BY JAGDEEP KAPOOR
Reliability is the first Brand Ability that the brand requires, in order to be a success in the marketplace.
To be reliable, in effect, is to be able to deliver on time every time. When your brand promises a customer that the product will perform in a certain manner, within a certain time frame, you must consistently make sure that the promise is fulfilled or exceeded.
A breach of promise will result in the brand being viewed with suspicion. If brand promises are not redeemed, consumers will have second thoughts about subsequent, purchases.
For example, let us consider an, air conditioner. Its a priori assumption is that it will keep the customer cool. Now let us suppose that it does not cool the customer enough. Or that it repeatedly breaks down. What do you think will come to the customer's mind? If he/she has to buy a second air conditioner for the home or office, do you think he/she will consider the same brand that once proved to be unreliable?
We can also look at an educational institution as an example for the service sector. A good faculty, curriculum and extra curricular activities for the overall development of students all these features make the school reliable, prompting parents to consider the institution once more, when they have a second child.
As another example, we can talk about a courier company. Reliability is the chief weapon in the arsenal of a courier brand. Can you imagine a courier service that does not deliver on time? Would you entrust your precious time-sensitive documents to its care? In all probability, you would not.
But a reliable courier company, which ensures that your parcels reach their destinations on schedule, would no doubt receive your business again and again. The brand's virtue is its reputation of being reliable. The Brand Ability is its firm commitment to deliver on time.
Let's look at the real estate business. To win the brand war, a real estate company must possess the weapon of reliability. Blessed with this attribute, a real estate brand will deliver and allow timely possession oft be property. Its transaction will appear fair and clean. At the outset, dealing with persons who may undertake just a few transactions in a lifetime, it may seem futile to pin So much hope on the Brand Ability of Reliability. But apart from the second or may be the third transaction, there is always the word of mouth that spreads goodwill in a flash. Suddenly, the purchase is talked about amongst the customer's family and friends. Dinner table conversations are laced with observations of how it was a pleasure to deal with the real estate brand.
Some of the real estate brands that have built a reputation of reliability are Raheja, Hiranandani, Nirmal, Ansal, Great Eastern, Neptune Kanakia Spaces and DLE These hands know the value of vindicating their promises and delivering on time and have effectively used the Brand Ability of Reliability.
Reliability is a strong weapon for the marketeer. Word of mouth, the most potent medium of communication, born out of personal experience, helps to establish reliability. Word of mouth travels swiftly and its credibility quotient is extremely high.
The fruits of the labor of this Brand Ability are plenty. The brand that is tagged reliable is such a delight to customers that they cannot resist talking about their experience. Their first-hand accounts are contagious, and soon family and friends also try out the brand that has so much promise and such glowing testimonials.
Brands that ignore the Brand Ability of Reliability become also¬-rans. Although they may survive, they certainly don't lead the pack in the competitive race of brands. They are the dregs in the cup of the Consideration Set Customers look towards them merely in desperation.
For a brand to be a winner, it must be perceived to be reliable by the relevant target audience.
As a Brand Ability, the weapon of Reliability can make or break a brand. If a brand is reliable, and is perceived such, it will be considered repeatedly by different customers, because of the spread of its positive reputation.
However, if the converse is true, if a brand is perceived to be unreliable that is, if it makes a promise that it does not live up to the brand will be out of the Consideration Set for future customers.
Reliability is an overriding consideration for future customers who would be considering the brand. Even though the price of another brand may be lower, if the latter is perceived to be unreliable, customers would not consider it. The brand endowed with the Brand Ability of reliability will override it.
Thus, this weapon of reliability should be used by a brand to get into the Consideration Set of the relevant target audience
The author is Brand Guru Jagdeep Kapoor, Managing Director of the successful Samsika Marketing Consultancy Pvt. Ltd. Tel: 022 28597700/7701 Fax: 28597699 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 2007 All rights reserved with Jagdeep Kapoor, Managing Director, Samsika Marketing Consultants Pvt. Ltd.
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