Tag Archives: marketing

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business reputation appreciative strategies

What Is Important For Your Business Reputation?

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Businesses spend billions of dollars each year on marketing and advertising. Much of this effort is to build their brand. What is important for your business reputation?

Today we have a service economy unlike any other time in modern history. Media and connections often form our first impressions. What matters most?

Shape Reputation

Most businesses believe that they shape and control their reputation. They believe they do it from clever and impactful marketing and advertising campaigns, and ultimately what their product or service delivers. All of this is important, but it isn’t the whole picture.

Clients, customers, and your market will always enter the scene with bias from past experiences or what they saw in their social feed. In a sense, most businesses, like books, are often judged by their cover.

This is true for individuals, as well as businesses. It is true for sales and marketing professionals, the front line, and the C Suite.

What Happens First

First impressions are powerful, and many experts talk about the moments you have, measuring them in the number of seconds.

Ultimately, your reputation may be influenced in not only those first few seconds, but also what you become known for.

The person with the muscle car speeding through the parking lot is a motor head. A person in professional business attire is a corporate executive, not a well-respected (brick layer) mason. The college math professor giving a presentation about social media is not a professor, but a social media expert.

The 5-star restaurant that caters the upscale wedding runs the risk of becoming known as a caterer, not the best dinner spot in town.

True for individuals, true for businesses, we should know by now that perception is reality.

Your Business Reputation

You can try to buy your brand and your reputation through a marketing budget, but conflicting with every dollar spent is what lies under the surface.

The business who says they have exceptional customer service but doesn’t deliver will eventually be found out.

Perhaps the best way to build your business reputation is to become it. It isn’t an image you buy. Authenticity matters more than dollars spent.

What you do first may be what you become known for, all the while remembering that bias, stereotypes, and media influence will help your target market decide.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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Brand promise appreciative strategies

How To Keep Your Brand Promise

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What is your brand promise? People, stakeholders, employees, or owners; how often are you reflecting on your brand promise? The most important work you do every day should be connected with keeping your brand promise.

What is in the quality of your product? What is important and valuable about the service you provide?

Exceed Expectations

Many organizations put plenty of effort into exceeding customer expectations. It is common to see it written in the mission statement, be included in value statements, or contained in guiding principles. Can you always exceed expectations?

People often talk about touch points or moments-of-truth and they are part of understanding the service process. However, one of the most important aspects of exceptional customer service is what you do that makes the service moment memorable.

Can you do it every time? Each and every transaction? It is unlikely. Even when you can do it often, every time may be unrealistic. Besides, every time may also imply average and so it starts all over again.

Keep Your Brand Promise

When your brand promise includes delivering excellence, keeping that promise may not require exceeding it. What makes you memorable is often being better than average, it may not always be a surprise.

Memorable moments are, well, priceless. When you are consciously committed to the habit of making the moment memorable you’ll likely have more success at achieving excellence.

The magical part about memorable moments may be that they are often random. An opportunity is there, and taken. When the culture seeks priceless memorable moments a whole lot more of them will occur, but they’ll never occur every time.

Average is Easy

Consistently trying to achieve the higher mark is a behavioral habit that separates exceptional results from the average. At some point, average becomes too easy.

Performing at the level of delivering just of enough service is not the same as delivering just in time. People might be delighted with just in time, but just enough sets the bar for average.

If your brand promise includes delivering at the highest level, remember that it is a moving target. You’ll need to keep showing up and you’ll need work outside of the averages.

Make it memorable. Keep your promise.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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Customer service marketing

Is Customer Service Marketing?

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There are many ways you can bring your idea, product, or service to market. In fact, there are more media opportunities than ever before. What is the best? Is customer service marketing, or really just an operational tactic?

Many businesses hope that their post will go viral. The singer, songwriter, and band all hope for a YouTube or Hulu sensation. Media opportunities have changed. Brand awareness is critical for success.

World of Mouth

Today more ways than ever before exist to build your brand, what should you do? With so many options for visibility, consumers often don’t know who to trust. Talk about marketing long enough and many people will mention the power of word of mouth.

