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How your supply chain can build or destroy your brand

How can your supply chain affect your brand equity? Joseph Benson and Bret Kinsella argue that marketers should give as much thought to the buying experience as they do to image, marketing communications and product engineering.

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Jill is the company’s new Marketing Vice President. Her mission: develop a strategy to revitalise the brand and grow revenue ten per cent. She has thirty days to develop her new strategy and present it to the Board of Directors.

To prepare, she reviewed all of the current primary and secondary brand and market research. She commissioned a new survey of promising market segments. She worked with the head of Marketing Research, the Vice President of Public Relations, the Director of Retail Marketing and the Senior Vice President of Marketing Communications. She also worked with the three top business development and sales executives. After one month she was ready to present a bold new direction for the company.

The Board Members listened actively and were impressed by her knowledge and new ideas. She presented a compelling argument for the company’s new brand promise and an innovative strategy for communicating it consistently to target customers. At the conclusion of the presentation, the Chairman of the Board asked her one question: "You can make this promise to our customers, but how sure are you that our supply chain fulfillment capabilities can consistently support it?"

Delivering on the brand promise becomes a moment of truth in any customer relationship. This moment of truth can have a positive or negative impact on the customer’s perception of your brand. You may have great marketing communications and a superior product, but the buying experience stands between you and the customer. If the customer has a negative buying experience due to poor fulfillment, you have diluted the equity in your brand. And this happens all too often. So how do you make sure it doesn’t happen in your company?

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