Francois Gossieaux penned some great commentary recently, here’s the best nugget:

You brand gets defined by the UI (User Interface) of your company, the interface through which your customers and prospects interact with your company. That interface gets determined by pre-sale activities – i.e., advertising, retail layout, retail personnel attitude, telemarketing, sales people’s knowledge of the industry, etc -, as well as immediate post-sale activities – i.e., packaging, ease of use to set up the products, available help options, etc. -, and the long term post sale activities – i.e., telephone support, return policies, warranty policies, on-site support, etc. That makes up a lot of links in the chain that determines your brand in the mind of the consumers which your company controls.

I find it enthralling the way organisations make choices which affect the way they are perceived. For example, I had the misfortune to fly abroad on a bank holiday weekend. I should have arrived to the airport much earlier, instead I was left with one eye on my watch and the other try to navigate a path through the crowds. Not to criticise Dublin Airport Authority as they had numerous staff available to aid travelers, but I think they were also slightly overwhelmed by the numbers. Simple things like making it clearer which zigzaging queues were leading to which check-in desks would have made a big difference. Instead there was a general sense of frustration as people struggled to figure out which queue they should be in. Ultimately by providing a better user interface I would have left the airport with a much better impression of the organisation

Looking past this, there are plenty of people out their giving their two cents on what constitutes Brand 2.0 and what organisations should be doing differently. Here’s my tuppence – they should be doing nothing different. Everything is still the same. Ultimately you have to develop a product or service that ticks the right boxes for your target customer.

The difference between how things are done today and in the past is that there is a much greater level of accountability. The old way of doing things was selling to customers on a promise. The problem for advertisers is that consumers have bought into the promise and we’ve had enough with being disappointed with reality. Now companies are being charged with actually delivering on their promise.

No amount of blogs, social networks, etc is going to change this. If you can’t walk the walk, then don’t talk the talk. Some companies are realising this as a recent update by Steve Rubel on Twitter points out:

Big marketers: we’re shifting dollars away from media to customer service

On a similar note, Paul Isakson has posted the following presentation to Slideshare, ‘What’s Next in Marketing & Advertising’.

3 Responses to “Brands as defined by the experiences of consumers”  

  1. 1 Paul

    hi Piaras,

    Marketing can learn a lot from customer service. In most (big) companies, the people sending out the messages to customers are not the same people taking the calls, complaints and requests from customers. Hard to have a real dialogue / conversation if you are not around to listen or reply…

  2. 2 francois gossieaux

    Piaras – thank you very much for linking to my post and for expanding on the topic. It is so true that marketing has not changed over the years. My favorite way to make that point is to quote Peter Drucker, who over the last three quarter century said things like:

    - “Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two–and only two–basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs. Marketing is the distinguishing, unique function of the business.”
    - “The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself. “
    - “The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said.”
    - “Quality in a service or product is not what you put into it. It is what the client or customer gets out of it.”

    Also, thank you for the link to the slide deck of Paul – this is great stuff!

  1. 1 Is Advertising Enough To Build A Brand? at Piaras Kelly PR - Public Relations in Ireland

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