Is it true that word of mouth has become world of mouth? Endless opportunities exist but how are they effectively tapped?

Media Opportunities

You can buy a Super Bowl spot, local television time, or boost a post on social media. You can also sponsor an event, print t-shirts, and offer coupons.

Most will advise you to have a good website, strong social presence, and get more involved with video.

All of those things are likely important, but when it comes to trust it really boils down to your organizational performance and demonstrated commitment to your brand promise.

Perhaps all of the big success stories, all of the things that cause disruption, create chatter, and grow sales happen because someone will choose to talk about it.

Customer Service Marketing

What is a hot topic? Customer service is a very hot topic. As the nature of relationships change, face-to-face experiences become different, and word of mouth develops a completely new meaning, the result of your customer service is the difference.

Video is hot because when done well, it captures the emotion. Every buying decision has an emotional component. There is often a difference between what people want and what people need. It is true for business-to-business transactions and it is true for business-to-consumer.

When marketing shakes down to the most simplistic level, it is still all about word of mouth. Except, the rules have changed, the opportunities have exploded, and trust has become more critical.

Your best (or worst) marketing tool may still be what people decide to share with other people.

Is customer service marketing? Ask yourself this, “What are people saying?”

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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being right appreciative strategies Dennis Gilbert

Being Right Is Not The Point, Pull More, Push Less

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Making your point feels valuable. Sometimes all we want is to be heard. Is anyone really listening? Maybe they are not, because being right is not the point.

We are deeply rooted in a service economy. Things have been shifting for years and they’ve been accelerating since 2008-2009. What is the point?

The point is that in an ever-expanding service economy you must continuously ask yourself what are the service points to your business, regardless of your sector.

Being Right

Too often people and businesses place their focus on being right. They may feel that there is something to prove regardless of the cost. One big problem with this is you have to ask yourself if people will care. Caring is where the value exists.

Most buying decisions, even in business-to-business transactions have a strong emotional component. Logic, which feels important to some, really takes a back seat to emotions.

This is true in engineering, it is true in manufacturing, and it is even true technology sectors. Logically you may be right. Does that mean that anyone will care? Perhaps not when you recognize that buying, starting, or staying is emotional.

Pull More Than Push

Many businesses market through the push. Push the product out, push the concept, push why a buyer should care. Just because you are pushing doesn’t mean that anyone will pay attention. It doesn’t mean that they will spring into action. Most of all it doesn’t even guarantee that they will listen.

Being right is not the point. It never was and it likely never will be. If you are pushing your ideas with limited results, you may have to think differently. Start thinking about how you will pull.

When people are pulled, drawn in, and attracted they’ll follow, they will be more likely to listen, and they’ll actually consider caring.

Being right was never enough. If you want to close the sale, enhance the deal, and earn the respect and attention your product and service deserves, make sure being right is not your strategy.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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understanding of customer needs

Understanding of Customer Needs and Needing Customers

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Unfortunately, it is common that something we love changes. Despite the seemingly popular love for a product or service, it is suddenly taken away or changed. Do you know a product or service that should be more understanding of customer needs, instead of chasing things because they believe they need more customers?

There is a lot of push in our society, and I’m a firm believer that we need more pull.

Bigger or Changed?

Here is a great example. How often do you go to the supermarket, places like Wegmans, Weis, or Kroger, only to find it is being rearranged, remodeled, or in some cases rebranded? This is mostly about profit, not about loyal customer convenience.

Interested in some more examples?

There is the website the changes its login, your account information tab, or easy reorder features or location and colors. Not because it doesn’t care about you, but because instead it wants to focus on new traffic.

Have you considered the small restaurant, the mom and pop, that had fantastic food and excellent service until it doubled its seating capacity?

Let’s not forget about the technical sensation at work who gave up the technical job to become the manager instead. Now he or she is trying to understand why the motivation is gone and the work fills meaningless.

All of these scenarios signal the same type of thinking. As people, we often chase what we feel we need. In business, many businesses chase what they believe that they need in order to become bigger, stronger, and better. Does it all work out?

The best answer is probably, “sometimes.”

