80% of leaders say their brands offer a superior customer experience. Only 8% of customers agree. Meanwhile, marketers are tortured by the fact that the number one way people learn about and buy from their brands is the hardest one to control: word-of-mouth. In today’s world of new realities it doesn’t pay for brands to stand by, continuing to trumpet their “creative messaging.” After all, 74% of people advocate for brands by describing their experiences with them.
Brands that break through are brands that take action… brands that are more than nouns. Brands must see themselves as verbs. That’s the premise of my new presentation that I just presented at the CSE Expo in Toronto, Canada. In the presentation, I outline five major principles that we have found at Jack Morton drive the high performing experience brands with which we work and a few examples (some our work, some the work of others) that showcase each principle.
So beyond the five principles and the examples, here are a few key questions to ask that can put you on the path to “Brand As Verb” nirvana:
1. Taking Action: Is your organization spending more time thinking about what to post next, or what it should do that’s actually worth posting about?
2. Turning Negatives Into Opportunities: What’s the worst element of your brand’s customer experience as it currently stands? If it’s impossible to change the core of what makes it negative (like KLM can’t eliminate middle seats), what other type of value could your organization add to overcome the negative?
3. Outside In Thinking: Is your organization’s leader one of the 80% that believe you’re delivering a superior customer experience? Get out of your echo chamber by assembling a customer advisory board or fielding some primary research to give you and your colleagues a dose of reality.
4. Helping Advocates Advocate: Many brands say they want advocates, but what could your brand reasonably expect advocates to talk about? Consider realistic advocacy scripting exercises and what experiences you need to create that truly deserve to be talked about.
5. Conversationally Led Planning: What conversations are already underway that you could be part of in an authentic, ‘on the way’ spirit? Before you let your brand’s product introductions (or lack thereof) drive your marketing or editorial calendar (again), consider letting consumers drive what you do next.
If you had to add a section of “Brand As Verb” standards to your “Brand As Noun” brand guidelines, what would they be? What do you want consumers to know, think, feel and do as a result of an experience with your brand?