Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Consumer education : The right path to build a brand!



Brand Knowledge is a function of awareness, which relates to consumers’ ability to recognize or recall the brand, and image, which consists of consumers’ perceptions and of associations for the brand

A strange feature at a popular branded watch store made me realize one thing. When people at the board room, decide to come up with a concept of teaching their customers about usage of their products and brands , does it ever really trickle down to the store level with that same intensity ,enthusiasm or spirit .

Do their lower level employees see any value in teaching their customers , how to use it the right way ?

This particular watch store i was referring to , had a beautifully designed board , which read Do's and Dont's for a watch.A very useful and knowledgeable info , which can be immensely useful to the customer . Yet, it didn't serve its intended purpose , because it was hung inside the servicing room/storage area where no one else can enter and see.

Whats the point of hanging a information board inside the store room , to be read by the service mechanics and the employees ?

The "brandpower.in - helping you buy better" advertisements is a great initiative to start a concept called consumer education in India , but the the brand associations and the promotion of their supporting brands are so obvious and ends up like one of those typical Surf Excel ads , that people actually switch it off , or do not really register in their minds


Very few brands have adopted this concept and there's a major gap between the developer or the manufacturer's recommended way of using, and the way the buyer actually ends up using it .

Consumer education is not about teaching the interface , or operating the machine with the buttons , or giving a thick manual to read from. It's about reaching to the customer , helping them to ease things, teach them to use the product in a more productive manner , which can increase performance and longevity and thereby improving customer satisfaction

When a person uses a product in a wrong way , for example , he charges his Nokia cell the entire night with a charger , the battery life comes down drastically and finally goes off.The person , though , assumes that the quality of the Nokia cell or the battery is poor and advocates to people to buy something else.
Little does one realize , its not because of the poor quality that the product fails, but because of a wrong usage of it , that ultimately causes it to stop working .

If a brand new shirt has shrunk or the color faded , one does normally argue , that the store guy failed to tell me the proper way to wash this particular kind of fabric ?
The employee argues , my job is to sell , if he wants to know the method , ask him to read the tag in the product or read up the entire manual

Whose fault is that ?
The buyer , who used it in the wrong way or the brand ,who failed to teach the customer the recommended and proper usage of the product ?


Advantages :

  • Your clients turn out to be the biggest Product champions and end up doing consumer advocacy when they become comfortable with that brand , and know its way in and out, using it to the maximum efficiency.
  • The usage and usability of product increases which can increase longevity or performance hence improve the brand image
  • A huge brand loyalty following
  • Comfortable and ease factor while usage
  • Increased marketing communication effectiveness
  • Greater perceived differentiation and brand equity
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3 comments:

Consumer Advocate said...

This is another example of how great customer service isn't a battle - it's teamwork! It's companies working with their customers to make sure that everyone's happy... even if that means taking an extra minute to educate them about the best use of the product. That kind of extra effort with result in a satisfied customer who continues to do business with that company - and recommends it to his friends!

Dave
LetterChamp.com

Anonymous said...

I like your blog it is very interesting. We have to file complaint when we feel something wrong with the product or service on the customer service. Just to give feedback to the company so that they will give guarantee on customer. Here for what I have been search I found a website that provides information on consumer issues - Consumer Advocacy

superking said...

Quite true that a satisfied customers is the true assets of the company. He can bring more and more business just by word of mouth. And a customer with not so good experience with the product will drive away prospective buyers. Indian consumer forum