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The Edelman Earned Brand Study Reinforces the Importance of Purpose in Customer Experience

I had the opportunity to be the opening keynote PRSA Houston’s PR Day last week. The luncheon keynote was given by Edelman’s Tonia Ries. Tonia presented findings from their Global Earned Brand Study.

Tonia Ries Edelman Earned Brand

Becoming an Earned Brand

Here are some highlights from the study of over 13,000 consumers in 13 countries:
  • The pace of change in marketing is accelerating rapidly.
  • Upstarts like Uber, Tesla, Warby Parker and airBNB are challenging long-established brands, and categories are being re-imagined.
  • Purpose is emerging as an expectation. The study found that 62 percent of respondents would refuse to buy a brand if it fails to meet its obligations to society.
The Study aimed to codify the strength of consumer-brand relationships. The Edelman Brand Relationship Index measures brands on a 100 point scale based on 18 variables. The average score was just 38. The Takeaway: There is a tremendous opportunity for brands to strengthen and grow.
 

5 Stages of the Relationship

The Study showed five distinct stages of a brand relationship: Indifferent, Interested, Invested, Involved, and Committed.
Photo Credit: Edelman Earned Brand Executive Summary

Photo Credit: Edelman Earned Brand Executive Summary

 
To quote the Study,
At the Indifferent level, shoppers buy without much thought. At Interested, they might choose a brand over competitors based on their recall of a review or a logo. By Involved, consumers actively scan the shelf for the brand. But the real commitment comes in the last two stages, where the consumer mindset moves from ‘me’ to ‘we.’ At Invested,the consumer believes the brand shares his or her values, and might try to convince another shopper not to buy a competitor. Finally, at the top of the scale [Committed], the relationship truly becomes about shared benefit—the consumer will take action with and for the brand.

Where are the Opportunities?

earned brand indexOut of seven attributes, there are a couple clear opportunities for brands (highlighted in yellow and purple. Those attributes are acting with purpose and telling a memorable story. This aligns with the work Graeme Newell and I are doing in the Red Goldfish Project. A red goldfish is when a brand embraces being for-purpose and does the little things to bring that purpose to life for both customers and employees.
 

Final Takeaways

Here is how Edelman defines an earned brand:
The Earned Brand’s story is not simply told, it is demonstrated and experienced; and, to do that, brands can’t operate with a style guide alone.The Earned Brand has a world view and a belief system, a purpose and a reason for being—one that defines not just the communications, but how the brand behaves online,offline, and in all contexts.An expressed set of values informs which products are made, which language is used, how customers are treated, and ultimately the legacy the brand leaves in the communities it serves.
Here’s my takeaway: Your brand is no longer what you say it is. It’s what your customer experiences, what shared beliefs you have, how they feel about your brand, and most importantly… what they share with others.
 
Today’s Lagniappe (a little something extra thrown in for good measure) – here’s a video with Richard Edelman and Michelle Hutton talking about the Earned Brand Study:

Breaking Down the Purpose of the Goldfish Series

Helping Companies Get Closer to the Hearts of Their Customers and Employees

Here is the purpose of the Goldfish Series of Books: Help companies get closer to the hearts of their customers and employees.

There are currently six Goldfish colors. Each represents a different focus:

Six Goldfish Books

Let’s look at each of the six colors individually.

PURPLE GOLDFISH: LITTLE THINGS MAKE THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE IN CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

Purple Goldfish was the first book in the Goldfish Series. It examines the little things that make a big difference in customer experience. Purple uncovers the key ingredients of creating signature added value. The book is based on over 1,000 examples from the Purple Goldfish Project, showcasing 12 different types of purple goldfish in the two main categories of value and maintenance. Little extras such as the importance of follow up and how to handle mistakes. There are two Purple Goldfish books. The original and a version focused on Hotels, Restaurants, and Airlines co-authored with Brooks Briz called, Purple Goldfish – Service Edition.
TAKEAWAY: Actionable ways to improve the customer experience
 

GREEN GOLDFISH: GOING BEYOND DOLLARS TO DRIVE EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT AND REINFORCE CULTURE

