05 Jul Application of Excellence
There has always been an elegance to the application of excellence.
~Richard Diaz, author
Future Entrepreneurs: Brand Best Practices
Ah, the application of excellence… Let’s take a look at some best practices that help hold our brand to excellent standards.
Successful brands do many things well at once. To appeal to your customers, your brand will need to be credible. When you take actions, they will perform better when aligned with your messaging. As you are developing brand and marketing collateral, make sure there is a connection between what your brand promises and what it delivers.
We’ve talked about how successful brands are distinctive in the marketplace. Effective brands are holistic, meeting customers’ needs on several levels. Successful brands are sustainable, engaged in business practices they can maintain over the long term.
All of these criteria are important. Still, there’s one aspect that rises above the rest: Consistency. Successful brands add value to the customer experience across all touch points and are trusted because they consistently deliver on their promises.
Why Consistency Matters
Hope our American friends have enjoyed a fun and relaxing Fourth of July holiday! Many Americans enjoy hot dogs and burgers as part of the holiday tradition:
You’ve got a big juicy burger, hot dog or veggie burger in front of you on a lovely summer day. Only thing missing is the ketchup. So you take out the bottle, and shake it up. After squeezing a good amount of ketchup onto your burger, you take a big bite.
Something’s off. Instead of the intense tomato experience you crave, you’ve got a watery, bland mess on top of your burger or bun. That’s not good enough, so you toss the ketchup and buy a new bottle. This time, everything’s great. You use up that bottle of ketchup, and get another bottle from the store. This time, the ketchup’s watery and bland again. It’s time to go back to the store for another bottle.
Are you going to buy the same brand of ketchup again?
Chances are that you won’t. As customers, we like predictability in our purchases. We want to know ahead of time what we’re getting for their money. That’s why companies like Heinz take great pains to deliver the same amazing taste of their product consistently—even when they’re filling the small packet at Burger King.
Performing Consistency Checks
Being consistent in your messaging and product offering is a discipline that requires regular practice on a yearly, quarterly, monthly, and in some cases, weekly basis.
You can start by listing all of your consumer touch points—all of the ways your customers interact with your brand. Here’s a list of common consumer touch points:
Names (product & company)
Advertising (commercials, billboards, etc.)
Publicity / Public Relations
Partnerships / Alliances
We have talked about clarifying your brand’s promise (and it’s a whole process in itself: http://thewishwall.org/desideri/champion-choices
Review each touchpoint while asking the question:
How well are we communicating and delivering on our brand’s promise? You can even create a rating scale of 1 to 5 to help you subjectively measure your effectiveness.
Performing these consistency checks often will help ensure that you’re delivering on your promises.
It will help you hone in on your true north.
One more summer note and inspiration on true north from The Autograph Hotel Collection (of the Marriott extended brand family)
Amanda Altree, Global Marketing Lead/Brand Management of Autograph Collection summed it up well: “We’ve been expanding so quickly so our positioning became very important. We wanted to define ourselves and make sure we kept the integrity of these amazing properties in the collection.
To summarize our true north, it’s about championing independence, and that governs everything we do, whether it’s in operations or sales and marketing. We want to make sure that our support is building the equity that that hotel has in its independent point of view and its independent voice. And that we don’t have a heavy hand with our own brand standards or do anything to water down the luxury experience a hotel offers.”
Hear more about my conversation with The Blackstone Hotel team of the Autograph Collection
[Image courtesy of The Blackstone Hotel.]
I will be sharing more news about some events and launches at the Blackstone Hotel.
In the meantime, I have been hired to produce launch events, so I will be writing this blog less until those events are complete.
Thanks for reading and best wishes for your brands!
Akasha Garnier for The Wishwall
Author, Brand Expert, Filmmaker
Read more from Future Entrepreneurs: http://thewishwall.org/future-entrepreneurs