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Your Brand is Your Promise - With Guest, Ken Mosesian [Podcast]

Episode 113: Michael and Kathryn talk to Ken Mosesian, entrepreneur and author, about how business owners and brands can learn to keep their promises to their customers. So many of us struggle with the concepts of trust and integrity in work and life, but there is hope for growth. For top-notch leadership advice on how to take your company into the future, give this episode a listen.

Ken Mosesian


In This Episode You Will...

  • Discover what promises you regularly make to your customers.... and find out if you are actually keeping them.
  • Find out how your survival instincts negatively impact your ability to build trust, both at home and at work.
  • Learn how to map out the journey your customers take as they interact with your company.
“If you come from a place where your word is your bond, then a contract is merely a clarification tool."
- Ken Mosesian

References:

Mosesian.com

 

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Michael:
              Hello and welcome to the HaBO Village podcast. I'm Michael Redman.


Kathryn:
               I'm Kathryn Redman.


Michael:
              Today we have a very special guest, Kathryn?


Kathryn:
               Ken Mosesian.


Michael:
              Yes. The reason she said it is because I can't. I've tried several times and it keeps coming out garbled. Ken, welcome to the show. We are super excited to have you here today.


Ken:
       Thank you so much. It's great to be here. I appreciate the opportunity to chat with your listeners.


Kathryn:
               Absolutely. We're having so much fun getting to know different people across the country who are so aligned with who we are and what we do, and the fulfilled book that we wrote. You are one of those people, so we're super excited to have a conversation with you about what you do and kind of introduce you to our audience.


Ken:
       Fantastic.


Michael:
              Instead of us just trying to a bobble a description of you, how would you describe what you and your org and your company do?


Ken:
       Yeah. Primarily the work is with owner founders CEOs who are in change. Whether they're growing, whether they're looking at different ways that they can structure their company, whether they're looking at an exit or perhaps an acquisition, I work with those folks to help them do what they do best, and that is to create. In interviews that I had with a dozen or so CEOs, I heard a recurrent theme over and over again, and that was they had a very difficult time letting go of day to day operations. They had a really hard time of fully turning towards the future and doing what they knew they were called to do to be creatives. They found themselves still caught in decisions like the blue folder or the green folder.


Ken:
       It seems ridiculous, but when you probe a little deeper, these are folks who created a business out of nothing; they're founders, and this is their baby. To just leave it in the hands of their staff, that was a hard thing to do. The primary reason wasn't anything malicious. It wasn't that they didn't trust the staff because they thought the staff would purposely do something wrong. It was because they didn't feel that they had properly trained their teams to be able to lead so that they could really put their focus on developing, building and growing the company into the future.


Michael:
              Okay. One of the thrusts that we've talked about in the past, just having conversation and it's on your website and everything else, is how trust impacts the business, how trust impacts the relationship with employees, with customers, everywhere else? How did that weave its way in? Was that there at the beginning or was that something that evolved?


Ken:
       That was there actually at the beginning. A few years ago, I wrote a book called The Power of Promise: How to Win and Keep Customers By Telling the Truth About Your Brand, because from my perspective, your brand is simply your promise to your customer. It's what they can count on you for.


Michael:
              Oh, we agree.


Ken:
       The more I became involved with the notion of brand, primarily through my travel, I was, up until this year, flying about 150,000 plus miles a year, so in the air a lot, at hotels a lot, eating at restaurants a lot, and paying attention to what all these companies said about what I could count on them for. Then realizing that every time I had an experience with them, whether it was calling customer service, calling to make a reservation, showing up at the restaurant, boarding the plane, coming into my room, I was, until I became aware of it, subconsciously testing their promise.


Michael:
              Interesting.


Ken:
       Do you tell the truth or don't you?


Kathryn:
               Yeah.


Ken:
       You said this experience would be X, and yet it occurred for me as Y. That's not the same. It's just not the standard.


