Tom Asacker on Branding

October 19, 2006 at 9:19 pm 2 comments

Tom Asacker, who blogs about marketing and branding over at A Clear Eye, gave a short interview after his recent presentation at Brand Manager Camp. I want to highlight one of Tom’s statements, but check out the whole interview (which is short) and his blog (which is intelligent and stimulating.)

A brand is a customer’s perception and an expectation of receiving something.

This got me thinking: What are my perceptions and expectations of the various businesses that I interact with?

So what do your customers expect and perceive when they visit your library or website? What experiences are you offering them?

Tom Asacker suggests that if we offer our customers an appealing experience — that is, an experience that’s going to 1) satisfy their problems, and/or 2) help them feel good about themselves, and/or 3) allow them to make social connections — they will choose to spend their time with us. I think that’s good news for libraries. We DO help people solve problems and we (at our best) offer physical spaces that are ripe with opportunity for social connection. (Here come the “I caught them doing it in the stacks” stories…)

My questions: How can we do this better? How can we offer a consistently positive customer experience across time? Across platforms? (i.e. in-person, on the phone, on the web.) If the experience isn’t consistent, how can customers ever come to expect it? In looking at my own behavior, I notice that I’ll tolerate a low level of consistently poor or mediocre service more than I’ll tolerate inconsistent service. Receiving consistently bad service is actually less stressful for me—as long as I know what to expect. It’s the uncertainty that stresses me out…


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  • 1. Hockey Librarian  |  October 20, 2006 at 9:08 am

    Heh. I love the Wegmans comment. In general I hate shopping, but I could live in Wegmans. Of course, being a Rochesterian I grew up with it.

    My expectations for a grocery store were abundant choices, super high quality produce, reasonable prices, very clean building and helpful staff.

    Living in MS for 3 years where no grocery stores fully met my expectations was rough!

    I imagine that people who move from place to place and use libraries must have similar experiences.

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