We’ve covered a lot of ground in the past few weeks. The topic? What makes a remarkable brand.
I’m sure we can all think of some pretty non-remarkable brands. As a consumer, what’s one of the first things that comes to mind when you think of a less-than-impressive experience? Anything stand out?
I can tell you something right off the top of my head. Take a look at the ad below:
Look at the “no” button. “No thanks, I hate free money?” Really? Way to make me feel bad about myself because I’m not excited about your offer. And is that really my fault?
From this ad, I’m left to conclude that this brand doesn’t care about me, my needs, or my life. They want my money. This brings me to the fourth trait of remarkable brands…
Number 4: Empowering
Remarkable brands empower people.
That’s a really hot word right now, I know. So what do I mean by “empower”?
Remarkable brands care more about the people they are serving than they do about making money. They genuinely desire success for every person that touches their brand. Empowering brands don’t squeeze people for every penny they have (employees, vendors, or customers).
Because let’s not forget that brands should be looking to empower a wider net of people than just customers.
A Wider Net
Brands have the opportunity to empower employees, contractors, vendors, industry peers, and their local (or global) communities.
So let’s talk employees for a second. If you’re thinking empowerment comes solely in the form of a bigger salary, you’re wrong. Think about all the jobs you’ve worked. Were there things that made you feel particularly empowered?
Maybe a supervisor really took the time to invest in your training. Maybe someone asked you what your goals in the company were and helped you get there? Maybe you got paid leave because the company was enthusiastic about helping you launch a side project.
You know you’re working for a remarkable brand when stuff like this happens every week, because it’s an embedded, seamless aspect of culture.
When employees are empowered, guess who benefits? Well, everyone. But more specifically, customers.
Remarkable brands are constantly looking to provide more value to their customers – supporting them in finding a victorious end to their problem. Remarkable brands guide their audience. They educate. They provide value at every step of the customer relationship (even beyond the transaction). For instance, every piece of marketing, product, service offering, and support call should be a delightful experience.
And before you ask…yes, entertainment is a part of value (a small part), but the investment has to extend further. Remarkable brands inform and inspire.
And not just with their words. Empowering brands also create platforms to foster empowering communities. This might look like events, online networks, campaigns, or partnerships with like-minded organizations.
It’s An Investment
It seems effortless, sure, but every remarkable brand has put tremendous energy and strategy toward that “effortless” look. Why do they invest so much? Because they care about helping people succeed.
Remarkable brands look to maximize customer value while they maximize profit. Would Southwest make more money if they charged for bags? Maybe. But they chose to put the customer experience first, and they’re not doing too bad for themselves.
In the end, empowered customers are far more likely to be loyal to the brand, coming back again and again (with their friends and family).
“The role of leaders is not to get other people to follow them but to empower others to lead.” — Bill George
Of course, that has a positive effect on profit.
Remarkable brands get this – it’s not a ‘profit vs people’ game. If you put people first…profits will follow.
That’s just how it works.