Are you in control of your brand?
Many business owners, particularly those of businesses that have been established for a decade or more, believe that they control their company’s brand. This has never really been the case and in the last 5 years, with the explosion of social media, this is certainly not the case.
Customers control brands. They are more in control of their own journey with your business than ever before.
Say hello to your new Chief Executive Customer
The idea of a CUC (Chief Executive Customer) is a powerful one. It turns the hierarchical thinking of the CEO at the top of the organisation to the customer at the top of the organisation.
In today’s world the brand is no longer controlled by the company. The brand is controlled by every human being on the planet who has an experience and exposure to that brand.
Paul Papas, Global Leader of Smarter Commerce at IBM
Social media is like an x-ray machine running continuously on your company. It gives customers the ability to see inside your company and see if they agree with your practises. The great news is that if they agree with those then they are going to have loyalty with your company. They’re going to be stronger advocates and using social media they are going to take that advocacy online to their friends, families, and anyone else in their social sphere.
The x-ray is not just on the products you sell, that’s one aspect, but how you sell them. The employees that you choose to sell them, how you treat our employees, and what your values are. Customers know just as much about you as you do about them.
We sucked before we just didn’t know it
Not everything you do whether it’s launching a new product, changing a service, adding a tool, or running an advert will be a success. It is vital for the sustainability of your company to encourage, respond to, and act upon reviews from your customers.
This can be a daunting task for many business owners. What if the customer hates our new product? What if they don’t like our new video advert?
The answer is simple – “You sucked before, you just didn’t know it.”
Burying your head in the sand will lead to a slow, cancerous growth building on your company. Sales will decline, churn will increase, and your future will be bleak.
You need to pull your socks up. Deal with it. Fix the problem.
And it won’t all be bad. We launched a Review Site at the start of the year as part of an on-going project to obtain real customer’s opinions and feedback. It has been brilliant to discover that many customers are really happy with our hard work spent of improving customer support, quality of products, reliability and so on.
Of course there has been plenty of negative feedback (that’s the great thing about customer reviews, it tends to be like marmite, either 5 stars or 1). This feedback is so important to us. Without it we cannot grow as a business.
Try the kayak
We have a kind of row-boat mentality. We’re rowing hard but we’re looking at the past.
Sir Howard Stringer, CEO of Sony Corporation
Social media is often described as word-of-mouth on steroids. It has created an opportunities for businesses to get out of the row-boat and into the kayak. It’s time to look at the future, listen to the conversations about your brand. You have a responsibility to fulfil the promises you make to your customers. You have to have consistency in your brand, what you say and sell. You have to be authentic in everything you do because if you aren’t then people will tell their social network and will go with the brand that is authentic.
When you accept that the control of your brand is no longer yours it will open your eyes to the fantastic opportunities to grow your brand faster and more effectively than ever before.
Thanks for reading.
If you’re a Fasthosts Customer and would like to review us or are interested in our services and want to know what our existing users think then check out our Fasthosts Review Site.