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Branding versus Reality, how do customers see it?

Updated: Oct 13, 2020

We all tend to build a perfect, flawless and success-based branding in order to attract clients and win fans. But, what if authenticity, admitting mistakes, and allowing critical comments, are more valued than another perfect image these days?

Several years ago, in my role as VP of Customer Experience at Lazada we spoke on the M2 Marketing at the Hard Rock Cafe in HCMC . We were highlighting the apparent disconnect between Branding & Marketing and the real service & product experience. (watch speech video on the matter or picture link below)

Branding in Vietnam

The Branding and Marketing world makes you believe that companies and their products & services are perfect and once you look behind the facade you are very disappointed. This happens especially to companies with flawless images.

MCdonalds Branding

1. Authenticity vs. Perfectionism

In this fast-moving internet environment mainly created on Google and Facebook channels, we see a lot of non-perfect authentic content which excites customers and fans rather than perfectly designed pages, photos and videos.

As in the example above with fast food, it is dangerous to create a perfect image in case you are not able to deliver or live up to the expectations you create. So if you are still in an agile / start-up and developing mode, we advise our clients to rather use authentic material than to over-promise. For some brands, non-perfect pictures can also be a part of the brand reputation, to be cool.

2. Agile Results vs. Process

For agile and fast-moving industry environments and markets, we saw that clients value result-oriented marketing more than speaking about processes and achievements without any market or customer value.

An example could be posts about MOU (memorandum of understanding) celebrations or partnership agreements which undoubtedly is amazing for the companies involved. However, clients, partners and society are probably more interested in knowing the aim of the partnership and how it's good for them. Therefore, most fast-moving and customer-centrist companies are publishing project results, social impact cases or partnership achievements rather than planning stages.

3. Stay true to yourself and focus on customer experience

Rather than investing too much time in a perfect image and not keeping up with the real experience to win new customer, we advise our clients to start building great experiences and to win recommendations. At the same time put a nice, decent, but not over-hyped web and social media presence which truly reflects what you are able to deliver.

Please comment or contact us if you would like to have support on Customer Experience Management or setting-up a digital marketing strategy.

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