That’s the thing about what’s new or the latest. You think that just by embracing it you’re doing enough to keep up with the market. But sadly, as the half life of social technology shrinks, the need to stand out even within the context of the latest and greatest is increasingly the only way to earn and keep attention on your brand.
That’s why I love this artful use of Pinterest by perennial news-maker, Uniqlo. Somehow they managed to co-opt social media itself to make your participation part of their design aesthetic, rather than the other way round. By doing so they reinforce their compelling brand image as a design thought leader that is unconventional, street-wise, and one step ahead of the latest and greatest social technology.
So before we get transfixed by the unblinking eyes of the latest shiny squirrel, play with it a bit and discover how to say something unique about ourselves. To that end, here’s three questions to ask yourself:
1. How can a social network be re-purposed to communicate your brand purpose, rather than merely serve as a platform as they define it?
2. How can you introduce content or a sensibility that is outside the parameters set by that social network to ensure you stand out?
3. How does your brand claim ownership of a proposition that always puts you ahead of the competition no matter what technology comes along?
Head-scratchers to be sure, but the answers lead to eye-catching solutions for your brand.
Customer service is often the lesser cousin to self-congratulatory brand marketing, and for a long time customers have simply endured this situation as they were effectively powerless to do anything about it. But no more. Increasing customer frustration is being match by growing pressure on brands to service the customers they have says the newly released 2012 American Express® Global Customer Service Barometer.
Not surprisingly, social media is instrumental in this shift. Consumers are using social media are wielding growing influence, telling more people about their service experiences, good and bad.
Here are some of the key facts from the report that dramatize how customer service can make or break tour brand as a function of what it inspire customers to say about you across their social media channels:
As damning as this seems, it also represents a clear description of areas in which your brand can exceed its competitors using social media. In return, customers will use their own channels to champion their positive experiences.
The net takeaway of the Report is that social media is polarizing the impact of customer service in your business. The better your service, the greater the benefits. The worse it is, the more it’s shared. So while it seems self-evident to say that a company should be committed to genuinely serve its customers (especially since it’s far cheaper to keep a customer than win a new one or convert a critic), social media is reminding us that this is a must if you want to succeed in the social business marketplace.
You can download the full report here.
It’s rare to find a book that is equal parts inspiring and practical. Good Works! by Phillip Kotler, David Hessekiel, and Nancy Lee is that rare read that shows you just how much is possible as an individual and a corporation, and what real value that can add to your business and our world.
It’s no surprise that We First believes that brand purpose is now a core business imperative, but Good Works! makes the business case for these initiates based on dozens of case studies that include GE, J&J, AT&T, Macy’s, P&G, Fedex, Coca-Cola and beyond. In doing so they clearly illustrate how business can do good in alignment with its company’s core values, so that such efforts reinforce the brand narrative while also doing good.
Not surprising, any brand contemplating such a move wants to know the benefit to them, and that where the book is so useful. The authors clearly demonstrate how good works inspire customer engagement that builds reputation, spire loyalty and drives sales, whether those good works involve employee volunteering or consumer donations. It also does this with a healthy blend of optimism and advice for the cynics, explaining why certain initiates fail and others succeed as a function of your motives.
What I like most is how the authors tease out the various ways that business can do good, from maing a contribution, to donating employee time, to getting their own house in order to temper the negative externalities of their own business practices.
Good Works! is a must read for corporate officers (whether innovation, HR or leadership officers) seeking to ensure brand relevance, reputation and sales. This is real world intelligence that can empower a brand to embrace its best self and in so doing, inspire its employees and customers to grow its business by building a better world.
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It is fitting that perhaps the most distilled articulation of the key to successful customer service should come from Mahatma Gandhi himself, as an extension of the life of service (in a larger sense) that he led. There is little …Read more
Last week I had the pleasure of listening to a joint session between Coca-Cola and WWF at the Cause Marketing Forum in Chicago. As anyone who noticed the white Arctic Home Coca-Cola cans will tell you, the campaign to protect and restore polar bear habitat was …Read more
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We First training and consulting helps the world’s most innovative brands tell the story of the good work they do in ways that build their reputation, employee productivity, sales and social impact.