Understanding of Customer Needs

Here is what is most important, getting bigger, rearranging for more margin, or changing it up to capture new customers doesn’t guarantee anything. If fact, it may create a loss of exactly what brought people in the door in the first place.

Just because change seems warranted, just because someone didn’t like something, or just because it seems like the coolest new trend doesn’t mean it will make anything better.

Remember where you came from and how, follow that lead.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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productivity questions

5 Productivity Questions Everyone Should Ask

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It seems common in many workplaces. Groups of 5, 10, or 35 people have work to do, often a lot of work to do. One common criticism is that the workload isn’t evenly distributed and pay grades do not align with output or responsibility. Certainly, those may be issues, but have you asked any productivity questions?

It is sometimes funny how time changes things. What was once critically important is sometimes quickly replaced or the originating reason is completely forgotten.

Pick a workplace, any workplace that has been around for 5, 10, or more years. You might find things that were once a good idea that people simply stopped doing.

Perhaps you will find the opposite too, things that were once good ideas but no longer apply and people are still doing them. Yes, it’s true, chances are good you’ll find some of these.

Every job, every task, every part of building, creating, designing, documenting, storing, and filing, is it necessary? Does it have relevance now?

Productivity Questions

Here are five questions to ask about what you’ll work on today:

  1. What is this used for?
  2. Who will use it?
  3. When does it get used?
  4. Is it the right design?
  5. Does it make a difference?

Just because it is a tradition, just because it once had value, is it still necessary? What has changed and is it important now?

Meetings, Marketing, and More

You can ask yourself about the meetings you’ll attend this week. Who is in the meeting, are the right people attending? Who is absent from the meeting and how does their absence affect the outcome?

Have you thought about the marketing materials, their timeliness, the message, the brand promise, and the mailing list? Are all of those things up to date, still relevant, and accurate?

Why do we do what we do every day and more importantly how does it contribute to the bottom line?

Productivity matters, and so does the workload distribution. Start with understanding what really makes a difference for the group and the organization. Ask questions, revisit choices often.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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trusted not cheap

Why Your Brand Should Be Trusted Not Cheap

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We live in an era where price is often the first question. Driving down costs is an important consideration, but to the manufacturer, distributor, or web sales kingpin is price what matters? Should your brand be trusted not cheap?

People often take pride in working hard for the lowest price. Drive to the cheapest gas station, shop at the store with the best coupons, and insist on free shipping. Society seems to like cheap and convenient, there are even bragging rights for those who achieve the lowest price.

We can argue about smart, but what about the business who offers cheap?

Owners, Managers, Employees

If you own a business, manage a business, a department, or team, or even if you place high value on your job or career you may want to consider the cost of cheap.

Businesses offer sales pricing, issue coupons, and even promote what they often call loss leaders. Does this work? Sure, sometimes it does. Is this how you want to build your brand?

Buyers respond, often in big numbers, the thought is that it is working, but for how long? How long will it be until there is a lower cost replacement? How long will it be until the buying opportunity for the customer is closer or on-line with free shipping?

At your job or in your career how long until the work that you do can be performed with a lower cost solution? Are any of these situations trusted?

Be Trusted Not Cheap

Many people and businesses push for the lowest price when with the lowest price often comes low trust.

Easy come, easy go, may be the best way to describe these actions. When there is no investment in the customer, there will probably be little investment in the employee, and when there is no investment in either of these the lowest price will win—until it doesn’t. Then everything changes.

The next time you’re shopping for lowest price, when you find it, ask yourself, “Do I trust this product, service, and the people?”

Trust your answer.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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digital footprints

Digital Footprints, Brands, and Reputation

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There are at least several kinds of social media users. Perhaps all of them have an impact on brands, reputations, and culture. Have you considered the impact of your digital footprints?

How would you define your activity, what type of user are you? Here are three:

Bold. Those who share often and share anything, they are seemingly immune or care free about potential consequences or the impact to others. Positive or negative, ignorant or arrogant, they are making digital sound.

Careful. Those who live in absolute fear of sharing but secretly want to share much of what hits their feed. They share some but only with the feeling of great risk. They watch their posts in anticipation of acceptance or rejection and often worry until they post again.

