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  • Writer's pictureTamara McKenzie

EP11: Leveraging Customer Insights for Branding Success with Michael Doyle


In this episode, we're joined by Michael Doyle, the founder and CEO of Brand Iron, to dive into the powerful influence of branding and business development. Michael's insights shed light on how consistency plays a vital role in building relationships and establishing trust with customers. Rather than focusing solely on self-promotion, he emphasizes that effective branding and marketing strategies should center around assisting clients in achieving their desired outcomes and paving their path to success.

Michael and his dedicated team work tirelessly to synchronize efforts across all departments, ensuring a seamless process for successful branding. This involves meticulous tracking and measuring of leads, carefully inputting them into a comprehensive database and then quantifying, qualifying, and monitoring their progress.

Additionally in this episode, Michael emphasizes the significance of evaluating and measuring processes and systems in a timely manner. To ensure a shared understanding, he begins engagements by clearly defining goals and objectives and incorporates regular checkpoints throughout the process. He also suggests the identification of KPIs to monitor progress and allocate responsibilities accordingly. He advises against blindly investing significant resources in brand building without specific goals or campaigns in mind.

 

'Two Bad Things' Segment

Welcome to our segment called 'Two Bad Things', where both things are really bad and somehow you have to pick the thing that's actually worse.

Starting out, we have "failure to adapt to customer needs" or "lack of transparency in the product"?

Michael: I think it's a failure to understand the customer and their needs versus the transparency, I think we've got to understand the customer. We have to listen to the customer, understand their sense of urgency. We need to understand, what they're trying to get accomplished and make sure you're a hundred percent aligned. Most clients in general, they want to make sure that you are connected with them. Who you are emotionally, you've got your EQ, you're emotionally aware, of their concerns or their sense of urgency and being able to have the ability to look your client in the eye, make sure you hear them, understand them, and communicate that you hear and understand them. So you need to listen to their needs and be able to put together strategies or put together a timeline that helps them feel better about everything that you're doing.

Which is worse, "poor social media presence" or "branding that lacks a consistent message and visual identity"?

Michael: I'm going to say the latter about inconsistent branding, because we see it all the time. I mean, we start to work with clients and sometimes we'll see 20 different logos or everybody has developed their own PowerPoint templates or they have got different color pallets. I mean, I've seen some complete train wrecks. You could look at different PowerPoint presentations and you have no idea if it's the same company or not. The same thing on some of the posts on social media too.

You're like, "well, wait a second. The customer service team's doing this, the sales team's doing this, the product team's doing this, you got the C-suite doing this. What is their voice? What is their brand? What are they all about?"

You've got to have some consistency and you've got to be able to know what those value points, what the value proposition is, so your customers can kind of build a relationship, you've got to be able to have consistency so they feel good about who you are, who they're dealing with, what they think you're all about. So they can start to build a rapport and a relationship. So that's why, consistency is huge.

These two are almost one and the same, so good luck, Michael, which is worse, "bad customer service" or "negative publicity"?

Michael: Hmm. They're both bad.

Devon: Yeah, and one could be the result of the other too.

Michael: Absolutely. You are asking me for the worst of two evils here? I think it's bad customer service, because it's more on a personal level, the negativity online, you can sometimes take that with a grain of salt, but if you have a bad experience with somebody from the company, I think that really sticks in your mind and does a lot more harm to individual customers. It could be super positive or super negative and there's really not a lot in between. You may have some negative reviews out there, but I may not have a personal experience with that one way or the other.

Devon: I think, you're right in that customer service is the worst of the two, but I do think bad customer service is easier to fix than negative publicity. You know, once the genie's out of the bottle, it's kind of like hard to put it back in.

Michael: Yeah, I'll have to agree with you. I mean, they both have their negatives and so which is the worst? Well, here's a really good example, we work with a medical practice and people are so fast to go online and provide a negative review versus it takes 'pulling teeth out and pulling nails' to get people to give a positive review.

It is just out of nature and being online and, you know, quipping off a negative or snarky remark is so easy, and now it's to the point where, "Okay, well there's some negative stuff BUT everybody's got negative stuff." But if you have a negative experience with an employee or someone in customer service that really sticks close to home and it really leaves a really bad taste of your mouth.


Two ends of a spectrum on this one, but which is worse ethical issues or lack of innovation?

Michael: I'm going go back to the core tenant of ethical issues. I mean, innovation's important, but if you can't build upon that trust foundation because there are trust issues or ethical issues, you're dead in the water. So it's a non-starter in most relationships, even personal relationships, not even business relationships, but you can't build a rock-solved relationship when there are ethical issues and you can't begin to worry about innovation if you can't move forward. From a foundational, element or a foundational piece that's broken.


 

Timestamps

00:03:00 Coordinating with Sales and Marketing Teams for Brand Refinement and Lead Management

00:04:00 Conversation on Branding and Digital Transformation Strategies

00:09:00 Effective Marketing Strategies and "Two Bad Things" Segment

00:10:00 Transparency and Alignment with Clients

00:14:00 Discussion on the Impact of Bad Customer Service and Negative Publicity

00:17:00 The Importance of Creating a Great Brand Experience for Customers

00:18:00 Conversation on Consulting Services, Ethical Issues, and Innovation

00:20:00 Exploring the Components of a Successful Pitch Deck

00:27:00 Building a Scalable and Repeatable Business Model

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