3 Approaches to Developing a Relevant Brand Strategy

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Brand strategy is about the value of  listening

Within the term brand strategy, the word strategy sometimes conjures up military campaigns or sports. It sometimes also sounds like sophisticated theories. And it can be wishful thinking on paper that is not acted upon. And yet, where would most successful companies be without one? In a challenged economy with new competition and customer spending down, it is more important than ever to think and act strategically.

Listening is a key element that can help jumpstart a relevant and sustainable brand strategy. Whether you are a business of one, 50 or 5,000, in working with global companies and local businesses, I have learned that relevancy is the key to staying competitive and the path to staying in business. And, it cannot be achieved without listening, responding, or acting, and evaluating.

Let’s talk about three approaches to good brand strategy starting with listening:

1. Listening for Loyalty:

Do you as the leader of your business listen to your customers on a regular basis?

An old saying goes something like this: A happy customer will tell you they are happy with their wallet; an unhappy customer will tell 10 others. This is true! Just listen to the conversations at the coffee shop in the morning, even chats between complete strangers!

  • How many do you hear complaining about a service or a product?
  • What if they were discussing your company?
  • Would you jump into the conversation and offer to help them or return to the office and tell your customer service leader to fix it?

Putting yourself in the shoes of your customer and offering prompt, sincere assistance can turn an unhappy customer into a loyal customer in seconds. But first, you need to be able to hear complaints regularly, have the stomach for them and develop a consistent approach to building loyalty into your strategy.

2.  Employee Commitment:

Do you listen to your employees and require that they listen to each other?

Employees today have a lot to say and much of it is creative. Find a way for employees to have a meaningful dialogue with you and with each other on a regular basis and really listen. It can help build trust and commitment. Many of their thoughts and suggestions are based on their attempts at sales or service with your clients. They may not know how to solve objections without your help, or they may not solve them in a consistent way.

A regular dialogue with your employees whether face-to-face or electronically will be a win-win for your strategy and for them.

3. Dedicated Time:

Do you consciously spend time each week, month, quarter just listening to what is going on with your clients?

The two previous points on customers and employees require your dedicated time. They cannot simply be relegated to the person in charge of marketing or customer service. If the voice of the customer is important to everyone in the company from the top down, you will see it turn into revenue and repeat business. And that is worth time weekly checkpoints, monthly staff meetings, quarterly reviews whatever it takes is worth the time.

These may seem like simplistic points but in my experience, I have seen global brand strategies succeed through this detailed level of attention and without it, I have seen them fail. I welcome your comments. Please share what has worked or not worked for you.

More on enhancing a relevant and sustainable brand strategy.

Related articles:

5 Keys to Why Customers Buy

Branding: If You Build It, Will They Come?

Looking for a Leader for Your Business? Listen!

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