Shy. Those who watch secretly, they stalk, creep, and are voyeurs of the system. Nobody really knows they are there and only a few would care if they realized they were.

Computer Forensics

The idea of computer forensics became widely known in the early to mid- 2000’s. People who post may recognize the permanency of their actions, or not. Everything posted enters in the chance for a cultural shift or the probability of influencing a brand.

It doesn’t matter much about the type of user, playing fields are leveled and volume is affected perhaps only by the number of followers. It might be the Presidential tweet, the suburban work from home mom, or the guy in the bar before noon.

Your brand, your reputation, or the culture of your environment exists today in part by the digital trail left behind by those who engage. You have little control over others actions or behaviors. The passer-by, the troll, or the person with digital rage all affect what happens next.

Digital Footprints

People often believe everything that they read, with the right script and implied emotion a post may go viral. Positivity seems to spread but negativity carries more drama and increases speed.

Sharing something that you care about feels important. It is rooted in your values and beliefs. It may be challenged by the bold, studied by the careful, and avoided by the shy.

Digital footprints affect culture, brands, and reputations.

It may answer this question: If a user makes a post on the worldwide web but no one reads it does it still make a digital sound?

Post well, share well.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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Are You Pushing or Being Pulled?

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There are a lot of people working really hard. There is a good chance you are one of them. There are also a lot of cliché’ phrases, idiom’s, and meme’s floating around social media channels about working smarter and not harder or how if you love what you do you’ll never work another day in your life. There is certainly some value to those, but have you considered the aspect of push or pull? Marketers will quickly associate with the concept of push versus pull marketing, but we’re not talking about marketing here, at least not specifically.

AppStratPhoto-FingerString

Some time ago, and unfortunately I cannot recall who to credit with this idea, I heard an analogy that really stuck with me related to push or pull.

Imagine a twelve inch long piece of string on a flat open space such as a desktop or table. Now imagine that you want to move that piece of string across this space. If you place your index finger on one end of the string and attempt to push it across the string will likely bunch up, twist up, or otherwise not cooperate. Instead imagine if you place your index finger on one end of the string and pull the string across, the string would likely straighten out and follow the path of your finger pulling it. So what is better, push or pull?

I believe in hard work, I believe it is a testament to achieving something greater, something worthwhile, and something you can be proud to have accomplished. While not everyone agrees with this philosophically, I’m a believer. If you’re with me on this, you’re working hard too, but what about this push or pull concept?

It’s really exciting and quite simple. We may often push so hard that we become frustrated, burnt out, or worse, we start to disengage. We may begin to focus on the short-comings and develop self-limiting beliefs that stifle our opportunities and short change our success. Push often makes you feel tired, worn out, and unexcited. That is why I believe pull is so much better. When you to become so compelled, energized, and excited about achieving your next goal, it draws you in and pulls you to your destination.

Both approaches have some value, but most likely one of them has more advantages.

Which approach will you use?

– DEG

See also: 3 Tips to Pull You Towards Your Goal

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and coach that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is the author of the newly released book, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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Spending Smart

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It seems reasonable that all businesses spend money on marketing and advertising efforts. People too, they spend their energy and resources on networking, relationship building, and future positioning.

Money-PhotoCreditNickAres

Some businesses will just throw money at a problem; throw money at building their brand, or at marketing and advertising efforts. It doesn’t mean they are any smarter or better than businesses who spend less, it means that they earn enough through their endeavors or through investment to spend like crazy trying to make up for other shortcomings. Many believe the old idiom, “You’ve got to spend money, to make money.” Perhaps there is some truth to that statement.

People sometimes follow a similar pattern. Sometimes they spend with money, sometimes with only resources or their individual energy. People may pursue building relationships, monitoring who they hang out with, and even how they spend their leisure time. All in an effort to build relationships or an image that they believe will get results. Many believe the old idiom, “It’s not what you do, it’s who you know.”  Is that the truth? Perhaps but is it smart spending?

Both businesses and people spend. It’s not about how much they spend. They don’t necessarily need to spend big—they need to spend smart!

– DEG

Photo Credit: Nick Ares and aresauburnTM


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