Seth Godin wrote, "A brand's value is merely the sum total of how much extra people will pay, or how often they choose, the expectations, memories, stories and relationships of one brand over the alternatives."
After all, there are brands we as consumers absolutely love.
And there are brands we as consumers can't stand.
So what’s the difference between those we admire versus the ones we despise? And is there something we do to monitor the course our brand is taking in this battle between love and hate?
Here are some ideas:
When brands get too big and busy with day-to-day demands, they often end up with observations that are too removed to be useful. An example is the term “brand value” which too often has become one of those questionable metrics watched by remote management personnel. It becomes an exercise in measuring what is, at best, ambiguously defined. To some, it’s revenue; to others it’s some vague metric of consumer loyalty while to others it’s “how many hashtags we got this week”....
This question of brand value is a brand metric that equally arises in customer service as a brand metric. A key part of any brand is the human side and the use of the brand to either fortify the brand’s meaning or turn it into empty hype, which nobody loves or values.
To help isolate what’s useful for a brand to monitor its value, let’s look at customer service as a brand’s frontrunner since this helps us “see” how a brand really adds value, up close and personal.
It is, after all, the difference between the brands we love and the ones we hate.
To understand this better, the accompanying diagram below shows what happens when these factors are absent.
To help remove the impersonal aspect and give each of us something we can control, try this for one week. Have your personnel assess the following points (and you can ask this of your brand as well):
- How many people (i.e., customers, clients and prospects) have I helped in some way today?
- How many bits of useful information have I gotten into the hands of those I came in contact with?
- How many thank you’s have I given out to colleagues, peers, clients and vendors?
- How many expectations have I exceeded today?
- How many face-to-face acknowledgements have I given to those who have helped me as well as those I rely on to get things done?
You can tally this daily or weekly, but either way, do this, and you’ll find your focus is on the things you can control and monitor. And by doing those, the other points come into play that add to satisfaction, value, growth, consumer confidence, authority and brand excellence.
With the above in place, having a great visual brand identity with a compelling brand vocabulary (e.g., image, design, packaging, etc.) do its job of being legitimate and authentic versus merely sugar-coating some pretense or compromised customer experience.