When building a great brand, delivery becomes much more than simply an afterthought
It can cultivate repeat customers or produce disappointment
| Narayanee Viswanathan
|| Millward Brown is a leading global research agency specializing in advertising effectiveness, strategic communication, media and brand equity research. Millward Brown helps clients grow great brands through comprehensive research-based qualitative and quantitative solutions.
Marketing is the arsenal of strategies and tactics that every brand uses to expand, impress and lure the elusive mind of the consumer. Technology provides new ways to remind the consumer how she can make her life easier, get discounts and find the best for her family. But is this enough to make the consumer a satisfied and repeat customer?
No. All this communication is a good first step, but it’s only a first step. When Flipkart launched its first flash sale the e-commerce site got a lot of eyeballs, interest and sign ups. However, the opportunity failed to deliver. Instead, irate consumers, whose orders were abruptly cancelled by the overheated server, had to be calmed by a public apology.
Whether you are product oriented or service based, your brand promise lives and dies by your ability to deliver. The final leg of brand experience is delivery. Ensuring a product is delivered as promised can make or break a brand. Establish reliable logistical systems.
Set realistic customer expectations. Attempt to execute flawlessly. Here are five steps we recommend for staying on top of the game:
1. INVEST IN A PLATFORM THAT UNITES
A strong platform helps you to curate content and provides endless opportunities to personally connect with the consumer. Unilever created such a platform that transformed a feature phone into a personal entertainment station where the brand enjoyed sole advertising rights. Consumers connecting to a toll free number had access to four-to-five minutes of entertaining clips and exposure to ads for Unilever’s flagship brands. This initiative resulted in high engagement, positive consumer reaction and a healthy revenue increase for Unilever. In urban markets, car services Uber and Ola have connected instantly with the consumers via convenient apps that even pinpoint pick-up locations.
2. MAKE IT PERSONAL
Talking to the consumer in a language that directly addresses her gives you an edge. When Ola launched in Chennai, the taxi service app included the tuk-tuks, the three- wheel auto rickshaws that are popular in India. This initiative created buzz in the cost sensitive market. Invest in people and tell them the importance of being courteous and calm when dealing with the consumer.
3. STICK TO YOUR BRAND PROMISE
While engaging the consumer you’ve raised expectations about the brand. Make sure the brand delivers on its promise. When Domino’s launched its pizzas in India the brand was touted as the poor cousin of its rivals. The brand focused on speed, promising 30-minute delivery or the meal is free. Today, the chain has twice the number of Indian outlets as McDonald’s.
4. COMMUNICATE CONTINUOUSLY
Use every viable medium of communication to keep the consumer abreast of your offering and the status of their order(s). Make sure you include information so that the consumer is clear about how to reach you. Ensure that the brand is present across platforms popular with your customers.
5. USE BIG DATA
In this connected world, we have data flowing from every touch point. Invest wisely in analytics to understand consumers and to draw intelligence about their delivery needs and requirements. Be careful to use big data in ways that improve customer service without being too intrusive.