Seth Godin’s blog post today “Defender of the brand” was a salient reminder of what we’re aiming to do. In the piece, he reminds his readers that a Marketing Officer’s first duty is to ensure the brand experience is one of quality. All the ads in the world are meaningless if the execution of the business is poor.
In my experience, the best advertising, amenity upgrade, or value-add is an operations system that works well. Many people take their systems for granted but spend five minutes talking to the person answering the phone and you’ll see that isn’t the case. Tap on any area of the business and you’ll find ad hoc patches pasted on by an insufficiently supported front-line staff.
I’ve met too many people that think focusing on the surface details will be enough to make a difference. Sure, superior finishes, polished marketing, remarkable design will all have a positive impact. However, without an enjoyable, engaged staff that feels supported and heard, it won’t mean much.
The student housing business is full of bright shiny underperforming assets and always has been. It’s not all metal, glass, and stone. It’s also hearts and minds.
Want to get the best performance out of any business? Here’s the recipe:
- Listen and support the people doing the work. Make their lives as easy as possible; solve their problems with them. Their problems are your problems.
- Let those people help your customers have an easy/fun experience.
- Rinse, repeat.
Do this ruthlessly. Over and over again. Defend the brand by ensuring what the brand stands for is a quality experience.