Kathryn:
               I can't imagine you experiencing that on an airline. I can't. That doesn't make any sense to me.


Ken:
       It's crazy, isn't it?


Kathryn:
               I know. What's wrong with you, Ken?


Ken:
       That's really where the notion of this is a relationship that we're in. It sounds kind of odd because it's a company. You think of it as this inanimate entity and yet a company's nothing more than the people that comprise it. We're actually in a relationship with each other when we engage in commerce and to the extent that we recognize that as business owners and then deliver on that promise every time. We build trust and by doing so we strengthen relationships and ultimately make the very best advocates of our customers.


Kathryn:
               Yeah. It's interesting. You brand promise. We talk about brand being reputation, which is a very similar concept, then branding becomes bonding. How do you help your customers bond to you? It's by building trust, keeping your promises, doing all of those things that you said you were going to do to prove that you are who you said you would be.


Michael:
              If you're listening today, you are already figuring out why we asked Ken on our show. You know that this resonates perfectly with what we yammer on about on a regular basis.


Kathryn:
               Yammer.


Michael:
              Yammer just seemed like the word you use at that moment.


Kathryn:
               We jaw on about.


Michael:
              We jaw on about. Sometimes at nauseum, look, you've got to trust people, you've got to build trust. Seriously, this is something that you all have heard, but we wanted you to hear it from how Ken does it and hear some of his stories because the way he articulates it, I think, is great. It's really well said. There are people who say things and then there are people who actually believe what they're saying. It's clear that you believe this, you experience it. Okay. I'm a sucker for grandpa stories. Sure. The one on your website, would you please tell it? About what you heard?


Ken:
       My grandfather immigrated here from Iran. He was an immigrant that came over during the 1915, 1916 period. It was a harrowing story actually that I hadn't posted because I just about it a few months ago from my dad.


Michael:
              Oh, neat. Okay. Tell. Do tell.


Ken:
       Yeah. Absolutely. My grandparents were part of the Christian minority in Iran and during the Turkish invasion, they managed to get out of the country. They had three children, they had to walk and they walked all the way to Marseille, the coast of France. The journey took them a year. They lost all three of their children along the way. They started to die. It's such a downer, I know, and I don't mean to take your listeners down, but the thing that's so extraordinary is that a few months back, we had the opportunity to be with my dad in Marseille, standing on the same port where his parents left for the United States by ship. As we stood there and he said, you know what they went through to get here, how much they wanted to get to the United States, how committed they were to that. It was at the cost of the lives of those kids.


Ken:
       They did everything they could along the way, but they were dodging marauding bands of criminals and it was a rough go. Then to survive the trip over, this was not, the Queen Elizabeth or the Queen Mary, the cargo hold of a ship where many of the people died en route. They came to this country and they built a life for themselves and subsequently had five more children, my dad being one. My grandfather was a farmer and he told my dad that my word was my bond and I never signed a contract for anything. When I went to buy feed or grain, we agreed on a price and we shook hands. It was just the way of memorializing our word because no one could imagine that a signed piece of paper could possibly be more important than your word. That's how important it was to tell the truth then. If you didn't, to your point about reputation, your reputation was gone. It was over. You can't be trusted. That actually meant something. That had severe consequences.


Ken:
       I understand we live in a different day and age and contracts and agreements are a part of work life, but my point in telling the story is to say, if you come from a place where your word is your bond, then the contract is merely a clarification tool. It's not something meant to enforce because your word is your bond. Hopefully you'll be attracting a tribe of people for whom their word is their bond. Those are the people you want to be working with. That's who you want to be doing business with.


Kathryn:
               Yeah. That's awesome. It's funny, when we put contracts together with our clients, which you have to do, but I'll be like, I've never had to look at one of these again. I've never. I've had 15 year relationships and never had to look back at a contract. Some of our largest clients, there's no contract. It's just continued work, ongoing total trust. Love that.


