Recession Silver Lining: Better Brand Experience at Best Buy, CB2, Corner Bakery and Verizon(?)!
April 13, 2010 ‐ 2 comments
Here's another entry in the unofficial BrandCultureTalk category "Focus Group of One" where we extrapolate larger significance to individual encounters we have with various consumer brands.  As some of our regular devotees may know, BrandCulture recently moved offices with all the ensuing flurry of activity that such a relocation entails.  Anticipating confusion, frustration and perhaps even rage, we have been . . . pleasantly surprised. There a few activities in life less rewarding than waiting for the cable installer.  Waiting for phone service is a close second.  This time, however, Verizon offered speedy, friendly and fast service while setting up our new office phone lines. Not only did we have a dedicated representative we could contact via email at any time, Verizon even followed up by phone as well. They made the process infinitely more simple and convenient than our prior interactions with at&t, which featured the customary rigmarole of long hold times and inexplicable ping-ponging among different departments. Verizon was refreshing and our customer service representative, Chandra, was a perfect brand ambassador:  competent, polite and above all, efficient. Napoleon Bonaparte noted in 1795 that an army travels on its stomach; so too does a brand-building strikeforce.  To help with the packing and unpacking, not to mention the settling in to new surroundings while simultaneously delivering exceptional client service, we commandeered a smorgasbord of sandwiches from the Corner Bakery.  Delicious!  Nutritious!  Attractively packaged!   And even giving a hoot whether or not we enjoyed the meal.  A few hours after we picked up the catering order for our office, a Corner Bakery rep called HQ to make sure everything was satisfactory with our order . . . and to see if they could help us with any other services for the rest of the week. We were impressed with their care for customer satisfaction -- along with the appropriate, but tasteful cross-sell of future sandwiches. Every new office needs new furniture.  That's where CB2 comes in.  Although our taste runs more to Saarinen and Eames, our current TI budget is, well, less than Kozlowskian.  Happily, CB2 the younger, hipper sibling of Crate&Barrel, provides a reasonable simulacrum of high-end mid-century design at a price point that is decidedly less than princely.  Nikki, who assisted us with our sale at CB2's Sunset Boulevard store could not have been more helpful or willing to work within our more modest means (in stark contrast to our recent experience at Heath Ceramics), outfitting the plupart of our new digs in short order. And as surely as sunshine leads to sunburn, crumbs follow sandwich mastication.   To tidy our new carpet, we ordered a vacuum at and went to the store to pick it up.  We've previously extolled the virtues of Best Buy's "Results-Only Work Environment," but we were even more excited to experience it in action.  Not only was the vacuum ready and waiting as promised, we were in and out of the store in approximately 5 minutes. After we picked up the order, we received a follow-up email inquiring as to our level of satisfaction as well as a solicitation for feedback to improve it. Do four positive brand experiences a trend make?  Time will tell.  Nothing about them was earth-shatteringly innovative or even extraordinary, but they were notable in aggregate because of their collective competence -- that they delivered in full on what they promised.  We take it as proof that sometimes saying what you mean, meaning what you say and following through is all a brand needs to rise above the rest.
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Bruce Hungate
May 1, 2010 11:30 pm
Whoever writes these is a gifted humorist and linguist, not to mention expert in the art of branding. What I know about branding I've learned from Brand Culture Talk (along with a bit of vocabulary).
Recession Silver Lining: Better Brand Experience at Best Buy, CB2 …
April 13, 2010 3:49 pm
[...] More: Recession Silver Lining: Better Brand Experience at Best Buy, CB2 … [...]

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