what sets us apart brand recognition

To use a brand for identification is as old as time itself. A brandmark is still applied to animals today to identify the owner; thankfully using more friendly methods. And the same applies to a brand – it belongs to a company whose reputation is at stake.

A facilities manager that goes out to tender in the marketplace will look for a company that meets its promises, that stands by its customer-centric values, and its environmentally sustainable credentials. They will eventually settle on the supplier that satisfies them that they have the demonstrated breadth of knowledge to back up their track record.

What brand should I go for?

These days, solutions are branded. Brand awareness is big business because it focuses on solutions that sets itself apart from all other competitors. A brand can represent a product or a service, and for both reputation is important.

What does your brand stand for?

What are some of the reasons anybody sticks with a particular brand? Does it deliver predictable results? Is the solution effective; something that delivers first time every time? Is it convenient? Is it clear that a brand will equate with proven results that have been sustained over time. And this ultimately makes decision-making easy: This is the brand I choose because it is the right solution that looks after itself.

Most brands nowadays are broadly evaluated against three criteria:

  • Can it be trusted?
  • Is it customer-centric?
  • Does it take environmental sustainability seriously?

When looking at a brand, it is much like looking at two sides of a coin: 1) what does the supplier (brand) offer, and 2) the customers’ experience.

Connecting a preferred brand with a trusted supplier

When you see a particular brand, does it excite you or turn you off? What does it stand for? Many consumers trawl through many different products often not finding the one that they are looking for. Is it possible for anyone to come across an example that works as promised, whilst being truly environmentally sustainable? Are there any suppliers out there that genuinely care about their customers and who offers long-term support – a strategic partner?

From the supplier’s point of view, are they agile enough to deliver solutions that work? Is their proposition value-based rather than price-driven because they look at the whole scenario rather than suffer from tunnel vision? What does a supplier have to do for a customer to seek them out? What does a supplier have to do to be – a supplier of choice?

Before answering these questions, by way of a case study, let’s look in turn at the customers’ experience.

What are the experiences of customers?

Which one of these responses are most familiar to you?

  • “The majority of suppliers are just about selling product without any regard to what they sell, while the customer is left stranded.”
  • “We’re fed-up with all the complaints and we just want someone who knows what they are doing and who can fix the problem; preferably someone who is easy to work with; someone we can be confident is willing to help us.”

Case study – The Millennium Drought

The prolonged drought of late 1996 to mid-2010 necessitated water savings in all areas, including water-hungry urinals in men’s public toilets.

Facilities managers invited experts to advise them how they could realise immediate water savings.

Short-sighted building designers ignorantly specified replacing all urinals with waterless varieties without giving any consideration to the altered cleaning regimes and ongoing maintenance resulting from such recommendations.

Waterless urinal manufacturers were eager to sell their wares including the constant business of parts and servicing. They appeared disinterested in dealing with resultant blockages that occurred due to insufficient waterflows needed to purge uric scale build-up.

Washroom companies tried to deal with subsequent persistent odour issues by implementing a range of air freshening strategies and increasing chemical use; thus making it worse. They were asked to clean twice as much which impacted labour costs.

Plumbers argued for the replacement of waterless urinals with their flushing predecessors to get rid of constant blockages.

This went on-and-on-and-on. Not one told the customer what they really needed to do to solve the problem.

In contrast, a supplier of choice is in a position to give tailored solutions that works every time. And biological cleaning solutions, with its proven track record in such examples, will deal with the problem as soon as it is implemented; and will continue to do the job long after traditional methods have stopped working.

In conclusion

As the drought highlighted, a supplier of choice should:

  • have a proven track record,
  • be customer centric, and
  • be a strategic partner.
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Failure vs. success in washroom urinals