How Communications Echo Brand Promises (and how integrity impacts their delivery)
READ TIME: 3:06 (Or less, you speedy reader, you.)
So, you plan a huge platform launch that will serve as the vehicle to connect you with your customers and partners, and you have the best team members leading each significant area. You’ve done your research and have the information you need to know how to address impacts and drive the change. There’s good cross-talk across the organization, and collaboration in building out and executing on communications, change and training plans derived from your analyses. The launch moves like clockwork, with support teams in war rooms, on standby, ready to address any issues in real-time. Six months later, the platform is obsolesced due to lack of adoption. What happened?
The truth is, a variety of missteps could’ve contributed, including lack of ease of use or insufficient onboarding, premature promotion of an untested process, or not enough follow-up touchpoints. But these are your customers and partners, right? Shouldn’t they want to get in on something that makes doing business with you easier? The answer to that question is an unequivocable yes. So, why should there be pushback, or withdrawal?
Though it may be hard to hear, at the root of pushback is disagreement and/or mistrust. That doesn’t necessarily mean your customers aren’t loyal, but that there is something holding them back.
As a communications professional, part of my job is to create awareness, and help smooth the way for changes through content, creative and training, while advocating for your brand. When there are obvious discrepancies between what we’re saying and what the organization is doing, mistrust is introduced. It shows up in a spectrum of ways, beginning with how a customer feels about trying to navigate your website, or get new product information, to how the company treats its employees or who it decides to acquire or do business with.
Like it or not, decisions reveal true agendas and discerning customers and partners weigh that against what an organization says it stands for. In short, just saying what you are won’t get it done because what you believe will become apparent. And, when an organization’s activities support its brand promises? Magic. Communications can only help heighten and deepen the authentic message… whatever that is.
Here are some ways communications efforts support brand promises:
Content Consistency Across Global Channels
Messaging, across a variety of content types, is customized for global audiences, whether delivered through channel partners or other methods. This consistency of repetition really reinforces important messages.
Campaigns Support Highest Goals
Whether a campaign is supporting a product, service or promoting brand awareness, it ultimately should align with corporate goals and values in every way—from content style and verbiage to creative approach.
Merging Bottom-up and Top-Down Thinking
Messaging must be authentic to resonate with customers. For the sake of preserving relationships, customers often won’t tell an organization what they’re doing wrong, unless prodded. Companies learn about true intent in a variety of ways—from surveys or follow-up calls to forums monitoring and focus groups.
At the end of the day, customer loyalty is earned. You can’t “award” your way to it—meaning earn enough awards to have customers beating down your door (they might initially try you, but also leave you.) You can’t even buy it because, if it can be purchased, it will just go to the highest bidder. It is earned through consistently delivering on your brand promises and making things right when you fail to do so.
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