Building A Stronger Brand—Now That Your Customers Have The Power To Define It
As customers have more control over their experience with an organization, it inevitably affects the way we manage a brand. Customer standards are rising, and they seem to be demand more engaging, valuable, and respectful marketing from brands. Customers are now able to immediately respond to—even hijack— our marketing messages, so what can we do, across departments, to better prepare our company?
It starts by better understanding our customers – every type of customer – and what impacts the trust the have with a brand. “That trust, “ says Forrester VP and Principal Analysts Laura Ramos, “starts with friends and family. Friends and family gives the brand power, so,” she asks, “how do you adjust your message?”
Gatorade CMO Morgan Flatley answers, “We connect with out customers. We spend a lot of time with athletes, in training, on the field, understanding what inspires them and that’s what helps build messages and product development. We spend a lot of time monitoring the messages that come in, and in many instances, its about the sweat and tears that goes into their sport every single day. Gatorade typically celebrates the wins, but last year we celebrated the hard work. Not the pros, but the Joe’s.”
iHop’s Head of Marketing Kirk Thompson shares his companies approach. “We have hundreds of thousands of people who walk through the doors every day. Our laboratory of 1600 restaurants provides anecdotal evidence and learning every day. It’s a good opportunity for our teams – any of the teams – to hear, watch and observe what’s happening and what’s working. This is the raw material that provides the power to participate with people who remind you of what’s important to them, and what will make this successful.”
Morgan explains, “We observe the interactions at a training field immersed in the activity that is our business. It’s as much about observing as it is doing this first hand to understand how this impacts the experiences our consumers are having.”
Read more from A View From The Top: The Evolution of Marketing and the Customer Journey by author Kevin Popović.
Based on Incite Summit West, this book examines current thinking from marketing leadership from some of the largest brands. The contributors were senior level and accomplished, but most importantly, that they are all very active in the development and delivery of the work on behalf of their organizations. These speakers are not sitting in the ivory tower, they are leading their troops into battle – and they are winning.