Set your brand’s foundations in rock not sand, in other words, get the basics right first

Andrew S - 19 th May 2015

We all understand the principles of building our houses on firm foundations and not sand and yet we find rather more businesses than is comfortable rushing into “innovative solutions” to customer experience delivery without fixing the basics and making them brilliant first. If we don’t do that, then we are building the foundations of our customer experience development on metaphorical sand with all of the consequential dangers that entails.

Recent experience across a number of sectors has taught us that just delivering brand promises simply and effectively can be a differentiator as consumers do not see any significant difference delivered through the various competing experience providers. If, by 2020 as we are continuously reminded, brands will find their major source of competitive advantage through customer experience than any other means we need to get our skates on.

The building of firm foundations of delivered promises through doing the basics at first well and then brilliantly is therefore brand critical. But nobody said it would be easy as we need to work in a more collaborative way with the teams that contribute to the experience delivery, and many of them don’t even recognise the contribution they make. The traditional silo structures of business need to be engaged and inspired to help build the solid foundations because, as we have so often said we are all brand builders now

Here are a few tips for making it work

  1. Bring a small team from across the business disciplines together in order to map you current customer experience at a high level in order to help  everyone see the journey your customer is made to go though
  2. Build a “war room” where the map can be populated by all the interactions and communications the customer receives from the business. This one is a real eye opener for many people who work in isolation of each other and yet are continuously impacting on the customer experience. Done well it can act as an accelerator to the delivery of brilliant basics.
  3. Identify the actions and activities that can be fixed and improved immediately and get on with those. Once these are fixed then move onto the next set or improvements , measure and monitor the changes in performance
  4. Merchandise your success to gather a pace for the project and engage more people within the organisation.
  5. Focus on consistent delivery over time and once you are happy that all your measures are telling you that you are delivering the basics brilliantly then introduce a series of innovations that will create uniquely differentiated touches to your customer experience.

Doing the hard yards up front will always pay dividends in the long run as every builder will tell you the better the foundations the stronger the house.


Andrew is the CEO and the other founding partner of Brand Vista. With over 30 years of brand experience both on the client and agency side, what gets him up every morning is a passion for helping clients grow through building genuinely differentiated brands that deliver a customer experience that becomes irresistible.
Find out more about Andrew S