Archive for the ‘Brand Loyalty’ Category

Dyson – Rising to the Customer Service Challenge

October 4, 2015

Dyson Customer Service

Back in January our Dyson vacuum cleaner packed up and we were more than happy to replace it with another one. It’s a brand I really believe in, so much so that I wrote a blog about it called ‘Hoovering and Storytelling‘.

Three weeks ago we had a problem with our relatively new Dyson so we rang the customer service number and after a very straight forward, quibble free process the offending part would be replaced and delivered to us. The promise was that we would have it within ‘10 working days‘.

To be honest I thought 10 working days was quite a long time for a part they said was in stock but at least they were going to replace it and in the meantime we would manage.

Three weeks passed and there was no sign of our part so we called the Dyson customer service number. They had a record of our transaction and confirmed that due to a system glitch the part had not been dispatched. The operative was very polite, very apologetic but explained that unfortunately we were back at the beginning of the process again and a replacement part would take up to 10 working days to get to us.

It was time to take a stand and explain that this really wasn’t good enough.

Without getting argumentative we asked the operative if there was some way of expediting the delivery of our part. He told us he needed to check with his supervisor so he put us on hold briefly. After about two minutes he came back to us and confirmed that while the circumstances were unfortunate there was “nothing they could do“.

I detest those words because quite simply there is always something that can be done. ‘There is nothing I can do is a choice about what you are prepared to do, a choice about what is acceptable.

This was the system.

There is nothing I can do

We left him know that we weren’t happy and that surely there is ‘always something that can be done‘? Nope ..

We had exhausted the ‘official channel‘ so we reluctantly reverted to twitter to vocalise our disappointment with the Dyson brand.

Immediately the Dyson social media team reacted and wanted to know what happened. Without too much fuss they confirmed that what happened wasn’t good enough, that it wasn’t consistent with the Dyson culture so they would investigate our situation immediately and check with the customer service team.

They thanked us for highlighting a ‘flaw‘ in their customer service procedures, which they would take on board as a learning. Instead of waiting 10 days for a replacement part a new, better machine would be delivered to us in three working days.

With all of our businesses we have to make decisions on a regular basis about how we handle complaints. What do we do, how quick do we respond, what is fair – what do we decide is acceptable?

Things will inevitably go wrong from time to time and while we all hate complaints we need to make a decision about how we deal with them. A complaint is a great way to show the real ethos of your business and instead of saying ‘there is nothing I can do‘ we need to embrace the issue, do our very best and learn from it.

If you were cynical you might decide that Dyson reacted because the issue was highlighted on a public social media platform but I do believe they were genuine and they rose to the Customer Service Challenge. Instead of being a negative for the brand it is a positive. My faith is restored!

Well done Dyson ..

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion PR, Marketing and Graphic Design, with offices in Dublin and Cork





July 17, 2015

Steve Jobs and wozniak-1977

When you believe in something it engages you.

When you believe in what you are doing then you do it with enthusiasm and purpose.

When you believe in who you are doing it for and why then you do it with even more intensity and passion.

When everyone in the team has the same belief then you have a common bond and you become a powerful collective force.

When your customers believe then you can make real magic happen

Without belief you have nothing.

The most important thing you can do as a manager is to give your team something real to believe in

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion who offer Marketing, PR, Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

Crushing young dreams 

April 12, 2015


My daughter Ellen has had a run of bad luck, which eventually seemed to be turning.

As she comes to the end of her beauty therapy course she was determined to find a job.

I’ve been offered a job dad” she told me excitedly down the phone. I was thrilled for her, she deserved a break and I could hear the difference that confidence boost had made to her.

The following day it got even better “you won’t believe it dad, I’ve been offered another job” she beamed.

Two days later she called again “Dad, guess what? I’ve been offered a job in a salon and the lady is lovely and it’s exactly what I want, This is the job I’m going to take”.

Three job offers in as many days and my fantastic daughter was transformed – she was now a confident woman with a real spring in her step. She accepted the full time job offer and was due to start the following Monday.

She was then called for an interview to a beauty salon that came highly recommended by her course director on the Saturday.

