Have you lost your “Cadillac” legacy?  Recently, Chuck Stevens, CFO of GM was interviewed by the Wall Street Journal.  He lamented the lost luxury of Cadillac as “the luxury” vehicle.  He declared that at one point it “was the definition of the luxury in the world.”  However, he confessed that they “underinvested in the brand and the product.”  Consequently, he said “we destroyed the brand value.”  He hopes to rebuild that, but that is a “Mt. Everest trek” for the company, at this point.

How are you keeping the value of your brand alive?  Or are you?  It is so easy to get complacent and assumptive.  Many companies are busy declaring themselves “leaders in the industry.”    You may be the lowest price which may mean you may have less quality of poorer customer service.  What brand deliverables matter to your customers?  Are you keeping track of how that is delivered?

One client learned that quality was the most important attribute to their customers.  We asked them how they measured quality and they said they didn’t.  We asked them what their return rate was and they had no idea.  We asked them to measure it for the next few months.  Much to their shock and our dismay we learned that a stunning 75% of products sold had issues.  It got uglier.  Their staff was not responding to the complaints in a timely fashion and not reporting the gigantic complaint rate to management.  Talk about tarnishing a brand and losing brand value!

The point is that the owners had no idea.  Why?  They didn’t know what was most valued by their customers and had no measurements to determine how well they were doing, or in this case, not doing.  They had no internal alignment, and therefore, not enough accountability to assure the customers got what they most wanted from a supplier.

  • Do you have dependable key leaders ensuring internal alignment with that which reflects your value brand?
  • Are they measuring those things and holding staff accountable?
  • Is there abundant communication when something goes wrong?
  • How are slip-ups communicated and handled?
  • Are you underinvesting in keeping your brand polished?

Every company needs some solid introspection from time to time.  Have you recently taken stock in this area?  Let us know.   [email protected]


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