“Harley-Davidson doesn’t have customers. Harley-Davidson has disciples.”
Ken Schmidt, the former Director of Communications for Harley-Davidson (credited with helping one the biggest brand turnarounds) once said that in a speech.
I completely agree with him. Harley-Davidson buyers are fanatics, and it shows. Could you imagine someone getting a cable company tattoo or wearing an airline jacket every day, religiously? Not likely.
Here’s the truth. Many companies today are not focused on building rapport and strong relationships with their customers. And that’s a crucial part of the successful business model.
Companies like Southwest Airlines and Zappos have similar stories, with high customer service ratings. Because of that incredible brand culture, those companies will always have dedicated buyer bases. Which means great things for their bottom line.
Ken Schmidt had it right, because he was able to help the company build a culture out of their brand. I wanted to do the same thing, but I had no idea how to get started. I run a collection agency, for goodness sake.
How was I supposed to create that welcoming culture when I’m calling to ask for money?
Believe it or not, it came down to connection. I was able to almost eliminate complaints and garner from both clients and consumers who praised my staff’s warmth, accountability, and positivity.
The measuring points for my staff’s calls were no longer about how much money they were able to bring in, it was more about that moment when the consumer realized their needs were going to be met. It was about that moment when they created connection.
That’s the importance of building your business on a mission. Actively cultivating that brand culture results in a more loyal customer base, fewer complaints, and a better overall reputation. (And yeah, increased bottom line is a given.)
Take some time to think about what your company’s brand culture is like. Whether that’s a side hustle, 9-5, or you own a booming brick-and-mortar. Is it thriving or crawling along at a snail’s pace? Odds are, that brand culture (the customer culture) is at the heart.
If you would like to read this article as originally published, visit MaryShores.com