Why do customers love your brand? Why do they associate themselves with your brand? What have you done lately to reinforce this brand loyalty – and, what have you done to diminish your brand, or do you even know? So often corporations are in such a hurry to save costs, to increase profits that they forget about the customer – those things which drove customers to their brands in the first place – take those things away and the once brand-loyal customer migrates to the competition.
Whereas, once a person has personal buy-in to a brand, they are unlikely to switch, however if the customer feels abandoned or you don’t care about them, you’ve lost your greatest asset and the strength of your brand. One of the easiest ways to cause distrust between customers and companies is to be unfair with return policies, prices, promotions, discounts, loyalty-programs in order to push up the bottom line.
Not long ago I read a survey article from one of the elite Brand Associations, it indicated that of all the fast food restaurants (QSRs – Quick Service Restaurants) the most famous of all, was reported to have the poorest service, most complaints, and most dissatisfaction, worse, it’s now two years running. Ray Kroc would not have been very proud of that. Okay so, let’s talk.
As a Brand Loving Consumer (BLC) myself, I like other BLCs wear a certain brand of sports shoes and clothing, eat specific branded foods and go to the premier Branded coffee shop. I’ve noted something about this particular branded coffee shop with 10s of thousands of outlets everywhere and a very notable green logo – that the coffee and blended coffee drinks just don’t taste the same anymore.
If your customers don’t feel you are good to the employees or the employees complain about your brand to the customers – you are in for a hard landing. Let’s take the minimum wage debate. If employees complain about their pay, hours, shifts, health care benefits or the company in anyway, then the customer will believe them over any corporate communications you deliver via social media or email campaigns.
You may not know this but due to the ‘fight for $15/hour minimum wage’ we are seeing the rapid deployment of kiosks at QSRs. Doubt this? Well then, please watch the YouTube video titled: “Building a better Mac Donalds, Just for You,” on the Micky D’s YouTube channel.
Your employees must have brand loyalty otherwise your brand strength will stop building and fall back, and there is a long way down to go. Don’t take my words lightly, think on this.