Joseph Michelli, Ph.D., is an internationally sought-after speaker, author, and organizational consultant who transfers his knowledge of exceptional business practices in ways that develop joyful and productive workplaces with a focus on the total customer experience. His books include: The Zappos Experience, The Starbucks Experience, Prescription for Excellence and many others. Learn more about Joseph Michelli.
I have participated in a number of corporate board meetings lately where brand positioning, brand logos and brand taglines have been the desired deliverable. Fortunately, there are great brand partners like my friends at RiechesBaird who have amazing acumen for achieving the perfect mix of art and science to set the appropriate foundation for brand excellence. From my vantage point, as a customer-experience designer (who has worked with and written business books about companies like Starbucks, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, the Pike Place Fish Market, and Zappos), a unique value proposition reflected in strong brand positioning serves as a foundation on which extraordinary corporate cultures and customer experiences are built. To that end, let’s consider a few axioms related to brand positioning and customer experience excellence:
1) While branding is essential, brands are only as good as the experiences that fulfill or fail their brand promise.
2) Brand positioning must pass the C.R.U.D. test. Is your brand — in its current or in its future aspirational form — Credible, Relevant, Unique, and Durable (with uniqueness being one of the biggest challenges)?
3) Great taglines inform, connect, evoke, and stick with your people and with your customers.
A few brand messages to consider:
- BMW — the ultimate driving machine (durable tagline — written in the 80′s but still relevant today)
- UPS — switching from “the tightest ship in the shipping industry” to “what can brown do for you” (signaling a strategic move from operational excellence and fulfillment to a more client-solutions based approach)
- Subaru — “confidence in motion” (a keeper from the standpoint of CRUD)
So what are your verbal brand messages? Does your brand promise pass the CRUD test? If not, what steps must you take to elevate delivery of the experience?
Most importantly, do your customers remember, feel, and believe the promise you’ve made to them or is it all just a bunch of CRUD?
Every moment between your brand and customers (from marketing to post-sale) is THE EXPERIENCE. May you have a CRUD brand that does more than deliver quality products on an accurate service platform.
Get more tips on creating the total customer experience by tuning into a recent radio show with Joseph Michelli.
Visit Michelli’s site for more insights from Joseph.