I still have growing to do; I’m only thirty-two (thirty-three next week; send b-day sentiments to Anthony Pensabene, Web Office box Twitter, USA.)  This may seem immature but money isn’t everything to me.  I feel some of you sneering; we’ll have to agree to disagree.  From a business branding point of view, I think providing exceptional service holds more value than immediate income.  As a consumer, I shop by a golden rule; make me feel valued and I will value your brand.  It seems simple to me.  What seems more lucrative to you, showing your brand’s money-making or service-oriented skills?  We know what holds more value for your target market.  You know them, the ones whose favor your entire business depends upon…

The Extra Yard
Executives want their business to run smoothly.  Unfortunately, reality trumps such business decisions at times.  When something goes wrong during business day-to-day, reputation management becomes a part of branding.  Address reparations for your customers; think about the approach because it could influence your ongoing reputation.

I recently purchased a larger-sized home implement from a furniture store.  I was told by the store employee (I addressed the situation beforehand because it seem curious it would fit) that when I came to collect it, there would be no qualms fitting it in my Jeep Wrangler.  Okay, math and spatial computation is not my forte; I leave it to the experts.  I came; it was too large; employees expressed distaste with me (because I brought my Jeep); and, we were all left at a standstill.  “What can your brand do for me?”  I thought it was a good question.  I was told (for an additional charge) I could rent their truck and drive it to my place.  Could the store have done a better job branding, going the extra yard for a consumer (who was inconvenienced due to following store direction)?

Spot Clean Transparency
How transparent is your brand?  Some brands feel that keeping some facts closer to the breast, may garner more cents.  Do such maneuvers make sense?  After you squeeze a few more dollars and cents from consumers, is it worth the long-term impression?

Last month, I was largely excited to purchase a smartphone.  I read a lot and thought the mobile device would allow me to evade newsstand costs and read at convenient times and places.  What I clearly didn’t understand (nor was it addressed at the time of purchase or agreement signing) was the incurred charges to come.  I got my first bill, which is ridiculously priced.  I understand, providers; it’s my job as a consumer to read and understand.  But seriously, providers are contorting this way and that to produce the ‘next best technology.’  You can’t send an email or alert when I exceed my allotment?  It seems to be okay to send commercially-driven emails and alerts…  Do you think it is better branding practice to clearly illustrate charging processes or adopt a buy-at-your-own-risk philosophy?

It’s ALL Your Department
I understand companies house a variety of practitioners.  As admitted above, I’m not your numbers guy.  However, something I learned from my time as a teacher – help people find the answer.  The resolution to a particular concern may lie beyond a respective department; but, as far as customer service, the company is one department.  Branding consists of the minutest exchanges with consumers.

I was recently on the phone with a cable provider.  It seems I’m dealing with a “unique situation.”  Okay, I understand.  I invested at least twenty minutes with a service provider until they called shenanigans on the entire conversation, admitting they could not help, transferring me to another “department.”  When the other service provider picked up, they were annoyed at my annoyance in having to explain my “unique situation” a second time to the same service provider.  Could the company use some branding troubleshooting?

 

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