Sunday, 31 October 2010

T Mobile make air travellers smile

Here it is. The latest T-Mobile flash mob.

It was fun to watch and made me smile.

But will it get passed on like their previous films?

Thursday, 28 October 2010

T-Mobile flash again

I blogged last year about the T-Mobile flash mob event at Leicester Square with some enthusiasm.

So it is with interest that I see in the Guardian that they are at it again. This time at Heathrow.

They are building a good reputation in the marketing world for their engaging flash mob events. This one was even observed by some stunned A list celebs. [check story in The Sun]

More importantly, they have got very slick at amplifying it with the consumer and getting their 'Life is for Sharing' message noticed and talked about. A winning brand experience.

I for one will tune into watch the 3 minute version tomorrow night.

Good stuff.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

A friend of mine – Ingrid Murray - recently told me an extraordinary story about a contact she had with Barclaycard after they had sent her a new card.

She telephoned them to activate it and was put through to someone that was seemingly determined to sell her fraud protection insurance.

This is an example of a really bad brand experience.

When a consumer telephones to activate their card the last thing expected is a heavy sell, particularly when it is for something that isn’t needed. Credit cards typically offer free fraud protection. Here is what Barclaycard have to say on their website:

"As long as you tell us the moment you spot something you think is fraudulent on your account, and you've done everything you can to prevent fraud (like not telling anyone your PIN), you won't be liable for fraudulent use of your card

I, like most people, hate it when this type of thing happens. It is very obviously a ruse to make more money.

It is a major mistake by Barclaycard.

When a consumers makes contact them they should focus instead on delivering a positive brand experience that delights; this is far more likely to result in longer term sales results.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

When brand organisations say “sorry” it can be extremely powerful

I hate it when dealing with a brand organisation when they don’t say sorry if it clearly is the appropriate action. Instead they usually focus on protecting themselves...often it is the customer service people who regard it as a personal duel and an opportunity to prove how clever they are....

This is short-sighted and wrong.

They overlook the fact that consumers are far more likely to change their mind, view your brand positively and maybe even tell their friends (advocacy is a very powerful force) if it says ‘sorry.’

While on face value it might cost a little bit of money it is a great strategy to differentiate vs competitors.

The blogsphere is littered with stories where brands have got it wrong and suffered - see examples on a previous posting about Dell, Apple and Comcast.

I was very interested to see an article on about recent research undertaken by the Nottingham school of Economics.

They asked hacked-off eBay customers whether they would prefer some sort of monetary compensation or a simple apology....the overwhelming response was a preference for a straight apology. (Check-out the report.)

Richard Branson understands the power of an apology. There is a great story about how he handled a letter of complaint.

It isn’t rocket science or difficult. It just requires a change in attitude and culture.

If you work at brand organisation I suggest you look closely at the brand experience your customer service department is delivering and work out how to improve it...saying sorry occasionally. It will potentially be more effective than most other forms of brand communication.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

A pleased customer is our best advertisement

Thanks to my friend Faris for bringing this old ad to my attention.

As he say's, it is far more relevant today than the time that it was originally written.

Jeff Jarvis - in his book 'What would Google Do?' - sums it up well when he says: "your customer is your best ad agency".


A happy consumer is extremely valuable because they can tell their friends about you. When people talk to their friends in a positive way about your brand then that it's more powerful than any ad.

The internet has changed the game when it comes to talking positively about because social media is like word of mouth on steroids. Word spreads fast on-line (see Dominoes story)

If you are a smart brand marketer you will focus on delivering brand experiences that delight so that your consumers talk positively about it. The even smarter ones listen carefully to what is going on on-line and amplify anything positive that is being said.

Here's a good example.

I blogged last year about a fantastic holiday I had in Nikoi Island (see post).

They spotted my post (smart listening skills) and commented on it, offering me a couple of free cocktails on my next visit. They then linked my blog to their site which has resulted in loads of people clicking on my story, I assume before they commit to making a booking.

Later that year I won 'best blog about Nikoi Island.' The prize was 2 free days on the island.

The 'advertising' value they have had from me (on and off line) must have delivered them an excellent return on investment.

Take note. Think how you can delight consumers. It is worth it.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Customer experience is the new brand

I found a great article at Stage Two that quotes Dustin Hoffman...

“Customer experience is the new brand.”

“I’m not referring to a brand as a logo and a typeface. I’m referring to the new kind of brand; the one is formed by the entire experience of a customer’s interaction. That experience gets branded into his or her memory and leaks into the buzz of modern culture. If you can’t make a good customer experience from start to finish, you’ve failed to generate brand value that will attract customers to come back for repeat business and tell their friends to come back, too. That’s how good customer experience directly affects the bottom line.”

It echoes precisely my view on the importance of delivering a winning brand experience and the affect it has on loyalty, advocacy and the bottom line.


I strongly recommend you take note... and if you want to build a better brand experience for your consumers start by looking at the path to advocacy shown above and work-out how your brand can improve delivery at all stages.