Green Goldfish was the second book in the Goldfish Series. When writing Purple, it became evident that the companies that did the little extras for customers also applied the same concept for their employees. The book uncovers the fact that you can’t have happy enthused customers without happy engaged employees. Based on a collection of our 1,000 examples the Green Goldfish Project, Green shares 15 types of green goldfish. They are little extras for employees such as onboarding, team building, flexibility, recognition, pay it forward, and empowerment.
TAKEAWAY: Actionable ways to improve the employee experience
 
Photo Credit: Alana Jane Gifts

Photo Credit: Alana Jane Gifts

GOLDEN GOLDFISH: TAKING CARE OF YOUR MOST IMPORTANT CUSTOMERS AND EMPLOYEES

Golden Goldfish finished the original trilogy of Goldfish books. It was based on the simple fact that eighty percent of  your profitability is driven through the Top 20 percent of customers and employees. These are your vital few. You don’t treat all customers and employees the same, you treat them all fairly. Golden shares nine different key drivers of overall performance from over 200 examples in the Golden Goldfish Project.
TAKEAWAY: Actionable ways to improve the customer and employee experience for your top 20%
 

BLUE GOLDFISH: USING TECHNOLOGY, DATA, AND ANALYTICS TO DRIVE DIFFERENTIATION AND CUSTOMER ADVOCACY

Blue Goldfish is the fourth book in the Goldfish series. According to a recent study, 76% of customers expect brands to understand their individual needs. Blue Goldfish makes the business case for leveraging technology, data, and analytics to create a competitive advantage and increased customer loyalty. It shares cutting edge examples and insights from over 300 examples from the Blue Goldfish Project.
TAKEAWAY: Actionable strategies to turn big data into useful data to improve the customer experience
 

RED GOLDFISH: BECOMING A FOR-PURPOSE BUSINESS TO WIN THE HEARTS OF EMPLOYEES AND CUSTOMERS

Red Goldfish will be the fifth book in the Goldfish series. It reveals how purpose is changing the way we work and how customers choose business partners. By 2020, there will no longer be a distinction between for profit and non-profit companies. Businesses will either be seen as “for-purpose” or “not for purpose.” In the book Stan Phelps and Graeme Newell share lessons from the Red Goldfish Project. Cutting edge examples that reveal the five ways businesses can embrace purpose to drive employee engagement, fuel the bottom line, and make an impact on society.

TAKEAWAY: ​Actionable ways to leverage purpose for all stakeholders in the business

PINK GOLDFISH: AMPLIFYING WEAKNESS TO STAND OUT IN A SEA OF SAMENESS

Pink Goldfish will be the sixth book in the Goldfish series. It is based on the simple concept that what makes us weak also makes us strong. Smart businesses don’t shy away from weakness, they double-down and amplify them to differentiate themselves in the marketplace. The book by Evan Carroll and Dave Rendall will share lessons from the Pink Goldfish Project, showing business that what makes you weird is what also makes you wonderful.

TAKEAWAY: Actionable ways to differentiate yourself in business

Today’s Lagniappe (a little something extra thrown in for good measure) – here is a video by Stan Phelps that describes some of the concepts around the Goldfish series:

The Future of Business Is Becoming Purpose First

Portions of this post were originally posted by Stan Phelps on Forbes. To read the full article, click here.

Purpose is going to change the way we work and do business for the foreseeable future. By 2020, there will no longer be a distinction between for profit and non-profit companies. The evolution of the B corporation has forever blurred the line of why companies are in business.

Why are companies in business?

What/who comes first? There are three schools of thought:

Evolution-of-Business

1.0 Shareholder First – companies are in existence solely to drive maximum shareholder value. This is Capitalism 101. In the words of Milton Friedman,“There is one and only one social responsibility of business and that is to engage in activities designed to increase profits.” 

2.0 Customer First – companies should be dedicated to the business of getting and keeping customers. This goes beyond the transaction to underscore the importance of the experience and the relationship. According to the late Ted Levitt, “Not so long ago companies assumed the purpose of a business is to make money. But that has proved as vacuous as saying the purpose of life is to eat…The purpose of a business is to create and keep a customer.” 

3.0 Purpose First – companies are dedicated to a purpose that drives employee engagement, fuels the bottom line, and makes an impact on the lives of those it serves. It is my contention that, “By 2020 purpose will be the main driver of business, not corporate filing status. Companies will either be seen as ‘for purpose’ or ‘not for purposeI.” 

