An industry analyst recently asked me, “What is a brand?” My response: a brand is quite simply the promise you make combined with your personality traits that are displayed in interactions with you. In the case of a company brand, it’s the promise you make to the market combined with the personality or the characteristics or values you want to portray.
There are many similarities between a personal brand and a company brand.
Companies who are concerned with building long-term value, are concerned with the customer experience. The best place to start is by defining your brand promise. What are you ultimately doing for your customers? When Domino’s Pizza first started, their promise wasn’t about great food, it was about food delivery in a timely manner. For my company, our promise is about making it easier for the care team to take care of patients. The ultimate customer experience begins with delivering on your brand promise – each and every day. This is also true for individuals. Did you promise to be a good wife or husband? A good mother or father? A good friend? A good son or daughter?
Building a brand begins and ends by delivering on the promise you make, but it’s also reinforced every day by the traits we exhibit. For a company, these traits are exhibited through every customer touch point. If you want to be known for being innovative, compassionate and transparent, then you must reflect these traits – when a customer calls support, or when they get their bill. If not, the customer experience is inconsistent with brand characteristics.
The same is true for individuals. Let’s use an example of being a good friend. Friendship may mean you are reliable, willing to listen, or loving despite a friend’s flaws.
I’ve seen companies through the years spend millions of dollars to define their logo, color palette, and brand attributes – investing very little energy to keep that promise and make the customer experience consistent.
I’ve also realized as a person, it’s important to have a set of values that I consistently work to portray. It’s important to me to be there for others, to keep my promises and to be as consistent as possible acting upon my values.
Keeping your promise and delivering consistently at every touch point is what builds brand equity. It’s what builds trust. It’s what makes you uniquely… you.
What promise did you make to your customers, your employer, your family, your friends? What characteristics do you want to exhibit?
At the end of the day… is an expression meaning an assessment of essential facts and truths. It’s a summation of the pros and cons of any situation and a straightforward statement of what really matters. It’s also the title of this blog series by Brenda Hodge, Nuance Healthcare’s Chief Marketing Officer, with insights about leadership, empathetic customer relationships, and marketing techniques.