The result was astounding: all 1,000 vouchers were sold out and they met their RM50,000 target in only 12 hours.
How did myBurgerLab do it, based on just one personal Facebook posting?
It was the power of their brand. Specifically, they were enjoying the Return on Relationship they had with their fans and customers.
As Ted Rubin (the guy who coined the term) explains it, in this social media age, marketing metrics need to expand beyond ROI to include ROR. Simply put, ROR is “the value accrued by a person or brand due to nurturing a relationship. ROR is the value (both perceived and real) that will accrue over time through connection, loyalty, recommendations and sharing.”
But you can’t fake a relationship (not for the long term anyway). Just like any strong relationship, brand affinity needs to be based on authenticity in order to generate ROR. It’s how people in the company genuinely think and behave when it comes to anything that has to do with the company and brand. In short, it’s culture that determines whether a company is consistently behaving “on brand” or not.
Brand Culture Starts With Leadership
While culture is what maintains the consistency of customer experience, leadership is what drives culture. There’s no two ways about.
Brand culture goes beyond a company’s image, generous employee benefits, great office interior design, or letting people dress casually. Brand culture goes way beyond the posters on the wall, to the set of genuine values and “ways of being” being expressed from the inside out. The brand culture has to be backed up by solid values that are manifested across every aspect of a company’s operations.
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Leaders set the tone in a company and brand. The energy, intentions, behaviour, attitudes, and in fact everything the leader says and does forms the culture. You cannot build a brand culture that is incongruent with the company culture, because the cognitive dissonance will weaken whatever brand communication efforts you put out.
Again, Renyi is a great example of the kind of leadership that builds a genuinely engaging and compelling brand culture.
“Culture eats strategy for lunch” - Peter Drucker
When he had hit the financial target, he quickly put up another post to thank supporters. Then, in a great display of great integrity and leadership, Renyi closed sales of the vouchers and asked people to channel their money to other local food operators.
Of course, this not only strengthened support for the brand it won them new fans as well.
You can’t fake this kind of leadership. It comes from genuine values. It is manifested in all areas of company operations, even those that are not customer-facing like hiring decisions, to vendor relations, to material selection, to payment terms.
A compelling brand culture supports the intended organizational behaviour. It sets the direction and affects staff morale, which eventually affects company operations and how the brand culture is expressed and communicated in the market.
MyBurgerLab is a great example of how this has real world results. Fans and customers rallied together to support the voucher campaign not just to get a good deal. Their main motivation was to save the company.
How many brands can say that of their fans?
Leaders who want to have sustainable success can’t afford to silo their business functions into “branding”, “leadership”, and “communication” anymore. In a noisy and VUCA world today, people are looking for clarity, trustworthiness and authenticity. This can only be achieved when companies take an integrated approach, and win over both their internal and external stakeholders.
If you enjoyed reading the above article and want to learn more about branding, check out this amazing learning app called Necole. Watch this video on Necole.