure your organization is in alignment with itself and its values. 

Take a holistic and objective look at your company and have the courage to make the decisions needed to ensure your sustainability.

Maximize

Think about how your new delivery methods are in alignment with how your customers are used to interacting with your brand.

Test and measure how your online experiences reflect the in-person experiences customers are used to.

Determine whether your customer service people will continue to work from home, and if they have the tools and support they need to deliver as expected. And if you’re outsourcing in-person deliveries to a team, make sure they understand and align with your brand.

How you do business will be different going forward. There won’t be a return to normal. You will shape the future or it will shape you. And your brand will be affected by the future you create. 

Taking these and other steps will determine how your company rises from this disruption and takes advantage of all that you’ve learned, positioning your organization for success in the future, regardless of what that brings.

Contact us to get started.

Next: Part Four: Trust or Control?

In Case You Missed Part Two: Communication

 

(c) 7/2020 MBM Marketing


Your Brand Value and The Current Reality - Part Four: Trust or Control?

Whether you’re in the planning stage of returning your staff to working at the office, or reviewing how the “new normal” of 2020 means your team will continue to work remotely, your management team is conveying various messages around trust to your staff. And that leads to an important question you need to address that you may not be thinking about:

Are Your Employees Empowered to Deliver on Your Brand Promise?

Before March of this year, you may have been able to answer that confidently, pointing to training and resources and ongoing team engagement. But what about today? Have your managers and supervisors supported and inspired confidence in your team during the pandemic?

Does your team still trust that they can make independent decisions? Or have messages blocked their ability to ensure your brand promises are delivered as expected to your customers, supporters and stakeholders?

In a June 2020 opinion article on UPenn’s Wharton Knowledge webpage, David De Cremer, the provost’s chair and professor in management and organizations at the National University of Singapore Business School looks at the Importance of Trust at Work and how COVID-19 has magnified the differences between trusting and controlling employees.

De Cremer talks about how the transition to working from home and online meetings during the global pandemic have highlighted “the negative impact that managers have on employees’ life at home…with complaints about managers who care more about productivity than the health of their employees,” and how “online meetings have become means to monitor and assess work attitude...”

Are you trusting or controlling your employees? And which do they think you’re doing?

Your managers and supervisors may believe they have been supportive and encouraging, building on employee engagement and conversations online. However, the communications and engagement may have eroded your team’s ability to confidently deliver on your brand promises. Regardless of your leadership’s intentions, your employees’ perception is reality. 

So how do you know if your people believe they are trusted to do their jobs? You ask them. A simple set of questions that assesses your team’s alignment with your brand, and their confidence in their ability to deliver, will yield powerful insights into the future or your organization.

Beware, though, of implementing a survey on your own. A 2016 Medallia study indicates that employees are unlikely to be candid on a survey that comes from an internal division such as Human Resources or Employee Engagement. Your team will know the answers you’re looking for and will tell you what you want to hear, not what you need to hear.

Your brand promise is only as strong as your employees’ confidence in their ability to deliver on it. Now is the time to make sure your team is 100% in alignment from the top down and bottom up.

Want to know more? Contact us today.

In Case You Missed Part Three: Disruption and Innovation

 

(c) 7/2020 MBM Marketing


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