Michael:
              Actually, with some of them it's every regular project we're working on, it's here's an email. Here's what we think we would do. Or it happens in a conversation. Zoom allows us to have a pseudo face to face conversation or I can see each other. It's not the same as being at the table with each other. It's not the same as, as a shaking someone's hand. I miss shaking hands in COVID. It just drives me crazy. I feel like we have not connected at all and if I've met you for the first time or saying goodbye or anything else, a handshake or a hug. It really is primal. It goes back to these things we're talking about and when you sealed the deal with a handshake, I grew up in an age where the term, we shook on, was used as if you're trying to get out of a deal or something, no, we shook on it. Oh yeah, you didn't just say yes. You did the other thing. That was the deal. That was a big deal.


Michael:
              I remember my grandfather came from that kind of era. He was in the logging business in the west coast of Oregon and then drove a bus. He drove a Greyhound bus for 35 years and retired from that. He grew up in a world where, again, you didn't travel a lot. There was not a lot of major travel tools in the early 20th century, late 18th century. Yeah. Maybe you could catch a train. You're also around a community of people that know you, know your parents, know your siblings, know your children. Those things are powerful.


Kathryn:
               There's no place to hide when you mess your reputation up in a place like that.


Michael:
              Why do you think, from your experience, why this idea of trust is so foreign to so many business people?


Ken:
       I think in some ways there is a growing sense in the culture that that's for suckers. It's a harsh look at who we are, but unless we take an honest look at who we are as a people, as a culture, as a nation, as communities, you can go either way; out or back with this, you can push out and take the global view. You can look closely at your own family unit, your own business, your circle of friends. I think there is that sense, like yeah, I said it, but who cares? Everybody cheats. Everybody does it. Nobody is a hundred percent on anything, so why should I be taken advantage of if other people are doing this too? I think that's just the pervasive sensibility right now. It is somewhat counter-cultural to say, "I tell the truth. I always tell the truth and I do it because I have integrity."


Ken:
       I'll mention something about that word. It's simple definition is the quality being honest, but it's second definition, and I always like to look down at also defined as, the second definition is the quality of being whole and complete. That, to me, says, if you're whole, and you're complete, you are in alignment with your values. I can't claim to be a good person and then lie to somebody or not tell the whole truth. I'm out of alignment, I am not whole, I am not complete. That, frankly, causes stress because you have to start tracking what you said.


Kathryn:
               Yes. Keep up with your lies.


Ken:
       I'm preaching to the choir. You go down that rabbit hole of like, "Oh God, what did I say to them? Oh, that's right. I told them I'd have it next week, but I know I can't deliver that, so I'll make up an excuse as to why that can't be done." This is overly simplified stuff, but I honestly think it's the thought process that's going on for a lot of people. My counsel is always promise less, deliver more. If you can't do it, have the courage to say I can't deliver it by then, but I can get it to you the week after next and it's going to be great. If that works then great, let's do business. If not, if you need it now, man, you should look for somebody else who can deliver it this coming week because I'm not going to say yes just to take your money and then disappoint you, even though I know it's not a possibility.


Kathryn:
               Yeah.


Michael:
              What do you think the top two or three reasons that come to mind are about why people get themselves into a position where they're promising more than they should? I would imagine, correct me if I'm wrong, that when you tell somebody, a client, promise less, that's actually probably hard for them.


Kathryn:
               That's kind of counter intuitive.


Michael:
              Almost to the point where I think it would surprise them that it's actually hard because it's going on, it's below that conscious awareness of what you're doing on a regular basis. Does that make sense? The question?


Ken:
       Yeah.


Michael:
              Okay. Talk to me about that.


