Your brand is your company’s foundation. It is a filter defining
where you can strategically take your business, the customers you choose
to serve, the type of employees you hire, and the type of supplier or
customer relationships you have. It’s how you compete versus your
competition, and it’s ultimately how your business makes more money.
In every industry (especially the building products industry), we
encounter a “sea of sameness," meaning we see companies looking and
sounding the same, acting the same, hiring the same types of people,
offering the same products or services, and making the same decisions
(and usually the same mistakes). Companies represent themselves so
similarly, that you can often cover a company’s logo on their website or
their truck and you can’t tell which company it actually is because
they all look and act the same.
As you develop and fine tune your brand, it is critical to make sure
it’s not just meaningful to you, it must be unique, ownable, and most
important, relevant to your customers. Here are some key areas to think
about as you consider where your brand is headed.
Your Brand is Your Company’s DNA
Your brand is not the name of your company or the logo on your
building or shirts. A brand is much deeper than that. A brand is at the
core of the company’s mission and identity, and thus helps define your
core purpose—the reason you exist as a business entity. Your brand has
an emotional attachment as it’s your promise (day in day out) of what
the customer can expect from you.
Think of brand as human DNA. Every human in the world, all seven
billion of us, share 99.9% of the same DNA. But, it’s the .1% that makes
us act different, look different and think different. Our DNA coupled
with life experiences help us define the path of our lives. Brand DNA
for a company is very similar. Just like with human DNA, each company
must find their unique .1%; what they stand for, what makes them
uniquely different, and what will guide them as they grow their company
or use as a compass to deal with challenges and opportunities they
Customer Expectations are Changing Fast
The speed and momentum of change are happening at a quicker pace in
the last 5 years than they did in the last 50. Customer expectations are
changing at this same speed. And the biggest impact is that your B2B
relationships are transitioning to having the same expectations of B2C.
Why? Well, because we are all consumers during the day as well and
brands like Amazon, Netflix and even your neighborhood pizza joint are
all changing our expectations of value, delivery speed and
personalization of the experience. Think of this: a consumer today can
know exactly where his $5.99 pizza is, or her $29.99 sweater…but we as
an industry struggle with having our customers know where their $6,000
order of building products are, or when they will even deliver.
The momentum is happening, with or without you. The question is how
far behind are you and what plans and resources you will put in place to
get your organization to focus on creating a better CX for your
customers. Many companies today, large and small, are putting CX
strategies and dedicated resources in place to wrap their heads around
how they can deliver a more meaningful CX.
Branding Helps Drive a Better Customer Experience
The expectations of the new customer experience (CX) is changing the
way companies do business. A recent study showed that the most important
thing customers valued (55%) was the experience a brand provides.
Today, the CX a brand provides is more than the product, quality or
price. Getting a quality product from spot A to B is only table stakes,
it’s the entire experience your customer goes through; consideration, to
selection process, to purchase, to post purchase that matters.
That same study showed that 89% of customers will walk away from a
brand after just one bad brand experience. However, it also showed that
86% of customers who experience a great CX expect to pay more for the
product they are purchasing — delivering up to 140% more profit. You are
losing customers without knowing it, and you can leverage more profit
for your business when you purposefully invest in providing a great CX.
And it’s important to realize how CX impacts the whole value chain.
The CX (great or poor) you provide to your customer has direct
implications on the CX they can provide to their customers.
Have you ever taken the time to truly understand and analyze the CX
journey your customers (or theirs) go through with your brand? It’s
worth your time given the impact it can make on your business.
First, understand how your brand is perceived in your market today.
Unfortunately, less than 50% of companies actually conduct any type of
customer surveys to see how their organization is performing. A recent
Bain Consulting study showed that of 10,000 companies surveyed, nearly
80% of them stated their customers would score them as having a great or
extraordinary customer experience with their brand. When the study
surveyed their actual customers, that number was only 8% (yes, no typo
here, less than 10% of their customers stated they had a great
Gauging your performance takes time, but it’s very valuable. It can
be done with any number of customer engagement survey approaches. One of
my top choices is using the Net Promoter Score (NPS) approach, which
basically tells you how many of your customers would recommend your
brand to another customer. But just pick one approach and start to
execute it. The longer you wait, the more you are flying blind, so get
Branding is a powerful business tool that will enable stronger
business success by driving a great customer experience and company
culture, helping you retain top customers and employees.
Ready to execute an effective and impactful brand strategy? Contact us to get started.