When you’re busy doing stuff to grow your brand it’s difficult to take time out to reflect on how things are going and seek feedback.
But we know feedback is really important, so how often do you take the time to actively ask for it?
Did you say ‘not often enough’ under your breath? Thought so. Me too.
Seeking out, listening and acting on feedback has an influence on the level of personal and brand growth we experience. So what holds us back?
Britishness and cultural etiquette
I had a great time at the International Food & Drink Event recently meeting various brand owners and catching up with old friends. But two things struck me;
- Every business at the exhibition is seeking engagement and feedback on their brand whether from buyers, industry experts, suppliers or the wider audience at the show.
- Most people don’t give great feedback.
In fact, faced with a product that had a long list of ‘free from’ claims on the pack, the one it didn’t mention was ‘free from taste’….but did I or anyone else at the show give the fledgling brand owner our less than glowing opinion? Unlikely, because most people don’t want to hear that their overstuffed protein bar actually tastes of peas or their sugar free ice cream has a metallic aftertaste so feedback typically comes from our default setting of being ‘nice’.
Struggling to understand alternative perspectives
I recently met with a leadership team who are all strong operators within their own areas, but are struggling to work together and reach alignment on the purpose of their organisation.
People are vital for any business to function, but a business with people who put all their energy into defending their position and in-fighting is exhausting.
Sticking rigidly to what you already know, and refusing to accept new information or a differing perspective strangles businesses.
Not wanting to hear it
Sometimes, people just don’t want to hear feedback. This is understandable.
The feedback may challenge their personal perspective, or by not hearing it they convince themselves that everything is ok when really it’s not.
We’ve all been there.
Remember that time you did a crap piece of work and dreaded the feedback? It may have been tough to take, but was it worse than what you were already telling yourself? It’s tough sometimes, but we learn the most from when things don’t go the way we expected.
How can we gather more brand feedback?
- Seek out opportunities to get more feedback
Firstly, be clear about the feedback you’re seeking and be sure you’ll act on it. Customer surveys that don’t get read or acted on are a waste of time for everyone.
Ask for feedback and make it really easy for consumers to give it to you (like the toilet screen shown above!
Stress the importance of it being honest, warts and all…there’s just no benefit in hearing lots of nice things that aren’t really true!
- Listen to the feedback you’re receiving
Why do they believe that? What is their perspective based on? You may not agree, but by really listening and probing until you understand, you may just learn something new and build your knowledge.
You don’t have to agree or act on the feedback you receive. Often you will, but remember, the customer isn’t always right!
Where to go for brand feedback;
- Direct consumer interactions…in store, via email, tweet, care line etc.
- Qual & quant research
- Your financial and market data
- Your business team
- Customers, competitors and suppliers
Acting on feedback is simple;
- Do you understand it?
- Do you want to act on it?
- What can you put in place to act upon it from today?
Can you give me some feedback?
I’ve met a few people recently who have told me that my posts are informative and practical. So far, so good, because that’s what I’m going for…but could you give me some feedback?
I’ll make it really simple for you. Could you add a comment below with three words that answer these questions?
- What do you like about my posts?
- What could improve them?
- Is there a specific business/brand/marketing topic you’d like me to write about?
At BrandWorks, we support business owners in reinvigorating brands and accelerating growth.