Ken:
       The notion of promising less means that you have to actually look inward at yourself and honestly evaluate what you're capable of. That is where I think people fall short. This goes to, I think, some rather esoteric stuff, but it also goes to some very basic stuff. The basic stuff is have you looked at your schedule? Have you actually looked and seen from 6:00 AM until 8:00 PM, you're booked every day this week, and you just promise to deliver a project to somebody else by Friday. That's just the super practical part of it. I can make it work. I can make it fit. Yeah, but at what cost to what other client are you going to make it fit? I've heard this in clients. I've heard them say, "Joe's been with me so long. He'll understand if I have to push him back." Why would you do that to Joe who's been with you so long, who's shown that kind of loyalty to you and exhibited that trust in you?


Ken:
       I also think, speaking of trust, there is a sense that if I say no or if I tell the truth, I can do it, but not until next week, I might lose the job, and if I lose the job, then what? We are given to fear and survival as our first response, just genetically. DNA, core stuff, 35,000 years ago. This is still with us. We default to fear and survival and we tend to go down there very quickly. It's a powerful driving force and it actually takes mindfulness to stop, ask yourself what's really so, and ask yourself about the story that you're making up about what's so. It's very different to say, "I may not get the job", than to say, "If I don't get the job, my business will end", because we take it to the reputation, somebody says he can't do stuff, he's too busy, you can't trust him, blah, blah, blah. Suddenly you're living underneath an overpass.


Ken:
       It's absurd, but that's so fast, as opposed to just saying, you know what? It didn't work this time. I'd love to work with you in the future. You guys know, there's strategies for that. Follow up a few weeks. Just wanted to make sure that whoever you went with got that job done for you. If there's future opportunities and we have a chance to plan out a little bit more, I would love to talk to you about working together because I really love your company and what you stand for and I'd love to be a part of it by contributing to it. There's a bunch of ways to deal with that, but that takes energy and effort and it's easier just to do the yes. I think as entrepreneurs, in particular, we want to say yes to everything and then sort it out. Just say yes, and then we'll figure it out. Right? Sometimes it blows up in your face.


Michael:
              It's amazing how you can get on that treadmill when you're young as a company and you really don't have enough money yet, you don't have enough revenue yet, but all of a sudden you turn around in five years or 10 years, because if you're there that long, you're of the four or 5% that survived and are doing well, and you realize you're still on the treadmill. You're like, okay, I am still living like I'm a popper and if I lose this next deal. Go ahead.


Kathryn:
               He's like, "Do I dare pick on my wife right now, because I'm considering it?"


Michael:
              No. You have you learned your journey in this thing.


Kathryn:
               Yeah. One of the things, it's funny, I was thinking about the story I tell myself while you're talking, because I did something this week and it had nothing to do with money because there's no money in it. It had everything to do with planting a seed for the future of the relationship.


Michael:
              When you did something, you mean did something for blank?


Kathryn:
               Yeah. Where somebody said, can you make this happen? I'm like, I can make this happen and did exactly what you said. Looked at my schedule and thought, I don't know how I'm going to make this happen, but I'm going to make it happen because I want that person to think I'm amazing. Right. Again, the motivation behind that still, if you dig deeper is, and why do you want that person to think you're amazing? Well, because my reputation and because of the future of the business and because of [inaudible 00:17:58] and all of that stuff. You seed into it and it's still, ultimately, when you get down to it, fear that that person won't think we're a great company and somehow we'll lose opportunity.


Kathryn:
               I think this thing that I did was worth a hundred bucks to our company. We're seven figures. This was not a moneymaking thing. This was an I want to make that person so aware of how brilliant I am that it'll create opportunities. You know what? There are times that's really appropriate. This was just one of them where it was like, what are you thinking? Why did you say yes?


Michael:
              We have had multiple conversations over the years in that place where we've been doing business successfully for 18 years in our company, Ken, but we've gotten stuck in places where you're like, I can't see four months in advance on any new clients and I've got a couple of projects that are wrapping up and those kinds of things. What's going to happen? How are we going to make payroll? Okay. We've been living this, you can only see four to six months out anyway, for 10, 12, 14 years on a regular basis. It's always worked out. We do the stuff, we do the work, we do the fundamentals, and the fact is you can't project with certainty out six months to a year in most businesses anymore, but we have to remind ourself.


