Irrespective of past, present or the future, the basic construct of Reputation will continue to be a function of our Promises and supporting Actions. Hence, What we do as Brand Owners & Communicators, Who we are as Communicators or How our Customers/Target Audiences perceive us, all will get defined by a very simple formula: BP * BE = BR.
This formula defines us and our individual job roles/KRAs. More so, this very formula will also help us overcome the current disruption.
The left hand side (LHS) of the equation stands for BP (Brand Promise) and BE (Brand Experience). To ensure a strong right hand side, (RHS – Brand Reputation), Brand Promise and Brand Experience on LHS need to be managed well. Varying the ratios of BP (Brand Promise) and BE (Brand Experience) will yield a stronger or weaker (BR) Brand Reputation. There are various theories of what the ideal ratio of BP and BE should be. Arthur W. Page Society, for example, proposes 10% weightage on Brand Promise communications and balance 90% on delivering the Brand Experience.
Now, while the responsibility of Orchestrating the Brand Promise is with the Communications Machinery, the KRAs ensuring Brand Experience – business actions and reactions – for all stakeholders rests with the CXOs/Business/Function Heads.
This formula leads us to two areas of discussion:
- Five broad takeaways:
- To achieve RHS – Reputation, LHS – Promise Delivery and Experience will need Orchestration, Collaboration & Trust. Now is the time for CXOs/Business Heads and Comms Machinery to empathise, even more, with each other – express dependency without hesitation, display trust & respect.
- We all have our roles to play! While Comms Machinery doctors the message delivery, CXO/Function Heads have to ensure Experience delivery across touchpoints for every stakeholder.
- CEO & CCO should together manage the LHS components – Promise Orchestration and Experience Delivery – to ensure strong RHS – Reputation.
- What, When, Where, How, How Much to communicate, Who should communicate, to Whom…well, all these will emanate from the above basic formula.
- Right Data & Analytics will be key to solve the equation LHS and RHS. Fast and Precise data as inputs and even faster Insights/Action points as outputs will ensure effective message delivery, understanding the outcome of it across Stakeholder Audiences and matching the brand experience delivery by the Business/Function Heads.
- Some takeaways for each custodian to tackle the ‘NEW’ NORMAL
- Brand Owners/CXOs:
Ideally, the CEO should take charge!
- Balanced Reputation leads to a healthy Balance Sheet
- Gift your Comms Machinery with Trust, Collaboration, Empathy & Transparency. In certain cases, a free hand will be wonderful.
- Increase Earned Media/PR initiatives in your Brand IMC mix & reap benefits.
- Facilitate easy access of Business Intelligence Data to your Comms Machinery.
- Corporate Communications Desk:
- KRA mix will change. Need to go beyond conventional News/Headline Management. High focus on “Media Relations” and “Customer” communications alone will need realignment.
- Enforce Listening & Targeted Vs Achieved mechanism.
- Speak the ‘Data’ language – this console will answer questions of what, when, how, how much, who, where, etc.
- Speaking with CXOs – your internal customers – in their (business language) will cement their dependency on you permanently.
- Good time to understand & support your PR firm’s operational dynamics and trust them as your Consultancy partner
- Communication Consultancies:
- Great time to realign the buffet of services…certainly beyond News/Headline Management.
- Define and implement actual Account Planning.
- Understand ‘Data beyond Database’ – beyond ‘media list’, ‘influencer list’, etc. It is the only way to convince clients to loosen their purse strings.
- Review and re-orient your talent profile
- Be Punctual, Proact and Not React – dig deeper into your Client Satisfaction feedback.
This formula should help each one of us survive, sustain and prepare for the ‘NEW’.
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