After I finished reading: First, break all the rules, I did a bit of contemplating on it – on everything I’d read so far.
One sentence in First (almost at the end) caused that contemplating and I’m sure I will have more of those moments when I read more. Sign that I’m learning or just combining? Hence the title of today: Combined Snippets.
The statement in First was the following, going on on what customers expect from a good – great company before they become advocates / ambassadors:
“Brand experience equals or excels brand promise.”
If you can realise that it will bring growth in the number of loyal customers and that will ultimately bring sustained growth.
But IMHO all starts (and/or ends) with having to integrate marketing into every nook and cranny of your business: from Janitor to CEO. Allow me to quote from my own novel “The Kiss Business” on this subject:
- “It’s my strong opinion that marketing should be imbedded in every business decision you make: how does this affect the perception the public has of my company or product ‘slash’ service. Always. From the design of your business card to the procedures on handling complaints; from the type of car ‘slash’ van you drive to the layout of your letterheads; from the way you greet people on the phone or in your showroom ‘slash’ office to the way your employees dress or act when in direct contact with customers and I mean every single employee, from the janitor to the CEO,” explains John further. “You shouldn’t have to create a separate marketing department or division or even hire a consultant for that. The problem is that advisers or consultants like to create their own importance, marketing their skills as an essential and indispensable asset for any business.”
He’s smiling again and chuckling.
“Marketing their marketing skills,” he repeats as if surprised by his own wit.
“Decades ago a marketing department didn’t even exist, all was part of the normal day to day running of the company. Now every self-respecting company does seem to think they have to have at least one employee dedicated to this task, or if they are too small, to outsource it to a specialised marketing company. One thing in favour though, if things do go wrong, you can easily blame the marketing people, can’t you.”
“You want a refill?” I ask him, intuitively knowing that we haven’t heard the last of this.
“Oh, yes please.”
After I return with two full cups John picks right up where he left.
“Only, marketing apparently wasn’t enough for some. PR came into it because, as one lady explained it to me, it focused more on the press than on customers, so there had to be a very clear divide between marketing people focussing on getting the message across to customers and marketing people focusing on the press: presto – new name invented. What diversification always does. And now we have a third division: branding experts. I just don’t get it sometimes. What’s the definition of a brand: a trademark or distinctive name identifying a product or a manufacturer, you agree on that?”
It sounds spot on to me, having read some articles about brand promotion over the years we have been in business.
“Now, can you tell me why branding is any different than marketing?”
“Because it’s more directed to recognising a company or product all over the world?” I try. “Like Nike and Adidas? Or Starbuck or McDonalds?”
“Those companies were known all over the world before the term branding was even invented,” John argues. “In my eyes it’s just a new, other, more interesting sounding description of the same old marketing practise: making sure the public knows about you in the most positive way.”
And I’m still in full agreement with my ‘mentor’ Mr John Adams ;-)
Which brings me to a renewed order of reading the best books to become/help you become a great sustainable business (and I’m sure this is not the last time I will re-shuffle the suggested order in reading):
- Good to great – Jim Collins and Co – Why good isn’t good enough
- First, break all the rules – Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman – how to get and keep the best people on board in the right seats
- The Long Tail – Chris Anderson – Why mass-marketing is passé and the era of niche-markets has arrived
- Permission Marketing – Seth Godin – How to reach your niche-market customers in such a way they want to hear from you
Followed at your leisure by Unleashing the IdeaVirus (Seth Goding), The Tipping Point (Malcolm Gladwell), The Goal (Eliyahu Goldratt) and Kick Start Your Business (Robert Craven).
Happy reading and please let me know your own thoughts.
Related topic: Snippets 2