Don’t sell ‘good’ until you can deliver ‘great’ is the belief of Andy Newman, Experience Director at Gravity 9.
“It’s a bottom up process; get the foundations right, develop a quality product or service that solves your customers problem and build from there; this should be any organisations primary consideration.”
While organisations may focus on telling their customers how good they are, in doing this they lose the focus on what’s actually important - delivering real value to the customer through solutions that work for them.
While Bill Gates once said, ‘Content is King’, perhaps the old adage should be changed to ‘Customer is King’. Customers care about the quality of your service; how easy it is to use and how good you are to work with; much more than your brand.
All too often organisations invest heavily in in developing a brand and image when their focus should initially be focused on refining the 360˚customer experience.
“Ensuring the customer experience meets the needs of stakeholders will enable you to retain and grow your customer base, all whilst achieving an industry leading position on the merit of your product or service delivery.”
Once the customer experience is established and proven, the definition and refinement of the brand should be a natural evolution - the result of what you have created and honed.
Many large-scale organisations have comprehensive product or service offerings, but still haven’t refined the basics. However, this challenge for many organisations, may also bring with it opportunity! The opportunity to review, re-work, refine and evolve the business in response to both changing client demands and technological advancements.
“The organisations able to step back from the mantra ‘but we’ve always done it this way’ and assess whether their service fulfils its brand promise, will realise that it isn’t the business strategy or vision that hinders growth, but their lack of response to stakeholder needs and wants”
In today’s world we are all working through a period of immense change. The business leaders able to re-evaluate existing processes and outline what their basic service principles are, and what they should look like in practice, are those more likely to emerge stronger once this ‘unprecedented period’ draws to a close.
What sounds like a more viable investment: Branding or Customer Experience? On many occasions large organisations opt for the former, believing that the right branding will attract an increasing customer base, which it may do; but only in the short term. A great brand alone cannot retain business and reputation without the customer experience and service to back it up.
Investing in experience design and digital services create stakeholder led, smart businesses. This initial investment cements their value proposition and creates operational processes that will support and drive scalable growth for the long-term.
The investment in the brand is the final part of the story and should express what is most useful and meaningful to the consumer. The brand should be led by the value your business offering provides the customer; your business mission and principles. Ultimately, a brand should be an expression of ‘we are what we do’. A simple message, stunningly delivered and validated by great service. However, without initial investment in experience design and digital services first, this simply isn’t possible.
So, the lesson is simple. Do the ‘brilliant basics’ first, before moving on to more complex offerings. If you solve the immediate needs of your customers both easily and well, they will invest in you as a business for the long-term.