Kathryn:
               We put the budget together for the future and I'm like, "Well, this doesn't look very good", but projects will come that we don't know about yet. Remind me, because they always come and we don't know what they are yet, so I don't need to be panicking. Right? Right. Okay. I've gotten way better at that over the course of years, but it's an interesting dynamic to realize you're still living in that place of occasionally going, "Oh my gosh, what if?"


Michael:
              To your point of going to that fear quickly no matter what, you get into that place and you can easily slip back there if you're not careful.


Kathryn:
               Yeah. I have moved myself under an overpass several times.


Michael:
              We've told a story a couple of times on the podcast, but I'll share it with you. Before we started the company, Kathryn worked for a software company that sold city, county, government, accounting, HR stuff nationally. It was based here in Chico. They had a 200 to 300 employees and the folks that started it ran it for 30 years and then sold it and they were friends of ours. One day we're at the 70th birthday party or something like that and we're hanging out and we're talking to Judy and we're like, "Okay, Judy. At what point did you stop being nervous about payroll?" They owned the company for like 30 years. She's doesn't cuss, and all of a sudden she ripped out a few words and like never. I always, always, always panicked or was stressed or concerned about payroll every two weeks.


Michael:
              They sold the company for like $80 million or something like that. Right. Does it have to be that way for everybody? That was somewhat reassuring. Oh, okay. We're not alone. The other part was, oh crap. Is that my future? I'm always worried about that?


Ken:
       Well, first of all, if you guys can sell for 80 million, kudos.


Kathryn:
               It's probably going to be a day or two, unless you're interested, in which case, we can talk.


Michael:
              $75.999 right now, Ken.


Ken:
       I'll say a big Haza on that one. Good for you, or good for y'all, just depending on where you want to take it. It's interesting because I have some friends that are extraordinarily financially successful who live in that space of fear and it is a difficult one to dig out from. That is back to this notion of it's where we go and I'll be clear, in certain circumstances, that fear response, that survival response, is great. Dark alley at night, great to have a survival response like that. Everything goes south and you lose your clients because of economic downturn, global pandemic, just by way of example.


Kathryn:
               That's never going to happen.


Ken:
       No. Certainly not at the same time.


Kathryn:
               No.


Ken:
       It's good to have a survival response that puts you in that mode where everything else goes by the wayside, you focus, you dig down and this is about moving through it. Right. The challenge, like I said, it's that mindfulness, it's that step back to be able to say, oh, there's my fear and survival response. Thank you so much for being here. You're what got us here from 35,000 years ago. We're really happy that you're part of us, because human beings, if we didn't have that, if we were given towards cuddles and hugs, it would have been a great single generation and then gone.


Michael:
              When giant Woodstock, thousands of years ago.


Ken:
       Exactly. I always say, don't try to suppress it. Just be aware of it and thank it. Then detach from it. That's a life long journey right there to be able to detach from that.


Kathryn:
               I love that though, because I was actually doing some significant work on this about a year ago and I remember having that conversation with that piece of me and saying, okay, you're my early warning system for when I'm about to go off a cliff and I appreciate you, but we have to figure out a way for you to stop warning me when there's five miles between me and that cliff. Okay. Can we figure out how to stop you from freaking out because you can see the potential of the potential of the possibility of? As opposed to there's actually a cliff. Yeah. Right. I appreciate you, but can you just temper it down a little bit?


Ken:
       Right. Let's back it off. The other piece of it, and again, all this stuff sounds cliche, but there's truth in it, as we so clearly learned, life changes in an instant. Life has the potential to absolutely alter and change in an instant.


Kathryn:
               Absolutely.