On the spot she was offered a job by the salon owner despite Ellen’s lack of experience. Ellen explained to her that this would be a big decision as she had already been offered a full time job.

She rang me “you won’t believe it dad – I’ve been offered another job, I can’t believe it! What will I do?

On the recommendation of her course director she accepted this offer and turned down the previous offer. To her credit she wrote a very professional email to the other salon, explaining the reason why she would not be taking their job offer after all.

Unfortunately the next call was Ellen sobbing on the phone. The salon owner that she had accepted the job from had a change of heart and suddenly her lack of experience was an issue and the full time job offer was rescinded. This news was delivered with barely an apology. While the salon owner thinks there is no consequence to her careless actions she has done huge damage to her reputation.

In the blink of an eye my precious girl was crushed and totally devastated and on top of this blow she now had to contemplate crawling back to the people she had already turned down in the hope that those opportunities were still alive.

Ellen is a strong, determined, talented young woman with a great personality who will recover from this cruel setback but it is one that she should not have to deal with.

I’ve shared this story with a number of people and to my horror nearly everyone I spoke to were able to give me similar stories.

When you offer anyone a job this carries with it a big responsibility – besides the obvious financial consequences you also bring the person, their dreams, hopes and wishes with you.

This is a big responsibility… Mind it.

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion who offer Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland


Dunnes Stores – Building your Reputation

April 2, 2015

Dunnes Stores Strike

It was a strange thing – I heard news of the Dunnes Stores strike first thing this morning on Newstalk and immediately without hearing any of the detail I was on the side of the workers.

I wondered why did I think that automatically?

The truth is I never hear any good things about the company.

I don’t hear about charities they support, I don’t hear about a focus on Irish products,  I don’t hear about how they work closely with suppliers, I don’t see them being helpful on social media, I don’t hear about how much they contribute to the Irish economy and I don’t hear about new jobs that have created.

Instead I remember the strikes of old and the trouble and controversy that the company has had down through the years.

This doesn’t mean for a second that they do none of these things – it just means I don’t know about the good things they do and as a result when I hear a negative about them I tend to believe it.

When we use the words ‘building your reputation‘ it is a powerful analogy because your reputation is something that is built over time.

It is a culmination of all of the things you do; how you look after suppliers, your team and most importantly your customers. It also includes how you interact with the general community – while we are all in business to make a profit it is vital that we respect our environment and those around us and genuinely try to be a good, responsible corporate citizen.

Besides doing good it is vital that this is communicated clearly and effectively so that people understand that this is a business that genuinely cares about something more than just making money.

When an ill wind blows it is vital that your reputation has been built carefully and robustly so that it can withstand it easily and that you will have the support of your customers, investors, the media and the general public in these circumstances.

There is a strike at Dunnes

If a good job was done here our first thought when we hear this should be “They are a great company who are really responsible and fair – there must be two sides to that story

Build your reputation … it will protect you

Greg Canty

Fuzion with offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland offer a full Crisis PR Service. Deirdre Waldron, (Partner) heads up the Crisis PR team, which includes former journalists, media training and social media expertise.




Hoovering and Storytelling

January 18, 2015

Sir James Dyson

Typical..just as we are skint at the start of January and all the bills are flying in our Dyson vacuum cleaner decides to pack up. I guess its not too bad as the previous one served us well for over 10 years so we can’t complain too much. Having said that the timing could be better!

Off we headed on a Saturday afternoon (I can think of a lot better things to be doing!) to buy a new one and for me there was a simple choice to be made – what model of Dyson would we buy and at which store?

For me I had no intention of even considering a different brand of vacuum cleaner (I have to try hard to not say ‘Hoover’) simply because I believe in the ‘story‘ of Dyson, the spirit, the innovation, the person and I believe that this story will deliver a superior product.

While we were browsing the selection of Dyson’s on display at Harvey Norman’s a helpful shopper (another guy as it turns out – is it the men that do the hoovering I’m wondering?! …I used the hoover word didn’t I!) whispered in my ear:

I’d buy a Miele if I were you. The suction is much better. I’ve had Dyson’s down through the years and they are only ok“.

