Thursday, February 16, 2012

Ask Customers First

Today's novel idea: ask customers first.

The top managers of some top brands "have forgotten (or never knew) what every junior brand manager surely knows," write Carol Phillips and Judy Hopelain in Branding Strategy Insider.

Ask customers how they might feel about your decision before you announce it.

In recent months, Bank of America, Netflix and Hewlett-Packard have all reversed major decisions after suffering consumers' wrath.

"Senior leaders are acting like bulls in a china shop, awkwardly and prematurely broadcasting their strategic decisions in ways that destroy their company's (and their own) reputation and value," the authors say.

"What has happened to the instincts of corporate America? Have the leaders of these companies become so insular, so arrogant, or so detached from reality that they don't bother developing a customer-focused plan to communicate their decisions effectively?"

When e-research tools have made concept-testing as easy as spell-checking a memo, these folks have no excuse.
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