How the customer has a vote about your brand.

Until recently, marketing communications consisted of clever headlines, subliminal messaging, persuasion and a “pitch” for the sale.
Social media and the ability to interact online has changed that, giving the consumer the drivers’seat. This has changed how we communicate to suspacts (potential clients we have not met), prospects (suspects who have met us and are cxonsidering our services), and clients…THANK GOODNESS!
The voice of the customer is heard.
Customers are making their voices heard. If they dislike a service, if they love it, if they recommend it, they publicize it. This is driving company branding because the customer now has a voice in your brand. Huh?
“What if someone says something bad about my company, product or service?” A very legitimate question with a very simple answer — listen, learn, and respond.
Awareness of a customer’s dissatisfaction gives you the chance to help them. Studies show that more loyalty is created when a company rights the wrong than when a customer is simply happy. Sounds odd, but in this day of offshore support, long hold times, and lean staffing, a resolved customer issue can be, unfortunately, a pleasant surprise.
So, what does this have to do with a marketing plan?
When you develop your core message and incorporate what is unique to your company, include the customer’s perspective should in that message.

Branding, core messages and the case for Mr. Splashypants.

Let’s look at Grenpeace as an example.
In 2007 Greenpeace was concerned with the Japanese fisheries agency’s intent to kill 50 humpback whales. Greenpeace decided to tag one of the whales and poll site visitors to name the whale. Greenpeace collected 300 names from voters. They were looking for a spiritual name like “Nirvana” or “Karma”. But the name that got the most votes and attention from news sites was ‘Mr. Splashypants”.
Greenpeace eventually adoptd the name and the awareness campaign was a huge success, resulting in sales of mugs, t-shirts and other swag.
The lesson learned here, was that the visitors knew better what was best for the brand than Greenpeace did.
Because they listened and responded, their campaign was a huge success.

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