The Best Brands Use Feedback Loops Both Ways

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Regular readers of this blog know that I’m an advocate of feedback loops.

There are dozens of ways that you can (and should) use feedback loops to better understand your consumers.  These include advisory panels, ethnography, surveys and so on.

But too often, we brand leaders forget that we’re an active part of these feedback loops.  We need to send signals as well as receive them.  And we can build stronger bonds by signaling the right things to the people we serve.

Successful Feedback Loops

Here are five examples of successful feedback loops:

Waiting for the Cable Guy Matthew Fenton Chicago Brand StrategyMy HVAC repairman calls when he’s leaving his prior appointment to give me an updated arrival time.  It’s such a simple thing, you wonder why everyone doesn’t do it.  (On the other hand, my old cable company would give me a 4-hour appointment window – and sometimes miss that.)

I’ve known an agency VP who required his staff to send a progress report to every client, every Friday.  If nothing had happened that week, that’s what your report would say.  But knowing that you’ll have to send a report tends to ensure that things happen.

DoorDash, the restaurant delivery service, provides mobile updates on each step of the ordering process.  So you know when your order has been received, completed, and picked up.   Of course, this has a potential downside, like the time our pizza was awaiting pick-up by a DoorDash driver for over an hour.  So if your systems work well, feedback loops will work even harder for you; if not, they’ll work against you.

Feedback Loops Matthew Fenton Chicago Brand Strategy
Todoist’s feedback loops help to satisfy my competitive nature.

Todoist, my task management app, emails me an annual productivity report every January.  And there’s an aspect of gaming built into the app – as you complete more tasks, you earn points and move up levels.

Three decades ago, Ziploc introduced a baggie with a seal that changed color when pinched shut.  Simple.  Effective.

Putting Feedback Loops to Work for Your Brand

Think of feedback loops as powerful reasons to believe.  You can use them to add value by:

  • Offering reassurance
  • Showing progress
  • Communicating that you’ve heard a complaint, complement or idea
  • Reminding your humans that they’re a priority

Your Assignment: Review your brand systems and touchpoints.  Identify at least one way to use feedback loops to add value to those you serve.  Initiate this feedback loop in the next 30 days.

Need help strengthening the bonds between your brand and its humans?  Click here to find out how we can help.

About Matthew Fenton: Matthew helps challenger brands to focus, grow and win.  Since founding his consultancy, Three Deuce Branding, in 1997, he’s helped hundreds of brands to achieve “brand clarity.”  His consulting services and speaking engagements help brands to focus on what matters through positioning, strategy and ideation.  Contact Matthew here. He’s based near Portland, in Oregon wine country.

Copyright 2018 – Matthew Fenton. All Rights Reserved. You may reprint this article with the original, unedited text intact, including the About Matthew Fenton section.