Boost Your Marketing With Brand Action Checklist (Surprise Your Customer)

To capitalise upon your brand’s potential, undertaking some of the following exercises can beneficially help you put these ideas into practise.

  1. Taking one of your organisation’s brands, write down what you believe, in order of importance, are your brand’s functional and emotional values.

Functional Values

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Emotional Values

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2. Do each of the functional values support the emotional values? For example, to talk about a washing detergent that uses an abrasive agent to get clothes clean, then to regard one of its emotional values as caring raises doubt about internal brand consistency. For the same brand, find job advertisements and further particulars used to recruit staff who work on the brand. Do these documents talk, or give a sense about the types of the values staff should have? In view of the benefits of having staff whose values concur with those of the brand, if you are not taking applicants’ values into consideration during the recruitment process, there is an opportunity to consider doing so.

From the job advertisement and any further particulars about the job write down what appear to be the three key functional values and the three key emotional values being sought from the applicants, in order of importance. If you have problems inferring this, talk with other colleagues. Brands… …

Staff’s Functional Values

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Staff’s Emotional Values

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Now compare the values you have elicited about staff and those of the brand.

  • Do the same values emerge?
  • In the same priority?

3. If there is a situation where there are differences between the most important values between staff and the brand, it is indicative of a pressing need for action to ensure greater alignment. Take on the role of a “mystery shopper” and experience the encounters of being a customer. Complete the grid below, starting with the very first encounter (1) then for each subsequent encounter in chronological order until the brand purchase was completed. Brand… …

Encounter

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Title of Employee Interacting With

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Implications about Brand’s Values

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Reflect upon:

  • The extent to which there is congruence between the inferred values across all the encounters;
  • The degree of congruence between the most frequently noted values from these encounters and the brand’s values, as stated in the brand plan. If there are discrepancies it is worth undertaking more of these mystery shopper events using a market research agency to gain a better appreciation of the size of the problem and undertake suitable corrective action.
  • 4. By liaising with colleagues who are responsible for arranging induction and training programmes, evaluate what is being done to help staff understand and behave in a way that support the brand’s values.

Are there:

  • “credit cards” with the brand’s values that are given to all new staff?
  • Short DVDs and brief brochures that clarify the brand’s values?
  • Workshops that present scenarios of interactions with customer which force employees to play out a particular response and these actions are debated to appreciate if the employee response reinforced the brand’s value?
  • 5. Arrange for your team to meet, preferably in a meeting room away from their desks. Take one of your brand’s values and, using a flip chart, write this clearly. Then ask your team, what this value means in terms of their day-to-day behaviour. Write each of the comments on flip charts without any evaluation. Once all the replies have been obtained, choose one of the comments then discuss this, seeking agreement amongst your team about whether this really supports the brand’s value. Use several of the other examples to encourage debate, which should enable the team to appreciate desired brand supporting styles of behaviour. Undertaking this activity on a regular basis with the other values is one way of enabling the team to better support the brand.
  • 6. Convene a workshop with members of the brand’s team to identify the core values of your brand. In the workshop, ask your colleagues to think back over time and to identify serious challenges and crises that the brand faced. Record the challenges/crises with approximate dates on a flip chart. Ask the group, for each of these individual challenges, what brand actions were taken and again record these on the flip chart. For each of the actions consider what values underpinned each action. Thus, after this questioning everyone should see a grid as shown below:

Challenges/Crises (with date)

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Actions Taken

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Values Underpinning the Responses

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Try to group similar categories of values together, then consider:

  • What are the frequently emerging values?
  • Do these values concur with the espoused brand values?

The fact that the organisation has acted in a particular way says more about the importance of the emergent, rather than the espoused brand values. This exercise has elicited the emergent. These emergent values have guided managers’ strategies and by surfacing these values, the team has a better appreciation of their taken for granted views about the brand’s values. Debate should then take place to resolve the issue of what are the real values of the brand.

This Article is taken from Brand Vision to Brand Evaluation

Written by Arshad. A