Brand Promises: What to Do Now

The one thing we all know as branding professionals is the axiomatic statement: “your brand is your promise.” When you start breaking that promise, you lose brand equity.
That’s been the story for so many brands, from Sears to the Republicans.
So what can you do in these turbulent times?
Step one: don’t lie. To yourself, your employees, and most of all to your customers.
Step two: think 80/20: focus on the 20% percent of actions which give you 80% of your returns. In other words, work on your effectiveness. Don’t try to do too many things at once. But focus on your best customers and more importantly, your best employees. Fire the deadwood – beginning with deadwood customers – the ones that cost a lot to service and are just not worth it.
Step three: observe your customers’ pains. How can you help them? Can you show them something they might not have known? Can you help them bring in additional revenues? Pitch in and they’ll never forget you.
Step four: invest in the future. Sure, things look bleak. But now there are more opportunities in your market and if you look closely at your adjacent markets, you should be able to see the opportunities.
Step five: service counts. The better your employees do in face-to-face encounters, the better you’ll weather the storm. Where can your service delivery be redesigned to make it even better.
Step six: be true to your brand. Don’t just start accepting anything you need to do to survive. Focus on customer value, not price competition.
Step seven: customer driven innovation. It’s now or never time. Get an innovator’s mindset.
Step eight: use the Internet like your life depends on it. Because it does. I don’t care what industry you’re in, the Internet will help you reduce your costs – marketing costs, operational costs, employee costs, and, most importantly, it can help you grow.
Step nine: test your ideas. Now is the time for smart business experiments.
The sky is not falling, despite what the papers say. Yes, you might lose your job, but you can find another one. This isn’t Europe. So get busy!

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