Putting purpose first benefits employees, shareholders and customers. According to the CEO of Deloitte Global Punit Renjen, “Exceptional firms have always been good at aligning their purpose with their execution, and as a result have enjoyed category leadership in sales and profits.”  John Kotter and James Heskett demonstrated in their book Corporate Culture & Performance, showing that purposeful, value-driven companies outperform their counterparts in stock price by a factor of 12.

Understanding Your Why

Purpose relates to your “Why” as a business. To quote Simon Sinek, “People don’t buy what you do or how you do it, they buy why you do it.

Photo Credit: Stan Phelps, quote by Simon Sinek

This applies to both buying a product or being engaged as an employee. Understanding your purpose is a driver of employee engagement. Daniel Pink touched on the importance of purpose in his book Drive. Pink said there are three things that motivate people: Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose. Purpose is perhaps the greatest of the three. A strong purpose allows you to overcome obstacles and persevere towards a goal.

The Tyranny of “Or”

Does serving a purpose come with sacrifice? For too long there has been a conflict between creativity andcapitalism. Left brain versus right brain. You were forced to make a choice as an employee or as a business. Focus too much on your creativity and you are forced to operate as a starving artist or non-profit. Focus too much on climbing the corporate ladder and you become an empty suit. This problem is what author and entrepreneur David Howitt calls the tyranny of “OR.” In his book, Heed Your CallHowitt believes that businesses do not have to pick between the two options. He shows how companies can embrace the Power of “AND.”

Photo Credit: David Howitt, Meriwether Group

You can offer both value and meaning. Today’s business requires both analytics and artistry. Only by tapping into our true purpose can we understand our full potential and begin to repair the world.

Quitting Your Brand Purpose

One of most startling statistics about employee engagement is as follows:  According to Gallup, of the workers who voluntarily leave their job, 75% don’t quit their job… they quit their boss.

Photo Credit: Stan Phelps, Statistic from Gallup

I can see that number dwindling in the future. Not only will employees be quitting their boss, a greater percentage will be quitting the brand purpose of their company. Will you be seen as a ”for purpose” company or a “ not for purpose” company?

The Red Goldfish

Graeme Newell and I have started the Red Goldfish Project.

The Red Goldfish Project

A red goldfish is any time a business does a little extra to embrace purpose in business. We are on a quest to catch as many red goldfish as possible. Send us your examples to stan@purplegoldfish.com.

Today’s Lagniappe (a little something extra thrown in for good measure) – Here is a five minute talk at RTP180 talking about millennials the concept of the Red Goldfish:

Marketing Monday, 9/30 in NYC @LocalVox

You are Invited: Two Wine Tastings and Two Marketing Talks

marketing monday 9.30

Come out on Monday, 9/30 from 6:00 – 8:00 PM at LocalVox in New York City for two hours of networking, wine tasting and marketing talk.

(Register Here)

Schedule of Events

6:00 – Checkin and Wine Tasting #1

6:30 – Marketing Talk #1 – Graeme Newell on “Finding New Customers”

7:00 – Wine Tasting #2

7:30 – Marketing Talk #2 – Stan Phelps on “Creating Customer Wow”

Presentation Overviews

Talk #1 – Emotional marketing expert Graeme Newell of 602 Communications

“How to Find New Customers & Hold On to the Ones You’ve Got”
Okay, your products are great and your customer service is outstanding.  So why so few sales? If you’ve struggled to find new customers, then this 30 minute presentation is for you. In this example-packed session, speaking star and marketing expert Graeme Newell clues you in on the simple marketing techniques that make products stand out. See how some of the world’s most ingenious companies build passionate customer loyalty and create breakthrough sales results in even the most crowded sectors.
– Learn How to Stop Selling What You Do and Start Selling What Your Product Empowers.
– Discover Best Practices for Building Deeper Customer Loyalty.
– Find Your Unique Selling Proposition.
– Learn How to Add Clarity and Passion to Your Pitch.

Talk #2 – Best Selling Author Stan Phelps of 9 INCH marketing

“Creating Customer WOW – Little Things Make the Biggest Difference”

Let’s face it…we’ve lost focus in marketing. We’ve been so laser focused on prospective customers that we’ve forgotten to deliver an exceptional customer experience once they’ve walked through the door. Advertising is no longer the answer. Traditional media is fragmented and for the most part ineffective. Customer support is non-existent, we’re too busy outsourcing it to India. We’ve developed complex loyalty programs that confuse customers and only promise future benefits.

