Aha Moment Monday
My friend, Kathy, sent me a note asking if there was such a thing as “behavioural branding” saying, “I think about this every time an employee cuts in front of me when I’m walking through a store.” She continued, “Today, at the lumber yard, a new employee was whining about how her coworkers were treating her (expecting her to learn her job) instead of thanking me for being a customer as I left.”
I’ll bet that together we all could write quite a book about our experiences as customers! Experiences that surprised us when the actions of the employees at the business (or store, or service provider, or hotel … ) didn’t align with the brand promise.
Yes, Kathy, Behavioural Branding is a real thing.
IGI Global defines it like this: “Behavioural branding is a customer-centric strategy (that) aims to align a company’s external brand promise with all employees’ activities to ensure that everything that employees do is brand building, both directly and indirectly.” I think Behavioural Branding is a sub-definition for “integrity” which is synonymous with “whole”, “undivided”, and “consistent”.
Since people are the ones who convey the brand message – regardless of their hierarchical level or job description – is it fair to assume that the client relationship is dependent on word-action alignment?
Do the words of the brand promise hold water if the actions aren’t in harmony?
Aha – Don’t tell me, show me
The thing about being a sensory being is that you are being influenced by messages through all of your senses simultaneously and continuously. You may see or hear the words yet but you always “experience” the message.
If someone’s body language, tone, eye contact, energy or actions don’t align with their words, you will know. Sometimes the actions are blatant – like a service person on their phone, not looking up, when you’re standing in front of them waiting to be acknowledged – and others may be more subtle. (I once patronized a hairdresser who would talk about clients to other clients after the initial ones left the salon. The time I was in ear-shot of this conversation was the last time.)
You have to live a brand promise; in fact, everyone in the organization has to live it. Make the connection between words and actions in training; one in which ties the words that describe the brand, together with the actions that bring those words to life.
Oh, and even if you’re a company of one, the same rules apply.
The accountant may say, “Cash is king”, the internet marketer, “Content is king” and when it comes to branding, “Consistency is king”.
Consider yourself crowned.
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