• November 1, 2007
  • By Colin Beasty, (former) Associate Editor, CRM Magazine

Required Reading: Protecting Your Brand at All Costs

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The Brand Who Cried Wolf is a handbook for companies and individuals who want to establish and sustain their most powerful and successful brands. It presents a blueprint for turning typical customers into raving evangelists for life. In the book, author Scott Deming explains that great branding doesn't come from gimmicks or even from good advertising. Great branding begins and ends with exceptional, innovative customer service. Great companies are those that not only deliver on their promises to customers, but also transcend those promises to create one-of-a-kind emotional experiences. CRM magazine: Name one or two of the biggest reasons you think brands fail to deliver on their promises to customers.
Deming: First and foremost, management fails to train, empower, and inspire properly. We are typically dealing with minimum-wage, commissioned, or part-time workers in the customer service industry, such as retail and fast food. These people do not fully understand their role in creating and preserving their company's brand, because they are focused on protecting their jobs, making their money, getting through the week. It's management's responsibility to help these employees understand their role, the importance of their position, the fact that they are important to the customer service process. Second, most companies are focused on the bottom line. When your focus is profit instead of service, your success is short-term, just like your goals. Most companies today are so focused on the bottom line that they're replacing people with technology, such as massive and confusing phone systems to navigate through. The fact is, cutting out human interaction erodes your brand. With no people to connect to and get emotional over, there is no possibility of building brand loyalty. CRM magazine: That said, how does a brand that does deliver on its promises help to drive customer loyalty and positive word-of-mouth marketing for a company? Deming: With consistent, sincere, emotional, and unique interactions with every customer, every time. Your customers become your PR agents. They become your evangelists. People get emotional over experiences and they become loyal to people, not to the product. They will talk about you and not your products, which is paramount because chances are they can get the same products somewhere else. If you follow this simple process, you will create your powerful, emotional brand. CRM magazine: What will readers find most interesting about your book? Deming: The simple, easy-to-follow processes that are almost, like, "Duh!" when you read them. You know this stuff, but you either forgot about it all, or you think you're too busy to go back and try it again. Each chapter starts off with a famous children's fable, to help bring the reader back to the early-in-life lessons and values that made us the good and decent people we are today. Then it launches into the chapter's lesson. As adults, we become very busy and our perspective becomes somewhat distorted. My goal with this book is to get the reader to understand a process and some lessons that will quickly and forever improve their personal and professional brand. Other Page-Turners:
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