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Before & After

By Jean-Claude Saade

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Before & After and Brand Switching

The Before & After mechanism is at the heart of what we usually refer to as “Brand Switching”.

Why consumers switch to another brand of mobile phone or laptop computer, why they stop dealing with certain banks, or coming to certain restaurants, why companies keep moving their advertising budget from one agency to another almost every 2 to 3 years (with few exceptions..). This is the “Before & After” in action.

Consumer satisfaction research and CRM programs (when available beyond just the name…) can tell us more about the exact reasons and get us more details about brand switching; but as long as the customer-brand relationship is concerned, brand switching means that the customer was disappointed by the brand experience and his final perception and appreciation of the brand is much lower than the initial image he has in mind “before” dealing with it.


Before & After and Connection: The Importance of Consistency

Connection, more specifically “Emotional Connection” with a brand or with a human being is one of those mysterious concepts like the human nature itself. It can make wonders and change lives but at the same time it is very vulnerable and can be lost overnight especially when deception enters the equation. Brand connection can make or break businesses with tens of billions of dollars and at the same time can be lost very quickly if customers/consumers discover that the brand they are dealing with is different than the picture it has always tried to depict about itself through advertising and other means of communication. When the “After” is disappointing or not at the same level of the “Before” brand-consumer connection is lost and usually with a “sour” taste.

This is where “consistency” in delivering positive brand experiences is a very important policy for any brand. Powerful Brands are always trying to deliver on their promises, and consistently trying their best to satisfy their customers. They are always there for them, always reliable, always offering the same quality of products and services. Powerful brands always deliver, and always the experience is good. Even if for once, there was certain problem and a customer was somehow disappointed, the long relationship and long track record and history of consistency will cover-up and most probably the mistake will be forgiven.


 “Bad Brands”, or Brands, Businesses and Companies with hidden intentions are also consistent but in being what they are: bad brands. They might try to cover-up, by faking good service, winning awards and getting fancy coverage in the media, but this will only fool some people for some time. When you hear about a company with a bad culture, and or sick mentality it is never from an isolated source, it is always from a large number of people who were fooled by the “Before” but were very disappointed by the reality they discovered “After”. These rotten brands are the marks of evil business cultures.

Applying the Before & After check consistently and over time will create tremendous positive talk value about the brand; and this is not limited to customers, but to all relevant stakeholders starting by employees and collaborators who are also supposed to have a positive Before & After experience; first, because these are the people who are supposed to deliver the brand promise at different touch points and occasions; and second because employees and collaborators cannot be fooled as they know the full story and from the inside.


Before & After as Performance Measurement

We all know that brand building is a long term effort, made of big and small moments in the relationship between the brand and its target group and there are elaborate and complex tools to measure the strength of this relationship in both qualitative and quantitative areas. However, the Before & After concept could be used as an instant performance measurement tool for both small encounters and important relationships. For every positive Before & After experience you can know for sure that your brand is growing in connection, in market share and in financial value; measuring that growth will need a more elaborate approach.


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Status: 01. Juli 2015