This presentation features lessons from Stan Phelps’ Amazon Best Seller, “What’s Your Purple Goldfish.” It will cover the ingredients of creating signature added value and the 12 different types of little extras such as the importance of follow up and how to handle mistakes.

– Hear about customer-centric marketing lessons from leading brands such as Apple, Southwest and Zappos.

– Learn about differentiation through added value through the Goldfish Rule.

– Understand the importance of customer experience and its impact on satisfaction, retention and word of mouth.

– Take away practical examples that will enable you to readily apply the principles.

Space is Limited. RSVP required.

Any questions or if you need additional information, please call 919.360.4702 or e-mail Stan Phelps at stan@9inchmarketing.com

 

Today’s Lagniappe (a little something extra thrown in for good measure) – Here is Graeme talking about getting past product features in marketing:

Calling #PDX: Two for Tuesday Wine Tasting and Marketing Talks Event on 8/20 at the Kennedy School

Two for Tuesday Graeme and Stan

Two Wine Tastings and Two Marketing Talks (click here to register)

Come out on Tuesday, 8/20 from 6:30 – 8:30 PM  at the Kennedy School in Portland for two hours of networking, wine tasting and marketing talk.

Schedule of Events

6:30 – Checkin and Wine Tasting #1

7:00 – Marketing Talk #1 – Graeme Newell “Finding New Customers”

7:30 – Wine Tasting #2

8:00 – Marketing Talk #2 – Stan Phelps “Creating Customer Wow”

Presentation Overviews

Talk #1 – Emotional marketing expert Graeme Newell of 602 Communications

“How to Find New Customers & Hold On to the Ones You’ve Got”
Okay, your products are great and your customer service is outstanding.  So why so few sales? If you’ve struggled to find new customers, then this 30 minute presentation is for you. In this example-packed session, speaking star and marketing expert Graeme Newell clues you in on the simple marketing techniques that make products stand out. See how some of the world’s most ingenious companies build passionate customer loyalty and create breakthrough sales results in even the most crowded sectors.
– Learn How to Stop Selling What You Do and Start Selling What Your Product Empowers.
– Discover Best Practices for Building Deeper Customer Loyalty.
– Find Your Unique Selling Proposition.
– Learn How to Add Clarity and Passion to Your Pitch.

Here’s Graeme talking about Nike:

Positioning a Brand: How Nike Built a Brand with Universal Appeal

Talk #2 – Best Selling Author Stan Phelps of 9 INCH marketing

“Creating Customer WOW – Little Things Make the Biggest Difference”

Let’s face it…we’ve lost focus in marketing. We’ve been so laser focused on prospective customers that we’ve forgotten to deliver an exceptional customer experience once they’ve walked through the door. Advertising is no longer the answer. Traditional media is fragmented and for the most part ineffective. Customer support is non-existent, we’re too busy outsourcing it to India. We’ve developed complex loyalty programs that confuse customers and only promise future benefits.

what's your purple goldfishThis presentation features lessons from Stan Phelps’ Amazon Best Seller, “What’s Your Purple Goldfish.” It will cover the ingredients of creating signature added value and the 12 different types of little extras such as the importance of follow up and how to handle mistakes.

– Hear about customer-centric marketing lessons from leading brands such as Apple, Southwest and Zappos.

– Learn about differentiation through added value through the Goldfish Rule.

– Understand the importance of customer experience and its impact on satisfaction, retention and word of mouth.

– Take away practical examples that will enable you to readily apply the principles.

Here’s a couple local Purple Goldfish in Portland:

purple goldfish portland

Space is Limited. RSVP required. Register here on Eventbrite.
Eventbrite - Two For Tuesday: Wine Tastings & Marketing Talks
Any questions or if you need additional information, please call 919.360.4702 or e-mail Stan Phelps at stan@9inchmarketing.com

Today’s Lagniappe (a little something extra thrown in for good measure) – In honor of a webinar I’m doing today with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, I’m giving away copies of my latest book, “What’s Your Green Goldfish – Beyond Dollars: 15 Ways to Drive Employee Engagement and Reinforce Culture.” Click here to get your free copy of the eBook on Amazon. The free link is good until midnight on Friday, 8/16. Here’s a book preview on Slideshare: