There’s an overabundance of chatter on marketing blogs and websites these days about branding. Brand this, branding that … most of the people spouting it off are referring to marketing but don’t realize it. They use the word “brand” because they had a meeting once with an account planner at an advertising agency who said something about “branding” and it seemed smart. So they added it to their tradespeak.
A recent Forbes article discusses customer intimacy in the capacity that a company should possess detailed knowledge of, and even be capable of anticipating, customer preference – then apply that knowledge to affect action outcomes and decision-making.
OK, I support this idea. It’s a foundational tenant of CRM. But I think real customer intimacy is created from a more closely balanced relationship between customer and brand. Not one where the data-mining company pushes consumers’ figurative buttons to sell product. But one where the consumer is predisposed to consider a brand because of favorable prior experience and the sense that their choice matters. That there is a concerned someone inside the brand who wants them to walk away happy.