Ken:
       Truly. What we have is this moment. We have this conversation we're having right now. Our next breath is not guaranteed and yet we act as if this future that we're creating in our mind is absolutely the way it's going to be. What we miss out on is being present to what's happening now. We miss out on being present to each other, to our staff, to our clients. We miss important clues in those conversations and interactions that are happening. That's what I don't think people realize. If you are in some sort of a survival space where you're thinking ahead to what someone might say so you can create the answer, so you'll have the response that you need, particularly like in negotiation situations or conflict resolution situations, you are going to miss the most important part of what's happening, which is what that person is saying, doing, not saying, and not doing in that moment. If you miss that, you've put yourself at a rhythmic disadvantage.


Kathryn:
               That's phenomenal. I love how you're articulating that.


Michael:
              I'm over here taking notes.


Kathryn:
               Yeah. That's really good. Okay. There is another story on your website about a woman and her family and her situation with her trust and all of those things. Will you tell that story, because that is a very cool story?


Ken:
       Sure. I'd be happy to. One of the clients that I worked with, around the whole notion of leadership and letting go of the day to day so that you can focus on the future as a CEO of a company and building up that team, and we talk about a lot of these issues that I just raised. We talk about things in the context of leadership, but we talk about what we're given to as human beings. That fear and survival tends to rule the day, that we make up stories about things. I said earlier what's so, and what I say about what's so. We embellish those. Then the step beyond that is we enroll people in our story so that we can be right. It's like we're taking the case to the jury and we want to make sure that if stuff goes south, 12 other people believed it as well so I wasn't the only one out there.


Kathryn:
               That's awesome.


Ken:
       I'm not crazy.


Michael:
              Sounds strategically wise to me. I don't understand what the problem is here.


Kathryn:
               You're going to tell me not to do that, Ken? That's awesome.


Michael:
              Our marriage is over, baby.


Ken:
       We can work through this together. I promise. At the end, there's an $80 million sale. Who knows.


Kathryn:
               Who knows. Yeah. Right.


Michael:
              This just got better. Okay. I'm all ears, Ken.


Ken:
       She took this stuff that we talked about, particularly the notion of what it means to actually tell the truth, and one of the challenges I give clients is just keep a little notebook with you and carry it around during the day and just jot down any time you make a promise and when you make a promise, it doesn't mean you're saying I promise, or I didn't say I promise. As I say in the book, that's the defense of a five-year-old.


Kathryn:
               Right. Pinky promise. Pinky swear.


Ken:
       I didn't pen cap, erases, so it doesn't count, but actually it does. Anytime you say, "I'll call you for lunch" or "Let's get together" or "I'll look at it by 5:00" or "I'll deliver this to your desk by 8:00 in the morning", those are promises. Just jot them down. Do it for at least a day and then go back and take stock of which promises you did and didn't keep. That'll give you a good sense of how well you're being your word. She actually started putting this into play at home with her husband. They were having problems. They're were both very busy in the workforce and they had kids and very fife, and she took seriously the notion of telling the truth and what it means in a relationship. She said, "Look, this work helped save my marriage."


Ken:
       It's incredibly heartening to think that somebody could take this stuff and not only put it into play at work and see the work thrive and creativity go up and profitability go up, but actually to take it home and to start putting it into play there and what this plays in to, and what this really means to me is there's no such thing as work and then life. We just have life. That's it. It's our life at home and it's our life at work, but it's one life. Our goal should be to live an integrated life where my values at home are the same as my values at work. Nothing changes. That goes back to integrity and being whole and complete. I can't be two separate things. One at home, one at work. I'm just who I am and we should strive to be the best person that we can be no matter where we are.


Kathryn:
               You are my people. I like it.


Ken:
       Thank you.


