Timo Poppinga

With 'nice code' towards a 'love brand'?

Gone are the days of lifelong customer loyalty to esteemed companies and brands. Instead of a brand promise, the easy-to-compare price is the focus of the buyer - a trend is emerging that no company can survive for long. This is reason enough for us to approach the topic of branding from the perspective of IT and programming.

'Love Brands' are brands placed by companies or companies which themselves become brands that exert such a strong attraction to consumers that they are not only preferred over other brands, but are literally 'loved' and therefore even occasional mistakes or a higher price are accepted. For example, Apple, Google, Lego - but also BMW or Mastercard - are considered global 'love brands'. Of course, behind these companies there are enormous marketing efforts and a noticeable media presence. But a 'love brand' is not only achieved with smart communication, but also with competent IT measures.

On the way to the 'love brand' - which factors are important?

According to marketing strategist Kevin Roberts (The Lovemarks Effect), there are 3 main ingredients that make a brand a 'love brand':

The secret: does the brand tell a story? Can it inspire consumers?
Sensuality: can the brand be experienced through all the senses? Does it display a typical design, a certain feel, a unique sound?
The intimacy: is it possible for the customer to establish a personal relationship with the brand?

But unlike an interpersonal love, the relationship between consumers and the 'love brand' is always a distinctly selfish love. If the brand cannot offer any real added value or fails to provide an all-round positive customer experience, love will quickly cool down and the brand status as a 'love brand' is lost.

What role does IT play in building a 'love brand'?

To create a 'love brand', the product or service must offer above-average benefits and continuous added value as well as the most personal exchange possible between consumers and companies. But there is a long way between web-based advice, online product configuration or purchase, the quick and trouble-free handling of your production or trading processes and an excellent after-sales service.

This is where software comes into play for all modern products and modern companies:

  • for a clear representation of business processes from online sales support to individual customer communication
  • for automatic planning and control of your internal processes in production, trade and finance and thus for maximum speed and 'reliability' in communication and in transactions with the customer
  • for the development of additional modern web-based services for management, production, sales and customers
  • for better communication when ordering, developing and configuring the products as well as for automated handling of service intervals, repairs or complaints
  • for efficient planning and optimized utilization of your machines and employees

in summary: for better products, for modern services, for optimized processes and for individual communication

A few examples show what good code can do for brands:

1. 'Exceed expectations' - perfect service stimulates new customer business and customer loyalty

Put yourself briefly in a medium-sized industrial company, e.g. into a machine builder. So far, customer contact has only been maintained via sales engineers. Material procurement, product development, customer care and payment transactions were controlled by separate software systems on in-house servers. The company's online presence was limited to a website that was extensive in terms of content, but poor in terms of specific services.

With the merging of all used systems into a single web-based solution, it is now possible to complete the entire value creation process from the online configuration of the core products to shipping and the subsequent after-sales service such as the control of maintenance intervals or the planning of services and the procurement of spare parts to make it transparent and to give all those involved in the company, from purchasing to engineering to accounting, a complete overview of the measures required - or even to fully automate some of the work steps.

For the customer, this leads to the fastest possible offers and to an active service that automatically points out recommended maintenance, spare parts requirements and replacement of wear and tear. Additional new customers are gained through the implementation of online ordering and product configuration options and SEO, existing customers benefit from the new smooth communication and an acceleration of the ordering and inquiry processes.

The growing knowledge of the wishes and ordering behavior of customers brings the company a qualitative improvement and objectification of the planning principles. All processes in the company are accelerated. Misunderstandings and communication errors between the departments are reduced. And by the way, partial automation results in permanent cost savings.

2. 'Never too powerful, never too weak' - scalability scores with peak loads

Imagine your company launching a new product that is enthusiastically received by the market (or the media). In this case, you now have a big problem with conventional server-based software: Your IT has been designed for a certain, expected average level of performance and will "kneel down" if demand peaks spontaneously or, in the worst case, collapse completely. Countless practical examples prove that such problems cannot only affect established, exposed 'love brands'. If you want to put service and accessibility for customers first, you have to keep an eye on the performance scalability of your applications. But what still caused major problems a few years ago can now be reliably managed:

With regard to modern software design, a paradigm shift has meanwhile taken place. While software has so far mostly been developed on a highly individual and server-based basis, modern software development is based on standardized models and web-based. Web-based development offers considerable advantages for availability: With web-based IT, you benefit from almost unlimited scalability with regard to the 'power' of your application and, if you wish, additional decentralization of the servers, which you not only do when there are peak demands, but also before targeted Better protects against attacks.

Whether a controversial cloud hosting is the best solution for your company or whether you continue to operate your software on your own servers remains a question of economy and your specific business activity - both models are feasible and can even be combined with web-based software. However, one thing is certain with professional web-based solutions: Your applications can be flexibly adapted to a modern reality with changing requirements!

3. 'Time is money' - speed as a guarantee of success

Patience is a virtue, but hardly any user can be persuaded to behave when using software. Not least because of this, maximum response speed for all functions is an essential milestone on the way to the 'love brand'. Speed ​​guarantees that visitors do not jump off because they have to wait an unnerving time for a response from the server for their input. It is easy to remedy this issue because the speed-limiting factors are generally known. The demands on the software are also very simple with regard to speed optimization: conception of a strictly structured software architecture and development of a consistently clean code without any ballast.

A clean and therefore fast programming also gives you the prospect of performing significantly more complex operations in a comparable time than the slow competitor could deliver. In this way, the 'beautiful code' becomes the essential basis for the development of attractive products and ensures you a tangible market advantage. In the case of online offers, a clean code also leads to an improved search engine ranking, because speed is an important ranking factor, especially for mobile calls.

Wie kommen wir zusammen?

Lernen Sie uns auf Geschäftsführungsebene bei einem Erstberatungsgespräch kennen. Anschliessend entwickeln wir gemeinsam mit Ihren Fachabteilungen eine tragfähige Softwarestrategie. Auf der Basis eines detaillierten Zeit- und Kostenplans setzen wir Ihre Lösung auf einem Stagingsystem zuverlässig um. Nach umfangreichem Testing – ggfs. auch in Liveumgebung mit Teilzielgruppen – garantieren wir einen reibungslosen Launch der Applikation(en).

Vereinbaren Sie eine unverbindlichen Kennenlern-Termin unter Telefon: +41 44 422 68 73 Oder senden Sie uns das Kontaktfomular. Wir freuen uns auf Sie!

- About the author -

Timo Poppinga

Timo Poppinga ist Gründungspartner der zdreicom AG und beschäftigt sich seit über 12 Jahren mit neuen Technologien und sauberem Code. Er ist zertifizierter TYPO3-Consultant und -Developer.

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