Be honest… does your customers’ experience of your brand truly align with your brand promise? Do your marketing messages reflect the service that your customers or stakeholders can expect?
If you think you have a disconnect then you’re definitely losing out on brand reputation and ultimately sales! This article looks into some of the common problems around brand misalignment and how you can overcome these to create brand power and brand growth.
Challenges around brand promise vs. brand experience
From my experience here are the main problems which I’ve seen in relation to misalignment around the brand you communicate and the brand that customers actually experience.
• You have developed a brand identity which might look fabulous, but it doesn’t actually reflect your true service and organisation
• You don’t communicate what your brand stands for and your brand promise to your employees and therefore they don’t have clear guidance on their role according to your brand ethos
• You haven’t mapped out your customers’ brand experience and journey and noted how you can maximise their experience every step of the way to mirror your brand promise
These in my opinion are the biggest issues and here’s how you can overcome each one!
Authentic brand development
The biggest risk here is that your brand development partner doesn’t understand your organisation and true ethos. When there’s a lack of understanding the visual identity and brand messages become disjointed from the actual experience that customers receive.
When developing a new brand or refreshing an existing brand it’s really important to be genuine when looking at what you truly stand for and what truly differentiates you. It’s good to have one foot in the here and now and one foot in the future, but to remember to be realistic.
Living your brand
You might have invested the time to generate your authentic brand, but if employees and stakeholders aren’t bought in or know what your brand ethos and values are then there’s a disconnect. So often we see brand strategy implemented, a value proposition and brand guidelines developed but employees can’t recall what the brand stands for or worse they don’t believe in the brand. When people don’t believe in what’s being communicated externally to clients then there is no way that they will embody the brand in the work they do.
We encourage our clients to get employees and stakeholders on-board in the brand development phase. We run brand workshops and interview employees across roles from sales to the shop floor to really gain a deep understanding of an organisation and what differentiates and motivates employees. We pull all of this together along with customer empathy mapping and customer and competitor research so that a brand value proposition, messaging and visual identity are a true representation of that organisation. We then roll this out internally through brand books, wall artwork, giveaways, templates and more, so that everyone lives the brand.
Brand experience mapping
If a brand stops at the marketing department then there’s no way that client’s and stakeholders will experience your brand cohesively. We find the best way to achieve brand cohesion is to map out the customers’ experience of your brand every step of the way. What do they expect at every point in their journey, what have you promised them and how can you make sure you fulfil this promise?
We map out the journey across every department, not just considering the direct contact points but all of the key steps that have a knock-on effect on these contact points. We then run workshops with our client teams to look at what they can do to maximise the customer’s journey and represent the brand in every activity.
Talk the same language
I hope that this article has provided some useful pointers around aligning brand promise and brand experience. If you’re interested in how branding can guide your organisation forward, engage stakeholders and help grow your business then take a look at our unique RiSE brand model – which we’ve developed exactly for this purpose! Click here for more information or email firstname.lastname@example.org