We all have our own opinions about the different brands that we interact with; some we agree with others and some we don’t. What do the following brand say to you? John Lewis, Aldi, Primark, Alfa Romeo, Skoda or BMW?
I'm sure that you will have easily found a few adjectives for each; cheap, quality, nice, professional, fun, approachable, helpful, functional and so on. The adjectives and type of car that we ‘label’ a brand with is borne out of our own experience.
Right or wrong that’s where they come from. So if your company and brand were a car or a shop, what would you decide? Whichever you chose, does your company demonstrate itself to be the same as the car or shop in the eyes of your customers? Does the company look and behave like a BMW, John Lewis or an Aldi or Skoda?
If I was to ask you to tell me what your call or shop your practice of businesses like what would you be saying? When I’ve asked this question of business owners, I’m given every car from the Fiat 500; meaning iconic, nippy, stylish and economical to Rolls-Royce’s; meaning, luxury, expensive, boring and out of my reach.
Once I hear their views I ask if their customers would list the same cars or shops. Umm…..they don’t know….?
The next step is to ask them to ask the next 10 customers who contact them the same question; if we were a shop or a car what we be?
The results are certainly interesting. In general the business owner is more ‘prestigious’ than the customer. Is it because they have rose coloured spectacles on? Maybe, but the important thing is what the customer answers, because what they say, is their reality.
If you believe you are a BMW but your customers think Ford Focus or Honda Civic then you have some work to do. I wonder which your employees would select? Different again I suspect. Perhaps the results are
Remember the customers are expressing their reality, the employees should be too but only you will know if they have answered fairly. Whatever the result there will be a gap – there always is – so now you know that there is a gap between what you want your customers to think about your company and what they actually do you can now put in tactics to change their perceptions.
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