As marketers, we sometimes get over-focused on the message because that is usually our primary area of responsibility. But branding requires the participation of the entire organization to create andfortify the brand.
Forgetting critical areas such as positioning, mission, competitive environment, product differentiation and core values, let us focus for a moment on the implementation of the chosen brand.
The first visual I created below shows how marketers tend to view branding. The second shows what carries the most weight when customers develop attitudes and loyalties to brands. Notice that the first positions the paid messaging from advertisers while the second ones shows customer service and the actual brand experience as the primary customer focus.
One good example is Zappos.com. They did not create the brand through what they said publicly, but how they treated each customer individually.
Today's customer demands more than beautiful imagery and clever words. They demand performance where the action is. Handling the orders, shipping, supporting warranties and going above and beyond what is expected all while practicing customer respect builds today's brands.
Perhaps you have some examples of this concept in action. Please share it with us.