Deliver on Your Company's Promise and Create Customers for Life
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Author: Scott Deming
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Category: Business & Economics
PRAISE FOR THE BRAND WHO CRIED "WOLF" "Powerful brands command. Read this insightful book and allowScott to share how to make your brand stand out and deliver youbuckets of money!" —Mark Victor Hansen, bestselling author of the ChickenSoup for the Soul(r) series "Deming's approach to branding is not about gimmicks. It's aboutrelationships-the real formula for building and sustaining yourbrand and your business." —Rieva Lesonsky, Editorial Director, Entrepreneurmagazine "It doesn't matter what you sell. We're all selling service.Deming's book shows businesses of all sizes how to createincredible brand power through innovative service levels. TheBrand Who Cried Wolf will not end up on your book shelf; itwill stay in your briefcase or on your desk as a daily referenceguide. If you want to grow your business, get this book!" —John Valletta, President, Super 8 Motels "Deming's revelations on creating an emotionally engagingexperience between you and your customer are without equal!" —Joel Bauer, bestselling coauthor of How to PersuadePeople Who Don't Want to Be Persuaded "The Brand Who Cried Wolf explains how every customerinteraction, large or small, impacts your brand's image andreputation. This is an easy-to-read book— veryone inyour organization needs to own." —Patrick Sweeney, coauthor of the New York Timesbestseller Succeed on Your Own Terms; cohost of thenationally syndicated radio show Winning in Business "Deming delivers an essential message to businesses and deliversin a way you won't forget. You know the fairy tales, just adapt itto your unique brand: you!" —Wayne Kandas, CFP and host of nationally syndicatedBloomberg Radio "Stories sell, and that's what helps sell the ideas in thisbrilliant book. If you're in business-any business-you need thisbook. Get it now!" —Robert G. Allen, bestselling coauthor of Cracking theMillionaire Code; CEO of The Enlightened MillionaireInstitute Chapter 8: Just Call Me Slick! People Really Hate to be "Sold" What We’ve Accomplished So Far By now you know that branding is not exclusively about businessidentity in the form of a logo or advertising. You mightrecognize the Nike brand from its iconic swoosh logo. Youmight immediately think of McDonald’s when you think of fastfood because McDonald’s commercials are ubiquitous, but bythis point, you know that icons and awareness do not constitute abrand. You also know that big businesses are not the only brands. Your business does not have to be the size of GM, Microsoft, AOLTime Warner or Wal-Mart. Your business could be run out ofyour home with you as the sole employee. You could conductbusiness from a small office with a single assistant, or in a storewith several employees. The size, scope, and location of yourbusiness does not change the fact that it’s a brand, norshould any of these factors truly impact your brand if you’refocusing on one-on-one relationships. Businesses are not the only brands, either. Everyindividual is a brand, as are organizations from non-profits topolitical parties to social clubs. For example, the GatesFoundation, the Red Cross, UNICEF, Make-A-Wish Foundation, BoyScouts, Girl Scouts, Kiwanis Clubs, Rotary Clubs, Republican Party,and Democratic Party — all are brands. The concept ofbranding I’ve been articulating is personal, which meanseveryone needs to develop one. Each category — from individuals to organizations tobusinesses large and small — brings with it its own branddevelopment challenges. At the same time, however, thesechallenges are minimized when you understand your brandidentity. Throughout this book, I have written about creatingunique and memorable experiences for your customers. Chapter2 defined a brand in terms of establishing relationships with yourcustomers. Chapter 3 distinguished between types ofexperiences you can generate for your customers, and differentiateda brand experience from ones that are merely transactional orsimply meet customer expectations. Chapter 4 highlighted theimportance of changing your perspective to adopt yourcustomer’s point of view, rather than emphasize your productor service. Chapter 5 analyzed the results of changing yourperspective. Chapter 6 admonished you to avoid overstatingyour own worth. Finally, Chapter 7 focused on the rippleeffects of your actions. Thus, most of the facets of brandingI’ve been articulating since the beginning of this book haveemphasized how you affect the customer’s perceptions. In other words, I’ve been talking about the customer’sconnection to your brand. Now I’m going to talk abouthow you perceive your own brand, and about yourconnection to your own brand. Creating An Authentic Brand Identity: Sincerity Can’tBe Faked! First, you must take stock of your brand identity. In theIntroduction to this book I stated that everyone is abrand. Everyone has a brand identity, but not everyoneunderstands their own brand correctly, or even knows what itis. You cannot develop an authentic, sincere brand withoutthis understanding. And you cannot create brand evangelists— people who trust you and praise your brand every chancethey get — without an authentic, sincere brand. Youearn someone’s trust through your actions, soyou’d better know how to act! Understanding your brand identity, and developing the trust thatturns your customers into evangelists, involves knowing what yourown beliefs and values are. The fact is, when you walk inyour customer’s shoes, when you change your perspective todeliver the impossible, you’re reflecting a core element ofyour identity, your values, and your beliefs. When you aresincere about trying to understand your customers’ needs,desires, and what they’d truly love from you, a genuineconnection is made that is the foundation of trust between you andyour customers. Compassion and sincerity can’t be faked. Branding isnot a matter of putting on a persona that others will like. It’s not playing a role, putting on a mask, or pretending— all that is superficial, a veneer that covers up the“real” you. Moreover, a veneer can be quicklyspotted. I don’t think there’s anyone thathasn’t had the experience of being “sold.” It’s uncomfortable precisely because it’s notauthentic. The experience simply feels hollow. Thinkabout the slick car salesman who’s “going to do what ittakes to get you into this car!” Maybe he’s heavyon the ‘hale fellow well met,’ demeanor, or drenchesyou with flattery. When the time comes to make an offer onthe car, he engages in an overly dramatic show of anxiety. “I’m gonna see my manager right now and see if I cantalk him into this one. Between you and me, he’s havinga bad day, but I’m really gonna work on him.” Eventually, the long, drawn out ceremonial dance ends with yousigning the lease or sale papers, but you walk away knowing thewhole experience could have been different, and you dread theprospect of going through it again. Why do you dread it? What has soured you on going throughthe process again? In a word: insincerity. Insincerityis the wolf trotting around in sheep’s clothing pretending tobe something he’s not. When you experience a wolf insheep’s clothing, you’re soured on futureinteractions. It is this sort of insincerity that destroys abrand or prevents an authentic one from being established. The car salesman example is cliché, just like the salesgirl at the clothing store who tells you every single piece ofclothing you try on looks so good! Thoughthey’re cliché for a reason, we tend to forget just whatthat reason is. We instantly recognize the cliché, butnot what made it true in the first place.