Saturday, February 20, 2016

No Excuse For Poor Corporate Reputation And Customer Experience

Photo Credit: Me!
The Harris Poll released its latest Reputation Quotient® Report, and while it contains the expected data about the importance and business benefits of good reputation, I was struck by the diversity of the top ten companies in the study. The list includes several of my favorite companies–both personally as a consumer and professionally as a customer experience analyst–but when I cite these examples, people can be quick to provide reasons why these firms are unlike their own businesses and “have it easy.”

This year’s list demonstrates why that dismissal is an excuse. The heterogeneity of the top ten most respected companies illustrates how easy it is to overlook the hard work of creating a great customer experience, building an ethical and customer-centric corporate culture and leading in a way that resonates with employees and consumers. The top ten firms in the 2016 poll are Amazon, Apple, Google, USAA, The Walt Disney Company, Publix Super Markets, Samsung, Berkshire Hathaway, Johnson & Johnson, and Kellogg Company.

To learn more about why it is an excuse to dismiss the success of USAA, Disney, Amazon and Google and what these firms can teach us about customer experience, loyalty, advocacy and reputation, please continue reading on my Gartner blog.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Content Isn’t King–Customer Experience Is

photo credit: The Crown Jewels via photopin (license)
Content is not king. It is important–vital, in fact–but it is not king. A new study from TrackMaven demonstrates that while brands continue to pursue greater content production strategies, they are getting less engagement for their effort. This is an outcome that a simple supply-and-demand analysis could have predicted, and it demonstrates once again why customer experience is the real king.

Even without examining data, it should be apparent why customer experience has a stronger claim to the throne than does content. Content can attract attention but it cannot hold loyalty. You do not stay loyal to brands that produce the best content but the brands that provide the best customer experience at the right price (excluding, of course, those brands were content is the product like Disney or FOX). No one has ever said, “The product is disappointing, but I’m not going to switch because the brand produces great content.”

In the consumer half of your brain, the idea that customer experience is more important than content seems pretty obvious, but the marketer half of our brains clings to the belief that content is the ruler. This may be a holdover from a time when creative Mad Men ruled our industry, but media has splintered, the number of channels has risen, and the content available to consumers has exploded. The marketing equation that worked in the era when an advertiser on “I Love Lucy” could reach 70% of households is different than the one today with millions of websites, YouTube channels, Spotify lists, blogs, mobile apps, Video on Demand, streaming and cable channels.

Click here for the rest of my blog post on, including data from the TrackMaven report and more info on why content is just the mass transit system of your brand realm but customer experience is the real king.