The Customer

Wyner, Gordon A.
January 2005
Marketing Management;Jan/Feb2005, Vol. 14 Issue 1, p7
This article explores the problem of brand promise failing to materialize the actual brand experience. This phenomenon can affect brand performance and lead to consumer confusion, dissatisfaction and ultimately switching to competitive alternatives. Just working to improve the marketing side alone or the operations side alone is not sufficient. Fixing this kind of problem requires several things. One is that the company must understand what is important to customers so it can develop a sufficiently appealing brand promise. If customers are indifferent to the key benefits that are stressed in the brand communication, then it is time to consider repositioning possibilities. Next, the company must determine the financial viability of delivering on that promise by offering the required levels of performance. It makes no sense to promise 100 percent customer satisfaction if this can only be achieved at a cost that is unprofitable. Finally, the company must ensure that each part of the operation that has a role in delivering that performance knows what to do to make it happen and does so consistently. To reach an overall solution, three components--customer understanding, financial viability, and execution--must fit together.


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