Monday, March 23, 2009

CEO’s: When the market zigs, are you zagging?

Building brand trust can be easy if you listen to the market and your customers. Being responsive says you are listening. Acting upon listening is the gateway to building brand trust. Be relevant. Remain Authentic. Move Quickly.

Your 2009 business plan has probably changed several times this year. No one could have predicted this economic downturn. The difference between thriving and surviving in this market is how your firm responds to the market conditions. While cost reduction is one way to insure you meet your plan, you also need ideas that signal you understand your customer’s needs today....and you are willing to show it with meaningful value.

So who is doing a good job of listening and responding in this market with real value?

Hyundai’s Assurance Program
The idea behind the Hyundai
Assurance program is that if a customer can’t afford the car payments, financed by Hyundai and within the first year of financial servitude, just drop it off and walk away. No charge, no debt and no impact to the customer’s credit rating. Of course there are requirements to receive the offer, but the essence is Hyundai, a car for the value conscious customer, offers you a real “break”. Provided the customer has made at least two scheduled payments on your loan or lease, they pay for the amount above the Hyundai Assurance benefit and any car payments that were due prior to you filing for the benefit.” This outrageous offer broke through the car industry and world news clutter in a meaningful way.

JetBlue introduced the "JetBlue Promise Program," aimed at boosting customers' confidence to book travel by honoring a full refund to anyone who experiences involuntary full-time job loss prior to their trip. Customers who book flights between Feb. 1 and June 1, 2009 and loose their job on or after Feb. 17 may be eligible for The JetBlue Promise Program. Customers must notify JetBlue and request a full refund at least 14 days prior to the first date of travel.

Dominick’s Grocery: During the gasoline crisis, they offered customers $6 of free BP Gasoline for every $100 spent on groceries.

Remember the long term success of your firm is made up of a series of short term moments. If you are seeking to build a more loyal customer base, think about a short term move that builds the trust bank. A short term hit on your margin may bring more to your bottom line long term. Offer your customers something meaningful if you want to keep them in your brand franchise forever.

Who else is doing a good job of offering great value in these economic times? Share your thougths in our comment section.

Call Airlift to talk about how to build brand equity and trust. Shelley Rosen 312.492.7772 or send us a note at

Source: Hyundai website. Jet Blue website.

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