A brand is a promise – a definition of expectation. If I’m paying for a four-star hotel, I don’t expect two-star service.
When we experience bad customer service, the disappointment is heightened by the gulf between expectation and reality. Between promise and what is actually delivered.
Fail to deliver on the brand promise and you disrupt the brand harmony.
And the relationship between brand promise and brand-deharmoniser is inversely proportional. That is to say, the bigger the promise, the smaller the trip hazard required to deharmonise the brand; if you’re picking up your new Rolls Royce, a bit of dust on the bonnet is going to upset you a damn sight more than it would on the front of your Ford, for instance. ‘Brand new’ isn’t the same for every brand.
The trouble is that brands express their promise at EVERY touch point. But brand direction is so often directed from on high – a Board signing off on work by consultants, marketers and designers – with little of this process, and the importance of brand value shared with the real touch points of a brand: its staff. And it’s not just the customer facing staff either: I might love the shopping experience at John Lewis, but if one of their drivers were to cut me up on a roundabout, my experience of their brand would be deharmonised.
A brand is only truly alive if the blood running through its veins reaches every extremity. Thus, all the missions and values and promises and brand statements will amount to nought if you don’t make it clear to the receptionists how important they are to the delivery of your brand and why.
We want our customers to become design-rich; deploying good design and design principles throughout the entire organisation, improving communication and deepening brand awareness and understanding and ultimately, improving customer experience.
To support this, we offer a programme of seminars on Design Thinking, communication and branding, which we like to deliver to all tiers within a business including Board, leadership and programme/project teams. The seminars, each approximately one hour long, give context to branding and design in business and communication, explaining not only how they are essential, but also how a design mindset can help take them closer to their customers and improve their creativity and effectiveness.
If you’d like to find out more please drop us a line.