Monday, November 16, 2009

Nice and Aggressive: Post 3 of 3

We've discussed the importance of pride and desire for a brand to establish confidence and consistency. For a brand to ultimately establish a tone that is direct and positive there is one last piece in the puzzle.

Truth

The last component of success for a brand to pull of being nice and aggressive is trust. You can have confidence and create desire in the mind of consumers. You can own joy and blanket the side of every bus in North America with your message, but if you break your customers trust it is all for nothing. Breaking trust doesn't just mean lying to them. It means:

  • using one price point as bate and switching it with another when customers inquire.
  • setting up false expectations for a product based on the desire you've created. If you're T-Mobile and you say "life is for sharing" but fail to offer reliable or convenient service, you've failed to backup your promise. If you say you're better, cooler, happier or faster than be just that. Don't confuse customers with clutter and detailed product messages.
  • allowing customers to wait for more than 2-3 minutes to talk to a representative.
  • calling or emailing customers who have not asked to be contacted. Getting an email address for info about Product A doesn't mean they want to hear about Product B or C.
  • failing to help a customer because you only empower your employees to follow a procedure rather than provide a solution.
  • providing a warranty* or guarantee* - no *, it is either guaranteed or it isn't.
  • Being aggressive in mass media and but not offering the price to the mass market.
  • Using contracts as excuses to keep your customers from being treated fairly and as valuable consumers
  • Using mass media to shout out offers and expecting anyone to care. For people to notice you need to build trust. If you break the points above, everything else you say will have less credibility and will reflect on your brand across the board.
What other ways to do brands break trust? I'd actually like to build a list.

To recap, for a brand to be positive and aggressive they need to be confident and consistent in each consumer touch point (product, advertising, customer service, etc)

To be confident and consistent, a brand needs to build on three pillars:
1) Pride
2) Desire
3) Truth

If all three pillars are covered, consumers will grant the brand permission to reach them at higher levels of engagement and will ultimately make choices to choose this brand even in the absence of a promotional campaign or even with the abundance of a rational alternative. This brand will own the consumers share of mind and stand for something greater than the features its product delivers.