Any enterprise is built on a single idea, emanating from a personal vision for a better future. The success of an enterprise depends on the translation of this idea into a business system. Instead of inventing the wheel you increase your effectiveness and efficiency through the experience curve, the learning curve and economies of scale.
Every man-made system needs to be Designed, Built, Implemented, Maintained and Managed. Furthermore, every system is governed by a compelling, clear and well-defined purpose, describing the system’s reasons-for-being. Without purpose there’s no commercial reason for investing time, money and efforts in a system.
Purpose is the driving force behind the realization of a vision because it describes the critical success factors and prerequisites for the Design, Building, Implementation, Maintenance and Management of the system. In other words, purpose provides the guidelines for the quality of the products and services and that of the process by which they are created and delivered. Think of corporate values, ethics and beliefs such as equal opportunity, sustainability, respect for humanity, eco-friendliness, employee-owned, for-profit, etc.
Quality is an experience, which is different for different people because we have different back grounds. Rather than trying to blend in with the competition, we want to capitalize on our differences by targeting people who are similar to us; people who resonate with us. And, because they resonate with us, our products and services are the “Obvious Choice” for fulfilling their needs. They simply cannot wait to do business with us once they are so inspired. Does this sound like creating a kick-ass brand? Well, David Tyreman wrote the book on it; visit www.WorldFamousCompany.com to order your copy.
Now, it seems like the critical issue is knowing what inspires people to do business with us. Clearly, whatever this is, it must be designed, built, implemented, maintained and managed within the business system. If it’s not part of the system, the business cannot deliver it. Moreover, whether the system inspires or discourages you from doing business with it, you can be sure that someone authorized this measure in some way, shape or form; nothing happens by accident.
Time Warner Cable in San Diego, CA is a great example of how not to inspire an audience. I shudder, hesitate and procrastinate calling them because every time I contacted them something was fouled-up or disconnected. Why does it take hours on the phone to correct their mistakes? Well, because their system is designed to discourage clients from speaking to a decision-maker. They want us to pay one way or another; we either give in and pay whatever they charge us, or we pay in wasting our time and dignity on the phone, listening to menu-options that have changed, pushing buttons, repeating senseless information to verify our identity before getting connected to another person with no authority to rectify what Time Warner did wrong. Note that this form of “Customer Service” is by design. Its no accident that they lure us with temporary discounts into signing-up for all-in-one packages. After all, with the competition out-off the way they have us by the short and curlies; if we don’t please them, they take away our email, internet, phone and TV!!!
What I want to impress upon you is that management’s perception of quality is what brands the business system. Now, you as decision-maker will have to choose how to position your brand or how to inspire clients who resonate with your value-proposition.
Whenever I need to make-up my mind about something, taking a position on an issue and making a decision, I create a continuum. A continuum is an axis with two extremes. The axis represents a certain principle; in this case the use of quality for the design of your business system that is representative of your brand; what you stand for.
Lets put Time Warner Cable on one extreme as an example of how to discourage clients from doing business with them. By the way, have you ever met anyone bragging about being a Time Warner Cable client? Lets position Southwest Airlines on the other extreme, as a shining example of a business inspiring its target audience. Where would you position your business? What are the qualities you believe will resonate and inspire your target audience most?
This is what I want you to take away from this article:
- Any business is a man-made system that’s created by design.
- Any commercial system has Purpose or “Quality”, which governs how the system functions; the Brand-Experience.
- Management can change the Brand-Experience by changing their perception about quality.
If your business does not resonate with the target audience you want to reach, you might want to call us for a free consultation.