You can’t turn on the television or radio, or even go past a supermarket magazine rack without seeing or hearing something on Tiger Woods. In fact, in my opinion, there is too much information out there about Woods and his private matters. I almost cringe bringing it up here in my blog. I raise this subject for one reason only. As a marketing person, the one thing I take away from the Tiger Woods ordeal is the lesson in branding.
As a prominent athlete, Woods was a spokesperson for many companies and brands. Already, some of those companies have dropped him, while others have suspended their commercials. The validity of these decisions is hotly debated.
In the equipment industry, companies rarely have traditional “spokespeople”. Rather, every person from the sales team, to service to the person answering phones is a reflection of your brand. The experience the customer has with each and every person in your company will cause a lasting brand impression. If that person is friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable, the customer will likely have a positive brand experience. The converse is also true. Unfortunately, companies rarely train the entire team on the core messages of the brand and the level of customer service expected. We have brand experiences every day. Typically we categorize those experiences as positive or negative. As long as the positive outweigh the negative, we tend to continue to gravitate to that brand.
What policies and procedures does your company have to ensure customers have a positive brand experience? What if anything, does your company do to ensure employees are always representing the brand on and off the job? Do you have any guidelines governing the social media arena and your employee’s involvement or behavior in these areas? Are employees connecting with customers, vendors and other contacts via social media?