The Marketing Book Podcast Episode 174 – Jeanne Bliss
As we’ve discussed many times on this blog, AM Strategies believes in the attraction of authenticity — and the art of being authentic is the greatest way for a company to stand out in the right way. Given the competitive landscape every company is challenged with, the pressure is on to set oneself apart from the rest.
In our weekly Podcast Palooza meeting, the AMS team discussed Jeanne Bliss’s new book “Would You Do That to Your Mother?” In Episode 174 of The Marketing Book Podcast, Bliss details her “Goodness Driven Growth” philosophy. According to Bliss, small acts of goodness can achieve growth on and off the books, improving profit margins, customer loyalty, and shareholder value.
While goodness isn’t necessarily the focal point of every business looking to be lucrative in the immediate future, customer experience and satisfaction is an investment sure to pay off with the highest ROI.
Let’s look at a couple examples.
Virgin Hotels were among the first hotel chains to offer street prices on minibars, free WiFi, and free room service. They took the bet that return customers and referrals would be worth more than a $10 candy bar, and it paid off.
Virgin Hotels Chicago was named the “#1 Hotel in the United States” in 2016, and the “#1 Hotel in Chicago” in 2016 and 2017 by the Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards. Virgin is opening more hotels worldwide every year.
Or how about a local company doing good? Mossy Auto Exchange in San Diego has a really cool “LOCAL LOVE” Charity Wall. With every car sold, the customer gets to “dunk in a basket” to donate to one of three local charity organizations: The Humane Society, The Surf Rider Foundation or Community Alliance for Healthy Minds. It’s a little feel-good for everyone involved to give back to the community.
How do you provide a great customer experience?
Customer relationships are everything, as we discussed in Episode 26 of the Show Runner Podcast with Amanda Hoffman. According to a study done by Seigal+Gale, the branding company behind AllState, CVS, The YMCA, and many other powerhouse companies in America, the best way to achieve great customer relationships is through simplicity.
Seigel+Gale claims simplicity builds loyalty, and 61% of consumers are more likely to recommend a brand because it’s simple. Even more staggering, they estimate that brands who don’t provide simple customer experiences are leaving a “share of $86 billion on the table.”
Think about that when you go into the Apple Store. It’s usually full of people, but when you sift through the crowd you see the simple layouts and clean displays of the line of products.
We know Apple makes some wildly complex internal operating systems, but you’d never know it seeing a sleek white counter with three shiny metal iPhones sitting on it. The Genius Bar answers questions, the tech experts help you choose the right products, and the whole thing is very straightforward.
Also think about the Dollar Shave Club (DSC). Seigal+Gale calls that company one of the biggest game-changers on the market right now because DSC focuses on customer experience above all else. Their products are made from simple materials, priced low, and delivered to the customer’s door on a regular basis. Simple.
It’s all about making sure the customer doesn’t have to think too hard about the transaction they wish to conduct.
Business is a partnership, and everyone loves the partner that works hard and lets them slack off a little bit. Marketing is no longer the #1 branding tool – HR is.
Someone can always come along and offer better prices or more elite products – that’s out of your control. But you can control how people feel when they work with you, and you can make that experience priceless.
Or as Bliss puts it, “Determine the memory you want to leave the customer with,” and then make it happen. This captures something that is virtually priceless – loyalty. It builds a bond with customers that allows you to not have to focus on dropping your prices or cheap gimmicks.
It allows you to offer a value proposition that includes more than price – it includes an understanding of the customer’s emotional needs too.
Apple customers are happy to pay a premium price – because they get a premium experience: from the customer service, to the store atmosphere, the return policy and the genius bar to help with anything — Apple offers the complete experience!
Where does AMS come in?
At Advanced Marketing Strategies, we know the front line is just as important as official marketing. They need to work together for successful branding.
While advertising and marketing might get your customers in the front door and build your brand, the front line of the personal interactions and customer experience is just as important in creating customer loyalty.
Understanding the value of a customer is crucial. Do you have a problem with customer service? Maybe your in-store experience could connect more with your customers?
AMS can help make sure your front line maximizes the opportunity of creating a healthy relationship with customers.
How do we do this? Give us a buzz and let’s chat! We’ve got ideas that include employee social media groups, employee word tracks, point of purchase advertising, non-profit partnerships, and much more.