As we all see the fiasco at Tesco unfold and revelation after revelation shows us that much of the issues are driven by behaviours that amaze, but sadly do not surprise, us.
Brand building has been often frowned upon by the financial people in many companies as being a rather fluffy qualitative aspect of doing business. Here is a classic example of how the financial people are responsible for the destruction of all the “fluffy stuff”, they have created a £250m budget to destroy the Tesco brand.
However what we also know is that no brand is built or destroyed overnight, as pointed out by Terry Smith in the Financial Times this month. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/8f866d16-3280-11e4-93c6-00144feabdc0.html#axzz3EKhPiJY7
His analysis illustrates that this underlying behaviour has been going on of years and is only now unravelling in front of our very eyes.
My point is that building brand driven customer experiences are not just about the front of house saying hello and smiling, it is a whole business thing. The brand is a tool that can align every part of the business helping people see why they are doing things not just how to do it. It can help people understand the value of values, clearly in short supply in the Tesco finance and procurement departments.
Brands that deliver ‘irresistible’ customer experiences know that in order to stimulate customers to give them their valuable time and money it must be a total experience not just one off events. It is as much to do with the processes and all the people of the business as it is communications. We expect our companies to know their place in society and why they should exist and we do not like the fatal flaw of hubris. Brands that display an element of humbleness and deep understanding of their role in our lives grow, thrive and survive. Those that get too, as my great aunt used to say, “peas above sticks” come tumbling down at the first sign of a storm.
We are all brand builders and it is business critical that everyone in our organisations not only understands this but know what to do about delivering it.
After all we only exist when we create a customer experience that our customers want to repeat for themselves and recommend to others, unless that is we believe we are above all that “fluffy stuff”