“Executives often fail to recognize that delivering high quality is not enough to gain a marketplace advantage; there must be a perception among customers that high quality exists.

David Aaker, professor of marketing at Berkeley

I ran across this quote from Aaker in an article on Reputation Management by Gary North. North was specifically talking about how Maytag went down the drain in a matter of months by squandering brand loyalty with shoddy products. But Aaker’s point is timeless — Don’t hide your light under a bushel basket.

How many great organizations do phenomenal work and always go the extra mile for their customers — but nobody knows? They forgot to tell their story in a compelling way to the marketplace.

If your company fits this category, here’s what you need to know.

The marketplace must “perceive” value. That’s why I trademarked the phrase: “Perception Is the Reality we manage™.”   Before a perception can even be formed, however, you’ve got to be on your target market’s radar.

There is still tremendous client loyalty for great brands. In today’s hurried, over-produced world, however, they won’t tell your story unless you make it easy for them to do so.

The best way to do this is a little “prepackaging” of your message.

It starts internally. Do you know your unique selling proposition? Are your executive team members, board, employees and shareholders clear on your organization’s key strengths, messaging and go-to-market strategy?

In a survey of corporate employees, 95% said they did not know or understand the strategy for their organization. Shocking? Maybe. What this tells me, is we have work to do.

Employees are your chief brand ambassadors. If they aren’t clear on your message — you can’t expect anyone else to be either.

Let’s also take a look at your client or customer base. Do you regularly communicate with them in an engaging manner? Not to SELL anything — but to connect? Have you shared an insight or article with them? Have you reached out to them and shared your organization’s latest successes and tied those successes to a discreet customer benefit?

Marketplace advantage is achieved not only by maintaining high-quality products and services, but also by shaping perception in the marketplace.

Traditional advertising has a place in building awareness, but that’s shrinking dramatically. Brand ambassadors and some genuine fact-based earned buzz, will build your base and help expand your reach to new customers who are ready for a test-drive.

To read the full article on how Maytag, Dell, Schlitz and other organizations suffered from slips in quality and reputation go to: http://www.lewrockwell.com/north/north579.html

 

Leave a Reply

*

This blog is kept spam free by WP-SpamFree.