“Congratulations! You’ve made it!” That could be the single worst combination of words for a business. Why, you ask? Because it sets complacency at the top of the priority list. The since-we’ve-made-it mentality focuses the mind on staying there. By doing that, it basically ensures that quality and innovation will slip.
While trying to stay in the made-it zone, what is also happening is a slow migration from the brand. This makes sense, because if one’s thinking is that the brand is set and the business is where it needs to be, there’s no need to pay much attention to it. However, by not looking at the brand, it can no longer guide decisions. Decisions made from the brand are critical, because it is what differentiates a business and creates the value for customers.
It creates value because it defines a certain experience. How can you keep an experience great, if you’re trying to maintain the status quo and not reference the source of that greatness? You won’t and that experience will not live up to the brand.
Cause and Effect
With experiences slipping from goal over time, certain things will start to happen. Customers will be less happy because of the aforementioned slip in quality, innovation and experience. A customer will be less inclined to return under these circumstances. This will cause less recurring revenue. If a business has less happy customers and less money flowing in, then a stressful situation is created. That type of environment will also cause employees to be less excited and motivated to come to work. This becomes a cycle of bad things.
Here’s an example of how two companies change over time. Business A has the best in class customer service. This leads to the biggest market share of customers in its industry. Business A declares things are great and decides to maintain the same service for years. Business B is second best in class. However, Business B has a brand that focuses on delivering unexpectedness. This brand trait is followed closely and new innovations in customer service are rolled out on a continual basis. Within a few years, Business A has kept the same level of service, but Business B has been able to catch up and surpass that level due to the adherence to their brand. Customers catch wind of this change and move from Business A to Business B.
Business A now realizes there’s a problem, but has a lot of work to do to recapture best in class service. It is now especially difficult that Business B is out ahead and continues to follow its brand guidance of delivering unexpectedness. Good luck Business A.
It’s not hard to see how important it is to have a brand that keeps you innovating, energized and ultimately serving customer needs. If you’re not where you want to be, don’t worry. You can always counteract brand slippage and move in the right direction.
Need help revitalizing your brand? Take the Brand Analysis Course to amaze your customers, engage your employees and grow your business.