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  • The digital citizen 9:46 pm on April 22, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: apple, brand, customer service, john lewis   

    2 brilliant brands, 1 great marketing strategy 

    I have always said that the best marketing campaigns cannot make up for poor customer service.

    Great customer service however is any brand’s best ambassador. It will earn the brand respect, trust and profit.

    I have had not 1, but 2 amazing experiences today, firstly at John Lewis and 20 minutes later at Apple.

    I returned my toaster to John Lewis, which I bought about 6 months ago, as it was faulty. Without wasting my time debating the problem, the customer service assistant went in the storeroom and brought me a brand new one.

    He also informed me that the new one is on a year’s guarantee, starting today and encouraged me to email the maker and inform them of the issue.

    10 minutes later I went to my appointment with Apple to check what caused my Macbook to crash and never start again. The assistant checked the serial number and about a minute later told me that Apple were willing to replace my hard disk, for free, as there have been a number of faults with the particular series in the past.

    Having had my Macbook for 3 1/2 years, I was more than prepared to buy a new one, thinking that my current had reached its expiry date, however the assistant encouraged me to keep the one I have, as he found no other problem with it at all.

    So brands, before investing huge budgets on great adverts, social media and any other forms of advertising, make sure that your company’s ethics are high and your stuff trained to the highest standards. The best advertising after all is word of mouth and I have already tweeted , blogged and told all of my friends of my great experience!

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  • The digital citizen 3:24 pm on September 4, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: brand,   

    A brand can’t be younger than a teenager. Before that it was a logo. 

    We are all talking about it. We want to build it, grow it, protect it, make others love it. What is a brand then?

    A brand is a the point where customer satisfaction becomes customer loyalty. Where the promise becomes an experience. The association of the experience with a product and not its alternative: Coca Cola drinkers do not compromise for Virgin Cola.

    For a name to become a brand, it takes time, patience but most of all consistency. Consistency in providing the public with a quality product or service. Consistency in delivering on promises. And as of lately, consistency in the communications strategies, via social media.

    Here is what I mean. We all understand why a good product is key. Furthermore the constant improvement and development of the product means that it remains capable to serve the needs of the society if targets. Innovative and practical products tend to gain the consumers’ trust earlier.

    Delivering on promises is an area that advertisers often fail. Although they recognise their products’ strengths and weaknesses, they choose to promote them advertising qualities that the products do not possess. This is detrimental practive for the brand and even more so now, that consumers admit to check reviews written by consumers, when buying  a product. Social media has also made it extremely easy to give an opinion a viral effect among the public. News, opinions and reviews travel faster than ever before and are deemed to travel even faster in the future, as a fastly increasing amount of people use their mobile phones to access the internet.

    Finally, consistency in communication. As more and more advertisers integrate social media in their campaigns, especially with the launch of a new range of products, how many of these social media campaigns live on and continue to engage in conversations with the members of the public who chose to engage with the brand or brand wannabe pas the campaign period? Not that many. Go on facebook and check it your self by typing in the search box then name of a brand. You will see that the last time the brand posted something on their fanpage was when there was a new product launch or a live campaign. With the end of the campaign, many brands suddently stop interacting with their fans, although, quite often, fans continue to interact with the brand.

    Becoming a brand requires a constant effort from the advertiser, because trust cannot be gained overnight. Understanding the consumer needs requires experience, evaluation and insight that often comes in a dear price.  Delivering a great product or service whilst staying ahead of competitors is harder in the age of dialogue that everything becomes old before the see the daylight.

    A brand can’t be younger than a teenager.It takes time to become a brand, to have a social value, to be part of a daily routine. Be patient, be consistent and one day you may even enter the English Dictionary. And this will be priceless!

     
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