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Only One Chance with Customers?
By: Janet Kalandranis
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In today’s world, customers expect the best of the best. It’s now the status quo, and with so many companies able to pull off the best on the first try, the idea of second best is hard for customers to swallow. Shouldn’t the norm be equal across all companies? Are customers forgetting to put things in perspective? Or should brands be more responsible and tell customers their plans so they are “in the know"?

Branding talk often includes “getting it right,” “making sure customers are happy,” and “driving success.” With this mentality, there is no margin for error and as a brand there is really only one chance to make an impact with new initiatives. But is this the truth in 2012? When customers are given more information and more privilege, they are able to help brands reach success.

Customers want to feel “in the know” and enjoy being part of the process for certain brands. So as a brand, what if you tell customers about a test launch or a private program or ask them for their opinion? The goal is for this kind of interaction to not only increase engagement but also allow the brand to test launch some of its programs. Think of Pinterest (which is actually still in Beta) or Google Wave (which started as invite only to see how well it performed). These were true company initiatives put out into a customer environment with an understanding that perfection was not the goal.

By giving customers exposure to the initiative and knowledge of what the brand is trying to achieve, there is a sense of empowerment with the consumer. The brand wins with unedited real-time research, and the customers feel more engaged with a brand. So maybe brands don’t always have to be perfect. Maybe there's room for a second chance. Either way, the plan has to be specific and well thought-out so customers are reacting in a way that is beneficial to the brand. Perfection isn’t the norm anymore, but brands must make it worthwhile to the customer.


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About the Author
Janet Kalandranis is here to give you all the little brand thoughts that run through her head with a little dash of spice. Find her online here.
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