5 Things Great Brands Do | Part 4

Be the customer! As a designer I’m doing this all the time. If I’m creating a complex printed piece I’ll often build a replica of the end product to ensure it feels, reads and operates the way it’s intended. If timing allows, I’ll actually give it to a potential customer to see how they interact with it and make adjustments based on those experiences. Below you’ll find examples of brands that understand exceptional customer experience is a key to success.


Ritz Carlton

Think about the Ritz Carlton brand. Its 38,000 employees, in 73 hotels, throughout 24 countries consistently deliver the brand’s promise of “service Ritz-Carlton style.”

They make a serious commitment to training. When you call or walk into a Ritz Carlton you will be greeted by “ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen.” That’s because all employees must know the Ritz Carlton credo, motto, three steps of service, employee promise, and 20 Basics. One of its most remarkable policies empowers employees to spend up to $2,000 to satisfy a guest.



One of our favorite local brands has a unique approach to understanding their customer. All Saxbys employees, no matter their title, must go through barista training before they begin their normal work with the company. Yes, that even applies to the CEO.

The Saxbys’ approach helps two-fold. 1) Employees gets a better understanding of what products they offer, how they are made and what they taste like. 2) Trainees get to experience locations and make emotional connections with the customers they serve. All of this adds up to employees who can better relate to customers and will go on to make more informed decisions for the brand!


L.L. Bean

L.L. Bean is a brand built around 100% customer satisfaction. “It originated with the founders  ‘Golden Rule’ of treating customers like human beings”. Their reputation has been consistent for over a hundred years because they view customer service “as a day-in, day-out, ongoing, never-ending, persevering, compassionate kind of activity.”

It starts by letting the customer define what constitutes good customer service and then acting upon those attributes. They believe you “can’t tell customers ‘you will be satisfied’ – the customer needs to arrive at that conclusion on their own through the service experience itself.” It’s this kind of attentiveness to the brand awareness and relentless determination will keep the L.L.Bean brand strong for another hundred years.

How’s your customer experience? Take the time to be an “Undercover Boss” and find out! You can do things as simple as completing forms on your website, making calls to your call center, placing orders through your website and evaluating how “on brand” these touchpoints are. How did completing these actions make you feel? Were you frustrated or satisfied? Were you treated like you matter? Remember that every little thing matters and makes a positive or negative impression on your customer and prospects. Get it right! You owe it to your brand and your bottom line.


Your brand experience must be in line with your promise from initial contact through the sales process and beyond.
Interested in learning more about what great brands do? Click here for the next installment in the series.

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