The ultimate purpose of advertising is to generate word of mouth; regardless of brand heritage. All brands of all kind need advertising; simply because consumer habits constantly change. To put that simply, brands have to go beyond advertising; they need to define their purpose and listen to customer feedback. Some brands spend a lot of money on research to learn how their brand is perceived by their customers; but they spend very little time on listening to their employees (who are constantly in contact with customers and prospects).
One of heavily relied techniques to learn about customers' perception of brands is Net Promoter Score (NPS). To be frank, the model lacks depth. However, it gives an indication as where a brand stands in eyes of customers; although this is not comprehensive. The outcome, known as NPS score, must be taken with a pinch of salt. In the age of social media and mobile technology, brands need to be more active listeners and proactive action takers; if they want to build brand loyalty. In order to build brand loyalty brands must be relevant to their customers. Brands can only be relevant to their customers if they understand their audience psychology and cognitive behaviour. They have to go beyond scoring loyalty and in fact building relationship to earn loyalty.
It is about the time for brands realise the need for putting people first and profit next, if they want to create loyalty; which is as a result of customer experience. Brands can no longer afford creating customer expectations by giving promises in their marketing and advertising messages. Creating expectations never lead to earning loyalty and credibility but, creating customer experience would. Creating customer experience always begins with creating good corporate culture and empowering employees.
Word of mouth is the ultimate and true brand affinity; and what a brand is actually all about. Advertising and PR don't always show the true picture of brands but, they certainly create awareness and possibly encourage action; but is that action going to be sustainable and generate positive word of mouth?
People are real and they expect real interactions; this is customer experience. Since people live their life in a digital world and air their voice on social media; it is wise for brands to avoid riding trends and buzzword.
People appreciate honesty and transparency; they also like direct and to the point conversations. In this day and age no one has time to waste on explaining and or ask for explanations. So, 'what' is more important than 'how' in most cases. To ensure sustainability, loyalty and advocacy; brands need positive word of mouth. It is worth a mention that word of mouth is based on what people experience and how they feel about what you told them; not how you told them things. Therefore, I'd like to present you with my latest communication model; HD Personality.
HD Personality is built to help businesses and organisations deliver customer expectations; what should lead to customer experience and ultimately customer retention. Brands spend a lot of time on emotional intelligence type of communications and "creative" marketing tactics to acquire customers. But they often struggle to retain customers, due to lack of meeting customer expectations; and in some cases they face crises as a result.
So, almost all the resources allocated to re-branding exercises, crisis management and PR can be saved; if brands practiced honesty and directness in their communications.
By basing brand communications on HD Personality, brands never have to pay fines, because they don't cause misunderstanding and most importantly; people know where they stand and you know what they think of your brand.