John Himle Joins PR Week for Brand Reputation Roundtable discussion
From PR Week
: What consumers value most in organizations does not always match what marcomms pros think. Industry leaders joined Gideon Fidelzeid at this Spong-hosted roundtable in Minneapolis to discuss bridging that gap, as well as keys to establishing ambassadors and bulletproofing a brand.
Gideon Fidelzeid (PRWeek): Spong’s research highlights a divide between what customers and marketers deem most important in a brand. How can marketers bridge that gap?
Jill Schmidt (Spong): Our recent primary research found there is far more diversity in what consumers value in a brand than what marketers think they do. While quality, value, and customer service all rank high in terms of importance, consumers also bring their own personal value systems to bear on what they deem most important in a brand – from its record on sustainability and treatment of employees to its leadership in innovation and contribution to community. It's not one size fits all, so it's critical for us to really understand what's important to a brand's target consumers.
Ellen Ryan Mardiks (Golin): Consumers most want a brand to be relevant to them and to demonstrate that relevance in their lives and communities. Marketers often focus on disruption, which is important, but sometimes we focus on it so strictly we may forget the relevance part. Bringing those two closer would serve brands well.
Dana Ripley (US Bank): So often people make decisions in the context of emotion. As communicators, though, we have to let data drive our decisions. That’s hard as a financial institution, where issues such as trust, governance, and transparency are particularly paramount, but you could end up making a much worse mistake if you’re responding in the context of emotion.
John Himle (Himle Rapp): Communicators are only one part of the equation. There must be very close alignment between the brand, the brand promises, and the actual business operations and execution. If the consumer is hearing one thing from communications but experiencing something totally different in reality, your brand won’t do very well.