A New Year offers the chance for change, for reflection, for starting afresh. Whether you make a personal promise to break a bad habit or to create a good one, it’s a time for new opportunities. But, have you considered making a New Year resolution, or even better, a commitment for your brand?
The Babylonians first celebrated the New Year over 4,000 years ago. But, it was not until Julius Caesar assumed control of the Roman Republic in 49 B.C. that the Julian calendar was introduced and the tradition of making New Year’s resolutions began. Always one to think highly of himself, JC declared himself dictator for life in 44 B.C. What happened next was immortalised by William Shakespeare; the betrayal and assassination by his own friends and senators for essentially getting too big for his boots! The very people whose behaviour he needed to influence the most to stay in power turned against him.
What happened? It boils down to respect. He didn’t respect them, so they stabbed him in the back.
Demonstrating respect to others and to your brand is fundamentally a matter of good manners, about being courteous and polite to both your existing and potential customers and to your employees. Practising good manners shows other people that you are considerate of their feelings.
Brands represent a promise of what we can expect from them, or more importantly what we expect from the people who serve the brand. Having good brand manners means developing good habits in the way the brand interacts with people based on a code of how things should be done with mutual respect. Brand manners are the way in which a company can manage its promise to its customers and occur in every encounter. They create a framework that allows you to communicate with fewer misunderstandings and with clear expectations for what will happen. It’s about knowing how to behave in a way that doesn’t make the people around you uncomfortable, but makes them feel appreciated, respected and importantly to feel good about you.
Remember the Golden Rule your parents taught you as child.
Why is it important? Surely, that’s an outdated social protocol? Not when you look at the stats – good manners are rewarded, bad manners are punished. According to research last year:
- Consumers are 26% more likely to respond to messages when they are tailored to personal interests, and 22% more likely to engage when specific to their location. (OC&C, UK)
- 52% of consumers willingly share their personal details to receive relevant offers, while 57% actively avoid brands that bombard them with poorly targeted communications (Aimia Institute, UK)
- 6% uninstall gaming apps due to too many adverts, and 59.7% due to annoying push notifications. (ITR Infographic)
- There are 198 million active ad block users around the world. Ad blocking grew by 41% globally in the 12 months to June 2015. (PageFair’s Global Ad Blocking Report)
Add to this your own personal experience. We’ve all felt bombarded by irrelevant emails and messages, stalked on-line by inappropriate ads, interrupted from tasks by pop ups and annoyed by overly complicated transactional procedures. I could go on, but I think you’ve got the point.
Ask yourself the hard questions – does your brand have good manners? Do you treat customers like they want or deserve to be treated? Take this simple manners test:
- Does your brand treat its employees well so they will treat your customers well?
- Do you treat your customer’s time and money with respect, through actively demonstrating that you value both?
- How does your brand display gratitude to your customers?
- Is your loyalty program designed with your customer’s best interests at heart, or yours?
- Do your policies and procedures enhance your customers’ ability to do business with you, or do they impede it?