In my previous post, I introduced the concept of branding a service delivery or discovery process and outlined some of the benefits of pursuing this approach. In this installment, I will share some real-life examples of service process branding to give you a better idea of how it works.
Below are three examples of branded service delivery. The third is explained in greater detail to more fully illustrate execution of the concept.
Logistics - UPS Branded Supply Chain Management
Nearly everyone has heard of ‘Logistics’, the UPS branded supply chain management service. The company has leveraged the brand for 12 years to increase the perceived value of its transportation services. Brand tag lines used include:
We (heart) Logistics
Grow your company through the power of Logistics
Rather than ordinary delivery services, UPS is able to differentiate it’s offering and sell customers on value-added logistics planning, supply chain design and additional services with tangible and perceived benefits for customers’ operations.
iCare - IT Managed Services Discovery Process
A NYC area IT consultant and managed services provider (MSP) brands it’s IT managed services and discovery process as iCare (name changed). Rather than a mind-numbing discovery session with a technician, the customer is asked to relate their own business goals and problems.
IT services are then sold as part of a revenue-enhancing IT strategy designed specifically for the customer. Services are bundled and sold for a flat fee placing the customer under the iCare umbrella that takes care of ongoing maintenance, technology updates and security.
Building the Windward Way - Windward Homes Customer Care Process
Windward Homes faced a number of challenges. Customers were difficult to manage, leadership micromanaged employees and growth was limited because there was only one person who guided process, the owner.
The company also shared a number of buyer pain points with the industry in general.
Home Building Pain Points
- Most custom home buyers had a negative experience
- Most custom homes were over budget and delivered late
- Builder/buyer communication was poor
- Most buyers didn’t understand change orders
Although the company built completely unique, one-off custom homes, I observed that the process of designing and building these homes was totally replicable and a good candidate for improvement.
Looking for a way to differentiate the company, I asked the owner what he thought of branding his home building process and proposed a name/tag line to communicate the brand. When he heard ‘The Windward Way’, he supported the idea enthusiastically.
Seldom up against a competitor with a branded process, we saw the branding effort as an excellent opportunity to differentiate the company and streamline operations.
Standardizing the Process
We created an Operation Guide Book for employees that included job descriptions, milestone templates, communication protocols and procedures. To be effective, we knew that employees must:
- Learn and understand the process
- Buy in to the concept and procedures
- Understand their role in delivering on the brand promise
Here’s an excerpt:
“The Windward Way is a project management and customer care philosophy which emphasizes efficiency through a standardized process of construction milestones, proactive and documented communication with the customer, and optimum service through consistent, predictable and replicable procedures.”
We began training superintendents and other employees on following the guide book.
Communicating the Brand
On the customer-facing side, we produced a ‘Customer Care Guidebook, Building the Windward Way.’ The idea was to make the process feel tangible like a product. The guidebook included the following sections:
- Projected construction schedule
- Worksheets for buyer selections
- Contact information
- Construction milestones with templated meeting agendas, process overviews, timetables and financial information
A critical project launch at the project's initiation provided the opportunity to overview the process, and manage client expectations. The milestone meetings transformed what used to be a marathon into a series of manageable checkpoints. We continuously trained employees to deliver on the promises stated and implicit in the guidebook.
The ‘Building the Windward Way’ logo was placed on trucks, signage and everything else. It stood out as our advertising sign-off and became the outside brand of the company.
‘Building the Windward Way’ developed into a key marketing tool. Knowing that competitors loosely documented their processes with spreadsheets and scattered file folders, we leveraged the brand in conversations like this:
“Here’s our process, Building the Windward Way. Ask our competitors to show you their process.”
The Customer Care Guidebook became a coffee table book for the buyers and a reference tool to get more business.
The process branding effort produced some exciting results:
- Windward no longer had to be the low bidder to win business
- The building process ran more smoothly
- Homes were completed more on budget and on time
- Communication became smoother and more predictable
- Customer satisfaction increased
- Customers experienced greater peace of mind
With a repeatable process, the company was now able to scale up operations, increasing the number of homes built by 200%. We estimated that ‘Building the Windward Way’ had a six figure value, up to $200,000 per home, because customers were willing to pay more for the peace of mind that came with a predictable process.
Create Your Own Process Brand
Each of these companies has successfully branded a process. You can do the same. In my next post, I will discuss the steps you might follow to codify, package and brand your service delivery process.