Service Design

Service Design

Clever, but is there more?

Culture Eats Strategy for Lunch is the title of a 2012 article by Shawn Parr, Guvner & CEO of Bulldog Drummond. The gist is culture is in many ways more powerful than branding and marketing. That culture is ultimately what attracts customers and aligns strategy, product and service. And in fact, it’s culture that drives brand identity and marketing messaging. Agreed.

Knowing this, now what?

How do you go from knowing culture is all powerful to creating yours? Or better yet, how do you manifest your unique culture into every nuance of your organization and customer experience?

Map it.

Take a trip through each and every shopping pathway and customer experience and map every experience. If you have a defined culture, a set of values and beliefs by which your organization thrives, make certain it manifests at the far reaches of your customer’s experience. If it lives there, it will live throughout your company.

Branding, Loyalty Marketing, Service Design

Brand strategy is...

howies logo

Branding is defining the business model that reflects and captures the values held by the founder(s) or founding principle, idea, or spark. UK based clothing brand Howies serves as an ideal example. This month Howies celebrates their 20th anniversary, and because of their purpose oriented brand strategy they'll likely celebrate a 100th year anniversary 80 years hence.

Everything they do, the product, how it’s made, where it’s sourced, the photography they choose, where they live, who they distribute to, the kind of activities they make product for, and the stuff they talk about is all authentic and rooted in their values.

Nothing is staged. It all emanates from purpose.

Doesn’t mean they’re perfect. It means they have a brand strategy.

Customer Experience, Service Design

Beyond Blink

It’s just a moment, a first impression. Malcolm Gladwell made the concept not only famous, but validated the marketing profession’s obsession with the 3-second rule, that is, “you have 3 seconds to attract a new customer’s attention.” It actually may be worse than this. We customers are exposed to 3,000 marketing messages daily. However, we have the capacity to connect, register, and remember less than 100 of those messages. In the end your first impression had better be a good one.

But what happens after that first impression? The assumption marketers make is that they should treat all of their customers as if this rule always applies, even to their loyal customers. That’s not the case. Once the first impression is made for the positive, and an actual connection is made, customers then tend to dive in. First at a product level, they browse, shop, look at details of features and functions and maybe even make a purchase.

And soon after that first purchase customers afford themselves some time. Customers having had that first positive product experience have narrowed the field. They are no longer looking across the vast landscape of competitive options. They are in relationship. They want to know more. They will now read, ponder, entertain a catalog, browse your website, watch a video, and maybe even venture into a store. This is a deep dive.

But what do marketers do? Keep sticking to the 3-second rule, providing only high-level sound bites. The opportunity at your fingertips is far more interesting. Build pathways into more meaningful content, invite customers into little hallways and rooms to learn more about why your brand exists in the first place, show the inspiration of the design, and demonstrate the values that define your company. Customers are people, and they crave deep relationships with other people, with organizations, and even with brands that sell them stuff. So, don’t get stuck in the 3-second rule. Once you’ve got a customer, invite them over for some tea.

Service Design

Who is your next customer?

To predict who your next customer will be, know your existing customer first.

You want a new website? First, understand your advocates, how they become advocates, then
build the site that provides that process.

You want a social media presence? First, understand your advocates, how they become advocates and then put the social mechanisms in place that help that process.

You want to sell direct to your consumer? First, understand your advocates, how they become advocates and build a business model (retail, web, catalog, wholesale environment) that allows that to happen.

You want to grow? First, understand your advocates, how they become advocates and put the right message in the right place at the right time to nurture existing customers and convert new ones.

Seth Godin says it maybe a touch more succinctly, “Start with [knowing your customer] before you spend time on tactics, technology or scalability.”