Remember the song that Cher sang in 1990 called the Shoop Shoop song? (here's a link to a YouTube video that I can't embed…by the way, check out her boots!) The song asks the age old question — how you can tell if he loves you so.
According to the lyrics, it's not in his eyes, his charms or even his warm embrace — it's in his kiss.
In other words… there comes a point in time when you just can't fake it. Apparently in romance, it's in the kiss.
But in business and marketing, it's when things get screwed up.
It's easy to fake customer love when everything is going well. The money is flowing, the product is selling and love abounds. But, when your back is against the wall — your brand's true colors show. You just can't help it.
It's like Martin Luther King said (and I am sure he was referencing marketing/branding):
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience,
but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
As we launch the new year, I think every business leader should ask these questions:
When things go wrong….
- What do my actions teach my employees?
- What do my actions say (loud and clear) to our customers?
- What do our policies reinforce in our clients?
Because let's face it…our own actions, how our employees act (after all, they are mimicking us) and our policies are a direct result of our choices. Conscious or not.
If you don't like the answers to any of the above, the time to correct that is right now. Before something goes wrong.