Forbes has reported that only 50 percent of employees believe their company’s branding concept. Even fewer, the research reveals, are equipped to carry out the brand’s message.
That should be a terrifying revelation for marketers.
In recent published piece from Fusion360 – a leading digital marketing agency based in Salt Lake City, Utah – author James O’Connor suggests that “Marketing no longer starts with the customer, it begins with the inside of an organization.”
O’Connor posits that though businesses “understand that digital marketing helps them, in-store experiences count as well — whether they be online or in real life.”
O’Connor believes one area of brand message dislocation resides in the realities that modern day consumers experience.
“Everyone has witnessed an advertisement that portrayed a message incongruous with the actual experience delivered by a brand,” O’Connor says. “A fast delivery is promised, but never actualized; the service is touted as reputable, but couldn’t be worse; being put on hold is a thing of the past, but you sit there lulled to sleep by elevator music. You are a long-lost customer, and at this point, you’re destined to seek a business that walks its talk. If the brandscape fosters lies and undelivered promises, no digital marketing strategy will be able to help it, no matter how creative your ideas are.”
Could that be one reason why employees don’t believe the brand messages touted by the marketing departments at their companies?
O’Connor cites the recent brand overhaul at UPS — an overhaul launched for just this very reason. UPS realized its internal operations and procedures hardly mirrored their customers’ experiences. Its brand — he says — “was slipping from the inside out.”
The improved customer service made UPS one of the Best Global Brands of 2012.
“They demonstrated how a brand is not a gimmick, but rather a promise meant to be kept at every level of interaction the consumer has with their logo,” writes O’Connor. “Although their avowed internal brand statement is much different than its external statement, “what can Brown do for you” is supported by what the employees see as important every day: “One brand, one company, one vision.”
The takeaway, O’Connor suggests, is that if companies “want to gain an advantage in the ever-increasing brand chaos that permeates media” they need to start internally.
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