Kathryn:
               Yeah. We talk about that a lot. The concept that you actually bring all of who you are to work. You bring all of who you are home. I came across this concept for how I talk about it a long time ago. I'll say, I really want to be Wiziwig. If you're old enough to know what that means, when the computer turns, wiziwig. What you see is what you get. I don't want you to be confused about who I am if you run into me at the grocery store or at church or at the office. I want to be integrous. I want to be complete. I want that same person to show up in all those places. It's amazing how many people in that I have a work life and I have a home life and neither the twain shall meet. They just had a hard time believing that that's a good way to go. I just think, how can you live otherwise?


Ken:
       It's a great question, and I think for so many years we made an important distinction. Not that it was necessarily correct, but an important distinction between all the different facets of our life. You show up as a husband, dad, whomever in one place. You show up at your church or your house of worship in a different way. You show up at work as the stern boss. You show up with the guys on the weekend in another way. Yes, you're going to express yourself differently in those places, as it's appropriate for each of the places, but I think what happened was we collapsed how we express ourselves with the core of who we are and that core and those values that we hold to be part of who we are, those should never change. That should grow with us through our life.


Kathryn:
               I had an old professor who used to talk about it as the difference between living your life as though you're a TV dinner versus living your life understanding you're actually a chicken pot pie.


Ken:
       I love chicken pot pie.


Kathryn:
               Right? Me too. I'm not so fond of TV dinners.


Michael:
              Who doesn't? Well, some people like that, but come on. A chicken pot pie.


Kathryn:
               Nobody wants the Salisbury steak tonight. Thank you.


Michael:
              You know what? The worst part is I love a Marie Calendar's chicken pot pie.


Kathryn:
               I do too.


Michael:
              It's so toxic for you and it's so much fun. It's McDonald's french fries. I never eat them, but I love them so much.


Kathryn:
               Yeah. We just had a British pub open in town. It's not probably now, but they do a really good pot pie.


Michael:
              They are open. They opened back up already.


Kathryn:
               Now I'm craving one. Might be for my feast day. Okay. Sorry. Distraction. Money trail.


Michael:
              That was a really deep serious point and then off to food again. As we've been talking today, folks, we have been talking about trust, we've been talking about this idea of building trust and if you've been with us for the whole part, this is a great conversation. There's a lot of good stuff here going on. As we come into near the end, Ken, let's talk about two or three things that are really practical, very tactical, that people can do to start thinking about or building in this kind of trust. What are those things, because it impacts so many areas of their life, but let's give our listeners some meat.


Ken:
       Sure. I would think about the following three things. Number one, I would think about your brand from the perspective of promise. If you really had to say, what do you think your customers count on you for? What do you think that your promise is to your customers? Make a note of that and then talk to some of your trusted customers and ask them, "What can you count on us for? What do you think we deliver time and time and time again without fail? See if the two match. That's always an interesting experiment, and then make any adjustments that are necessary. In a perfect world, if you've got alignment there and you were delivering on that promise, you're off to a great start.


Ken:
       The second thing I would do is do a little mapping. Sit down and just map your customer's journey through your process. Whether it's a service, a product, whatever it happens to be. I love whiteboards. You can't see in my office, but two of the walls are covered with white boards because I just love to think off the top of my head and get it down as quickly as I can. I think it's great to have big visual representations of things. I would map how a customer enters your world, what that journey is like, and note the touch points along the way. Where do we touch customers? Is it when they make their first phone call? Is it when they send an email inquiry? Is it when they walk into a store, if we have a brick and mortar business, and where are all the touch points along the way, and how are we doing at delivering the brand along the way?


Ken:
       Yes, you want the sum total of all the touch points to be the end result, which is they delivered their promise, but you'd also like to tighten up every one of those touch points, so in and of themselves, the promise is being delivered. If there's a midway point in a service you're providing and you promise 24 hour turn-around on an inquiry, did you do it? If there is a promise that you will give someone their money back if they didn't feel they got their value, did you do it without question? What are those touch points along the way where you can better deliver?


