Two-Way Street

PR, social media, events and incentives – Collaboration & communication ideas for demanding businesses from The Castle Group's Mark O'Toole

Why everything your company does is marketing

Posted by thecastlegroup on October 5, 2009

This Saturday I visited a financial institution and a chain restaurant. Both seemingly simple transactions were fraught with frustration.

While a bank and a restaurant are different businesses, at the retail level, they are essentially the same. They offer customers products, services and the promise of consistency – you should have the same experience at any location, whether you’re in Boston or Chicago.  

As organizations grow, consistency becomes harder to achieve. That’s why training is so important and why, ultimately, execution at the retail level has the ability to make or break your brand promise.

Marketing platforms can be developed in any number of ways. You can identify your key strengths and play to them. You can listen to customer feedback and respond accordingly.

Or you can create an aspirational platform – what do we really want to be? How can we fulfill a customer need? The problem with this approach is that when what you want to be doesn’t align with who you are – and what you can really execute – it’s a false promise, one which is ultimately set up for failure.

In this day and age of transparency – and social media, where consumers can instantaneously weigh in on their experiences – it’s more important than ever to take a grounded look at your business from the bottom up before developing a marketing platform. And the need to continue that examination does not stop.  

Everything needs to work in alignment in order to fulfill the brand promise and deliver the right customer experience. Better to put the time into the effort and training up front – and delay the launch of an expensive ad campaign – rather than risk failure on something that isn’t supported at the store level.

What are your experiences with feeling the brand of the companies that you interact with?


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