What makes you care about an organisation and their brand?
It’s a good question to ask yourself because your customers are just like you and the things that make you care will probably make them care as well.
So put yourself in their shoes for a bit and you’re sure to get some insight into things you might not be doing and should be (or maybe are doing that you shouldn’t be).
It’s a pretty simple list for me:
Stand for something
It might be good quality, sustainable ethics, convenience, great design – there’s an almost endless list of stuff out there to care about. Pick something.
Align it across the organisation
If your ‘something’ is quality and your product falls apart after I’ve used it a few times it’s hard to have confidence in what you say. If you talk about great customer service and when I call with question the phone never gets answered, or when it does no one can help me, it’s hard to have confidence. And without confidence I’m not going to come back.
Make what you stand for visible to me in as many ways as you can
It’s not just telling me about it – yes do that, but show me, I’ll believe you more when you do. Weave it in your policies, embed it in your processes. Put it on the shelf and wear it on your sleeve so I all but trip over it as I walk in the door.
Don’t make it too hard for me to do business with you
If you are online make sure your site works, isn’t too overwhelming or overcomplicated. Have a way for me to contact you if I have a questions that won’t require me to wait a week for the answer. If you aren’t online, the same principle applies. Don’t have over-complicated terms. Have people who are at least civil and helpful when they need to be.
Don’t be a jerk when things go wrong
It’s not our first turn on the wheel – we know stuff happens, but we don’t like being told it’s not your fault, or worse that it’s ours! (I know we’re fickle like that). So suck it up and fix it – I’ll love you more if you do.
Make sure I know what to expect
Tell me what you will do and what you won’t do. Don’t be afraid to be specific. I like to know where I stand and nothing makes me run for the exit faster than double speak and out clauses.
Keep your promises
It wouldn’t be a list from me without this one. It’s the big daddy of what makes me care. Not what the promises are specifically, although they do play a part, but whether you keep them. It’s ground zero in getting me to care. Because nothing will erode my care faster than breaking a promise. It might not kill it outright – little broken promises take a while to add up, but enough of them taken together will eventually bury my caring and once that happens I’m gone – for good.
So, what makes you care about a brand?
Michel is an independent brand analyst dedicated to helping organisations make promises they can keep and keep the promises they make – with a strong, resilient organisation as the result. She also publishes a blog at michelhogan.com.