Ken:
       The second piece to that is where are the moments where you can genuinely produce a wow experience, something unexpected, something delightful, something that will make the customer just stop and go, man, it was just nice? It doesn't have to be super expensive. It doesn't even have to be expensive. It could be a call. I used to run a national nonprofit, and I would have our board members pick up the phone and call our donors over the course of the year. Just say thank you, not to ask for a dime, but just say thanks. We really appreciate what you're doing to help us accomplish our mission.


Ken:
       Number one, get clear on your promise. Talk to trusted customers. See if they're in alignment. If they are, great. If not, line up. Number two, map out the customer journey. Take a look at all the touch points along the way and ask how well you're doing delivering that promise en route to the final product or service. The third thing is to communicate all this to your team. If your team is just your assistant, that's great. If your team is a hundred employees, that's even more important. Make sure the information that you've discovered gets declared, gets told out, because everyone needs to be on the same page. This is never a time to hoard information. It's always a time to share it, so make sure the team gets that information.


Ken:
       Finally, in that context of getting it, make sure it lands, because you can tell somebody something and they can say, great, I got it. They may have gotten something, but it may not have been the thing that you were hoping that they understood. The best solution is just to ask them, "Tell me what you think you heard me say." Then you know they're on the same page and you're golden.


Michael:
              I love it. Right now. One of the things that I've written down out of those, I wrote those three, but one of the things that stood out earlier was just as you were defining integrity, whole and complete with your values. As we're thinking through these different pieces and parts of this conversation and getting perspective and looking at it from different angles, if you don't have your word, if you don't have your bond, you have nothing. It's all empty and you don't have substance. Especially in the marketplace.


Kathryn:
               Helping your team understand, Drucker's famous quote that we love so much, which is, "Marketing is the entire business seen from the customer's point of view." Right. It's not just the marketing department. It's not just the assets. It's every experience a customer has with your business. That is marketing. Right. To have that be integrous, to have that be what you said you would do, you did every touch point. I love that. It's good stuff.


Michael:
              All right, Ken. If people want to know more about you or find out more about what you're doing and everything else, where do they go and what can they do?


Ken:
       They go to mosesian.com, M-O-S-E-S-I-A-N dot com, like Moses with an I-A-N dot com. On the homepage, they can just enter their email. You get a free audio version of my book, and there are five free videos. They're five minutes a piece and they hit the five chapters in the book; understanding brand, the customer experience, declaring your own mapping the customer experience journey, training your team and delivering on your promise.


Kathryn:
               Nice. Good, good.


Michael:
              Ladies and gentlemen, this is Ken Mosesian.


Kathryn:
               Oh, high five. Yeah. You did that.


Michael:
              I didn't hear anything that was said in the last five minutes. I've just been practicing. Folks, this stuff is dynamic and powerful and everything else. I'm telling you, I know you care about it because you listen to this podcast. We regularly look for three to five people on every subject that we can and when we start doing research, we're looking at three to five authors that we can pull in and read their books because we want to be able to see the different facets, the different angles on a subject, knowing that they're probably all going to agree, especially on the issue of trust. When it looks like they have a brand trust, when it looks like they have integrity throughout your life and an integrated lifestyle in business. We think about that as small and medium sized business owners and owner run companies.


Michael:
              Look, we don't get away from business. It's not as clean cut in our own lives. No reason to pretend it needs to be. Your word is your bond and these are some of the great things we've been able to talk about today. Please check out mosesian.com. We'll have a link on our page and we are just really grateful. Thank you so much, Ken, for being here today with us and spending this valuable time.


Kathryn:
               Great conversation.


Ken:
       Thank you. I really enjoyed it. I really appreciate the opportunity to talk to you and your listeners.


Michael:
              Yeah. How fun.


Kathryn:
               Awesome.


Michael:
              Ladies and gentlemen, this is the HaBO Village podcast. I'm Michael Redman.


Kathryn:
               I'm Kathryn Redman.


Michael:
              Have a great week.


Kathryn:
               Bye.


Michael:
              Thanks for listening.