One of the reasons I joined Hanover Research as a recent graduate is because it offered me the possibility to move up quickly within the organization and gain exposure to different areas of a high-growth company. As I reflect on my time in Sales and Development at Hanover, I realize that I’m fortunate to be in a role where it’s easy to make a direct impact on the organization. Unlike other companies, I’ve been encouraged to contribute in other ways like providing input on our business development strategy and helping to train colleagues and recent hires.
A recent example of a unique contribution is collaborating with our Corporate Communications team. In the last month, I provided the idea for our first round of white papers. Through speaking with countless Executives across B2B and B2C companies, I’ve realized that there is a real need for a more scientific approach to decision making. The process of bringing a new product to market can be riddled with barriers. To address those head-on, I helped create a white paper, in which we share some of our findings on things to avoid in the new product development (NPD) process as well as solutions to reduce these obstacles and stumbling blocks.
However, by far the area where I see the most confusion is around what precisely constitutes “brand.” In particular, when companies are looking for feedback on their brand. These days, brands of all types and sizes aren’t shy about asking questions. In fact, the mantra of conversational marketing has obviously kicked the question engine into high gear. But there’s a big difference between being willing to ask your customers questions and having what it takes to ask the right questions, in the right ways, to draw the right insights. Brands make a lot of mistakes when soliciting customer feedback, and it’s often because they don’t ask themselves the right questions in advance.
I’m not alone in this observation. Michael Estrin is a freelance writer who contributes regularly to iMedia. Through the website HARO, we connected so that I could offer my perspective on what constitutes a smart brand. It’s a worthwhile topic of discussion and I encourage you to read the 8 ways brands screw up when asking for customer feedback.
Even more than that, I encourage you to consider working for a company that engages their employees in their branding efforts. All too often, companies conflate the importance of one message with one voice. A company is many voices and the companies that realize that tend to be the best at listening to them.