By Martha Bartlett Piland, MB Piland Advertising + Marketing People pay for your brand with their hard-earned money. They also pay with things they hold even dearer: their affection, their advocacy and their time. Are they getting what they pay for?
The more expensive your brand, the more you must do to ensure they're in love long after they commit.
employees: are you giving them what they're paying you for? Last week at an event, I overheard a young man say “I don’t get paid very much, but I love my job sooo much.” Then he went on to tell his friend about the work he does and why it’s meaningful to him. This employee is obviously passionate and fiercely devoted. I have new admiration for the company where he works.
He’s paying for that brand with his money (greater earning potential elsewhere), his affection, advocacy and time. His employer is doing an excellent job of providing value to him. In return, he's an ambassador who's building the brand with that Holy Grail of marketing: word of mouth.
They’re building that brand from the inside out.See this Facebook post from someone who loves her job. And notice the engagement with others, too.
board of directors: is it time to turn the tables on them? Whether you’re a nonprofit or for-profit, it’s likely that you have a board to help guide and support your organization. Their perception of value for their investment is critically important because it has so much influence on your ability to raise capital, raise fans and grow.
One organization we know makes sure it’s regularly asking its board members what it can do for them. That's really turning the tables. They facilitate business introductions and help raise the profiles of board members beyond the inner circle where they’re typically meeting.
Another company gives its board members plenty of sample products and pays them very quickly.
These are all ways to be sure the compensation for investment in the brand goes much further than an honorarium.
customers: stave off buyer's remorse Most customers will experience some sort of satisfaction or delight at the time of purchase. Maybe it’s a problem solved or an emotional need met. They're happy. Glowing.This shipping box is printed on the inside with beautfiul graphics and a fun message. It was an expensive purchase for a child, but her mother is equally happy!
To sustain that happiness, it’s just as important to follow through with an overall branded experience. Don’t allow time for buyer’s remorse to creep in. Make sure the purchase decision is reinforced in multiple ways. Some of the best we’ve noticed lately:
- the package that arrives in the mail with fantastic branded messaging on the inside
- a lovely “doggy bag” a restaurant gives at the end of the gourmet meal (shaped as a swan!)
- the thank you note that comes in the mail a few days after the purchase
- the phone call check in to see how the customer is faring with the new system
- a newsletter with helpful tips and tricks on using the software to its fullest
No matter what your business, your brand should be reinforcing the "purchase" to all its audiences, through multiple touches. That's the way to build loyalty and the profit that quickly follows.