“Brand can be your Killer App,” said Bubba as I arrived.
Our southern born brand sculptor replied, “The fact is that brand can overcome all sorts of problems. When it is done right it can:
- Differentiate your product or service
- Get you a premium price
- Extend the life of your product or service
“But,” Rick interjected, “it can also be like a target on your back if something goes wrong. Because I help people sell direct I’ve seen negative reactions happen a lot faster than with products that go through distribution channels.”
Kate, nodding her assent, dreads shaking added, “But it’s not just small companies that get shot at. Nike caught it for offshore manufacturing and look at VW. I’ve got friends that were driving Volkswagen diesel fueled cars that were taking tax deductions based on faulty information. A couple of them are ready to sue…”
Bubba chimed in, “It all comes down to one simple idea:
Brand is a form of Trust. You earn it.
And in today’s world you’re under a great deal more scrutiny than ever before. Brands have always been established by folks talkin’ to one another but today what used to take weeks or months can happen in seconds. Social media is now the real gating factor for brand.”
I asked, “You think that is true for Business to Business products and services as well as Consumer goods, Rob?”
“Theahs a difference,” he said, “but it’s mostly in terms of speed. You don’t get Twitter flash crowds if you’re selling industrial products usually, but they still get reviewed and those reviews tend to hang around a lot longer. So it takes a while for negative user reactions to kick in but they last longer than a coon’s age.”
Chris, our digital director, put down his glass and said, “So you believe the world has changed due to the internet and now impacts how brand gets built. Is that correct?”
“Sho nuff,” said Rob. “Why do you ask?”
“Because I wanted to be sure and I’m curious as to how you see it impacting what you do for a living.”
Rob replied, “Used to was you could build a brand based on a made up story, a logo and a few happy customers. No more. Now the story has to be true. Folks will look hard at what you’re saying and tattle if it isn’t. Before, you could make a mistake or two and just keep on keepin’ on but now social media reports the transgression in creative ways—did you ever see the song on You Tube the fellow did when United trashed his guitar? www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YGc4zOqozo Last time I looked at it the video had over 15 Million views and apparently he has a speaking career because of it. Your product or service has to deliver, as promised.
Everyone in your company has to provide the level of service you claim to have and understand that there is a new partnership in brand building: you, your employees and your customers. Y’all gotta be singin’ from the same hymn book and on the same page!”
Brand is about Trust…between you, your employees and your customers. Trust for your product or service is earned and your brand is more influenced by customers than ever before.
Jerry Fletcher’s blog recaps conversations with clients, prospects and the unruly mob of business development professionals he consorts with. They discuss marketing that works from solopreneur to enterprise level. Jerry Fletcher is the ringleader and “Watson” of the dialogue. Get all his publications at: www.JerryFletcher.com/Profit.html
Jerry has been researching and implementing small business marketing that builds businesses, careers and lives of joy for 25 years as President of Z-axis Marketing, Inc. Learn more at www.JerryFletcher.com
Schedule a personal appearance. Jerry speaks internationally on Networking, Marketing and Contact Relationship Magic. www.NetworkingNinja.com