In this business marketing book by Scott Deming, the author uses familiar children’s stories to illustrate business branding strategies. As the name implies, the book uses the story of The Boy Who Cried Wolf as an illustration of authenticity. A business that doesn’t live up to it’s promises to it’s customers will certainly struggle to create a healthy “Brand” in the marketplace. The book has ten chapters.
I’m not using the real names of the chapters here, but a short summary and then the big points which stood out to me from the content.
- The Brand is you! The Brand is me! The business entity is charged with creating a positive emotional experience with customers. This personal experience is created by everyone on the team. The overall business brand is born from each team member’s personal Brand.
- A “Brand” defined. Customers have to trust the business. Everyone who works for the business has to over-deliver on their services to their customers. This becomes a promise of satisfaction. Customers will attach a positive emotion to the Brand. I feel great about Chick-Fil-A. I don’t remember ever having a bad experience there.
- Average Service Does Not Create a Good Brand. Sounds like common sense, but companies can spend big money on marketing campaigns, create great graphics, and impressive web presence. But if they do not take care of their customers, people are not going to want to spend money on them! This takes time and persistent and consistent great service that is above average.
- The Brand is Really About the Customer, Not the Business. Simply put if you were your customer, how would you want to be treated? Put yourself in their shoes. “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” -Dr. Wayne Dyer
- The Brand is Also About the Employees, not the Business. Does the team enjoy helping the customers? Do they have the Emotional Intelligence to handle the customers in a way to create a positive emotion interaction, and a good experiential memory that the customer will want to come back? What systems, processes and training does the business provide for it’s team?
- Our Business is Not as Good as We Think it is. The universal sign of life is movement. If a business is not growing it is not moving. The business can not grow without Continuous Training and Education.
- Do What You Say You’re Going to do. We constantly make promises to customers. The words of a promise are an act in and of themselves. If I say “I will call you back tomorrow” but do not follow through, then I didn’t meet the expectation I set up with the statement.
- Don’t be a Salesman. Sincerity can not be faked. People want to learn about your business, not be sold on it. The corporate culture needs to be focused on learning and teaching. People need to understand the value you can add to their lives. There has to be strong communication within the business to create unification of the Brand.
- Don’t let the Brand get Run Over on The Information Super Highway. We can Google anything or anyone and have hours worth of reviews to read through. We want to hear from the point of view of others who have used the business. We are even prompted by Google for a review often by just visiting the business. Unfortunately if a customer has a bad experience, they are much more likely to post a negative review. The defense to this is to slowly build the brand by consistent and persistent great customer service and create positive experiences for people.
- Conclusion. We live in an age of instant information and gratification. It’s never been easier for customers to shop around. It’s never been easier for dissatisfied customers to complain publicly and influence many others. But businesses can still “win” by being intentional about delivering great customer service and building a strong positive Brand to position themselves in an attractive way in the market