“Are you (customer) experienced?” asks Milo, rover reporter and our Head of ‘Barketing’ at besley & copp.
Guest dog blog
You’ve twigged that branding isn’t as simple as falling off a log, or even designing a logo, but let me walk you through that. YOUR brand is far more than a logo or a product or even a promise, just as I’m far more than my coat, collar, or job title: “Head of Barketing” – honestly, I ask you: throw a dog a bone!
Customer experience is a brand’s best friend. And with the right guidance, franchise marketing can be a walk in the park.
“Any effort to get customers is marketing. Any effort to get customers and keep them is branding.”
Marty Neumeier, Director of CEO, Branding Liquid Agency, and author of The Brand Gap
Customer experience is all about relationships
Far more than a logo, a brand is a long-term investment. Most people don’t care about brands or even products or services, so much as they have wants, needs, concerns, problems to solve. Solve their problems and they’ll love you for it.
Take moving house or where to store one’s personal possessions. besley& copp have been working with easyStorage, a member of the easy family of brands. Operating in the “self-storage” sector, they know to compete on more than price. Customer experience is far more than that. They’re in the business of making people’s lives… easier. It’s in the name.
Whether it’s a backpacker not keen on lugging their luggage around Warrington, or a mumpreneur renovating a property in Wadebridge, their customers are often dealing with the unfamiliar and, quite frankly, the irksome. Placing their valuables or prized possessions in the hands of someone else – now that’s stressful! And what if they’re on the move due to a significant change in life circumstances?
At times like this, people don’t just want “a good deal”. They’re after convenience and so much more. They want to hand over the reins. They want to delegate some of their worry and concerns. They want reassurance as well as guidance. And all that’s at the core of the easy brand.
If brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room, you can see it in easyStorage’s online reviews, where customers praise their professionalism, friendliness, good humour: “Fantastic, can’t speak highly enough of these guys. We didn’t have to lift a finger. They did everything they could to make this process easy.”
Humans are social animals, so customer experience comes down to how you deal with people; it comes down to relationships and how you make people feel.
“People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Customer experience is all about communication
Customers – if only they could talk! Well, they do. And you just have to listen.
Clear and consistent communication can make all the difference. A cohesive customer-facing approach means both being responsive and communicating in a way that resonates with customers, in a language they can understand.
Customer experience means making the most of every interaction, ensuring a positive experience at every step of the journey, looking at all the touch points, putting in place processes to support customers and, hopefully, delighting them at every turn. All this will help identify future business opportunities.
Take social listening or monitoring testimonials on review sites. No brand is an island, independent of the outside world. In the real world, brand building can be a little messy, but that’s all the more reason for adopting a consistent, systematic approach. For example, at besley & copp, we take a pride in acknowledging, replying to, and following up all reviews.
“Being customer driven is about building a deep awareness of how the customer uses your product.”
Communicating, engaging, interacting, and servicing the needs of customers throughout the life of a transaction will pay dividends, but none of this happens by accident. It cannot be left to chance. It needs to be broken down, strategically, from the initial point of contact all the way to post-purchase follow-up. Behind every successful franchise is a well-managed, finely tuned brand.
Introducing BrandHub technology and how we help franchisors
Successful franchisors recognise the value of customer experience, and they plan accordingly. They are passionate about brand and realise that “passion” needs to be translated into systems and strategies.
But this isn’t always easy for franchisors or, indeed, franchisees. Just how do you coordinate all the moving parts? How do you join up messaging across your franchise? Well, for starters, it requires “buy in” from all stakeholders, and it helps to make everything quick, easy, and affordable.
Our BrandHub allows franchises, multisite businesses, and independent and national estate agents to have total control over their brand, all from one place. We help them create, for example, their very own central library of marketing materials and merchandise within the BrandHub, making it easy for even the smallest franchisees to enjoy economies of scale and not have to independently source in small quantities. At easyStorage, franchisees have renamed the BrandHub “the fridge”: “that’s where all the cool stuff is”. And they love the group buying power it provides.
It also enables franchisees spanning the length and breadth of the country to access and use the brand portfolio within their local area, along with insights, best practice, and up-to-the-minute campaign information.
“The BrandHub has been a game changer for us and our franchisees. It has significantly reduced the FTE requirement in the support centre to process and manage the supply of brand assets, uniform, and collateral. For franchisees, it could be easier to order promotional materials, uniforms etc and having the ability to customise items means that franchisees can produce their own material within brand guidelines and order instantly.”
Nigel Dawson, Director Co-Founder easyStorage
BrandHub technology and business partners
Of course, we’re so much more than our BrandHub. We see ourselves as business partners, improving customer experience across the board. EasyStorage’s ultimate goal was to streamline the number of touch points within the business. They wanted to increase efficiency, to ensure the right hand (paw) knows what the left hand is doing, as it were. They recognised the dangers of mixed messaging or diluting the brand. For more on our work with them, read our case study.
We’ve been in brand management for 270 years, offering expertise as long-standing suppliers to the franchise industry for 18 years partnering with over 35 brands.
🐾 I hope all this has given you paws for thought. 🐾
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