Does Your Organization Have Raving Fans?

I had the wonderful privilege of visiting the corporate headquarters of Chick-fil-A yesterday.  As we all know, this company, from top to bottom, sets the bar for exceptional customer service. It was both an honor and overwhelming to take in all the wisdom that was shared regarding their philosophy on honoring others and providing excellent client service.  Each philosophy was steeped in spiritual nuggets and life truths.

Transferring all that wisdom and knowledge into another business model can be challenging, however, it is absolutely

necessary if you want to grow your business/organization and differentiate yourself in the marketplace. If your entity is struggling to grow, take a look at how you and your staff provide service to visitors and clients.

It is easy to think that if you have a great product or service, client service is not very important.  This is unequivocally wrong.  I have seen many small business owners think that because they have a great service they can be rude or not take good care of their clients. Having a great product, service or worship experience may create a satisfied client or member, but it will not guarantee a raving fan.

According to the NY Times, did you know that 83% of satisfied customers will not tell others about your service or product.  This is not a raving fan.  A raving fan will pay full price for your service and then run and tell others about it.  How many of your clients and customers are doing that?

Raving fans directly affect the bottom line of an organization.  If you are not systematically finding ways to create them, you are leaving money and resources on the table.  This is not an easy process.  It requires you and your staff to go above and beyond . . .every single time. It requires you to see your business/organization from the eyes and needs of the client or customer.  It is also critical to create emotional connections and know the real needs of your clients. In addition, creating raving fans is more than great customer service, it is providing the client/customer/member with more than they expected.

What is that one thing that could differentiate your business and service?  Something that shows you have gone above and beyond their expectations?

If you are not creating raving fans or providing exceptional client service, please allow me to help you implement this in your marketing strategy.  Contact me and let me help you connect the dots

Five Essentials for Building a Brand

When speaking to someone interested in starting a business, writing a book or leading an organization, inevitably the aspect of branding is discussed. Branding is one of my favorite marketing topics because branding is truly about emotion and connection. The strategies we use to create a brand should focus on creating a strong connection and relationship between the product/person/company and the customer or guest. More importantly, this strong connection creates customer loyalty.


To grow a business, brand or create loyal customers – a robust brand strategy is needed. This takes time and patience, however, it is absolutely necessary.

Below are essential keys needed for building any brand:

1.) Know the Strengths. Are you aware of your individual strengths or the strengths of your organization? If it is your individual brand, spend valuable time examining your strengths. Ask those closest to you about your strengths. The same holds true for your company. What are the strengths of the company? This may become clearer through surveys and focus groups, asking key customers, clients or guests key questions about the company or brand. If you are starting a company, find your target audience and discover what they value.

2.) Be Authentic. Authenticity is key in branding. This is knowing your strengths, as well as your weaknesses – but being perfectly okay with both. For example, Chick-fil-A does not try to make burgers or tacos. It has identified its strength, and probably its weaknesses, and they continually build on their strengths. They make really great chicken sandwiches with exceptional customer service. They don’t focus on making new sandwiches or twists on chicken sandwiches. As a result, they avoid their weaknesses and focus on the brand.

3.) Add Value. Whether it is an individual brand or company, be clear on the value you bring. Does your brand solve a problem or meet a need? Not only should the brand add value, but it should also differentiate you or your company from others. So many brands, organizations, services and products are competing for our attention. What will differentiate your brand from the others? It could the smallest thing that makes the difference. Discover “the thing” that will set your brand apart from others.

4.) Create an Emotion. What is the feeling you would like to invoke in your audience or clients? What emotion do you want your brand to feel? Dale Carnegie states: “When dealing with people, let us remember we are not dealing with creatures of logic. We are dealing with creatures of emotion.” Brand strategy should focus on building an emotion.

5.) Consistency is key. It is critical to reinforce the value, skills and expertise your brand brings. This should be communicated through your various marketing platforms. Consistency will help your prospective clients and customers, as well as your current clients, quickly know how to describe your business or your service. Consistency is also important for your visuals. Eventually you want customers to see your logo, your colors, as well as your fonts and formatting and know instinctively that it is your company.

If you are interested in creating a brand strategy for your company, organization or building your individual brand, please contact ashby & watts. We can help you connect the dots.