Branding process: turning pain into pleasure…

I hereby claim this the week of the form. I have lost hours of my life – and my capacity for earning and enjoying – to filling out forms and following process. I fought it for as long as I could and realised that, eventually, I had to give in and follow the herd, as a means to the end. baaaa…humbug! 

In all 3 circumstances, it altered my perception of the brand – negatively. A lot of people see process as a necessary (or unnecessary!) evil, but as part of your integrated brand experience, your process can and should bring about pleasure. 

Process is the conduit between your people and your customers’ brand experience, and needs to be considered in the delivery of your brand to meet customer expectations. 

If you claim your brand is fresh-thinking, then you need to demonstrate it – fresh and insightful communications, innovative products, stores that inspire and people who are fresh-thinking. Without process that enables fresh-thinking, how can you deliver fresh-thinking through every other touch-point? It’s difficult to be a fresh-thinking shop assistant without decision-making authority and flexibility of options to cater to an individual customer’s needs. It’s difficult to be a fresh-thinking product developer without trial and error. It’s difficult to develop fresh communications without trying something different and potentially unproven. Process needs to be considered as part of your integrated brand experience. 

The Pain with Process is that it’s too often implemented with rigidity. As more customers want increased customisation of products and services, process too needs to become more customised. If as part of your brand promise, you are talking about understanding your customers, caring about individuals, appreciating individuality, uniqueness and diversity, then you need to build flexibility into your process so you can tailor your brand to your customers’ needs. 
 
Process gives credibility that you know how to get to the desired result. It saves time and mistakes by following a path that’s been tried and tested, and whereby everything you need for the journey is already prepared. And by doing this, it allows for more time to spend on creativity, thinking, relationship-building and breathing life into a brand and business. Process can open up opportunities – as long as people know when and where to bend, break and change the process to suit a particular need or end result. Consider whether and where flexibility can be built into your branded process. 

Pleasure is in the Process that reflects the brand and caters to customers’ needs, enabling delivery of your brand to meet customer expectations. Customer perception and experience of your brand as one. 

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