Despite this sound impartial advice and my own experience I still wanted a Dyson. Even though we were surrounded by a wide selection of vacuum brands with lots of different features and price points I didn’t once consider even looking at them. I just wanted a Dyson. One of the Dyson models had a good offer on it, which simplified the task even further and before we knew it we were on the way home.

Opening and assembling the Dyson was a pleasure (relatively speaking!) with all of the parts cleverly clicking into place and inside the box I found a little booklet called ‘The Story of Dyson’.

It tells us that James Dyson is a curious inventor and shared some of his early designs including a Sea Truck (a high speed landing craft), a ballbarrow (a wheelbarrow with a clever ball that stops it sinking into the mud) a trolleyball boat launcher and an amphibious wheel boat.

Observing a sawmill he watched how a cyclone spun sawdust in the air and collected it in a chamber and wondered if the same principle could apply to vacuum cleaners that were using cleaner bags that constantly clogged the machines. After 5,127 prototypes he cracked it!

Since then he launched his range of vacuum cleaners, built a successful company and has constantly improved his products as well as introducing new ones.

James Dyson Foundation

Today Dyson machines are exhibited in museums in London, New York, Zurich,Sydney and Paris and the James Dyson Foundation runs workshops around the globe where young people solve engineering challenges in a practical fun way.

Dyson know they have a great story and they understand the power of this story so much that they include in it every box. This story is an integral part of their brand, so powerful that it had me not even entertaining a competitor product.

What you do, the products you sell and the services you offer are important – your story is what makes you unique.

Time to start storytelling ….

Check out another blog post: “Branding and Storytelling

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion who offer Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland



Customers aren’t just for Christmas!

December 22, 2014

Marc Jacobs

It was about this time last year when I embraced the “hint” that was given to me by Dee and I found myself in the handbag section of Brown Thomas looking for a leather hand bag, which was stylish but small and tidy.

In the end I settled for a classy navy blue Marc Jacobs bag … that’s a good brand, isn’t it? The price suggested it was a good brand and surely she would be happy with it. Down through the years I’ve bought a few handbags in BT for Dee ..strangely (I know what you are thinking..) I actually like shopping for handbags! I love the leathers and the colours and the different designs and for the most part you can’t go wrong with a bag as a present…I think?

As usual I scored and on Christmas morning Dee was happy with her gift.

Marc Jacobs was born in New York City on April 9, 1963. After graduating from the High School of Art and Design in 1981 he entered Parson’s School of Design. As a design student at Parson’s, Jacobs was the recipient of some of the schools highest honours including Design Student of the Year. In 1984 he met Robert Duffy who is still his business partner today. These two have been really successful at building this huge brand, which as all of us knows doesn’t happen by accident

At the end of this summer (just 7 months on) the leather edges of the bag started to turn white – the piping on the seams of the bag were not leather but some type of narrow plastic and the covering was wearing away – this didn’t seem very Marc Jacobs so we returned it to the store assured that there would be no issue with a repair or a replacement.

After two months the bag was returned repaired. Dee was upset as it smelt musty so it must have been sitting in a damp repair shop for quite a while and the inner lining that had to be opened up to complete the repair was still torn.

She put up with this, de-fumigated the bag with perfume but within a few weeks you could see that the repair was not going to work as the seams were once again stripping away – back to Brown Thomas!

Brown Thomas

Our interaction with the manager of the store this week was interesting. She studied the handbag carefully. “Do you have a receipt?” It was clear from the repair paperwork that BT had already handled the previous repair. “The manufacturer has a 6 month repair policy, so we can’t really guarantee anything” hmmm.. “we never know how people will wear their handbags” other words if you are the type of person who mistreats a bag then we can’t be responsible. Taking one look at Dee you would know this is a bag that would be looked after carefully.

We politely reminded her that we trust Brown Thomas and the expensive brands they are selling and that there is no way we should accept this level of wear and tear after just a few months. Surely a brand such as Marc Jacobs care about their quality? The manager elaborated “They don’t care! You can give out all you want, kick up a fuss but it won’t make any difference. They are so big and so popular they just don’t care

That is just incredible – we did suggest that maybe Brown Thomas should stop stocking such a brand if that is what their attitude is towards the quality of their products and the customers who put faith in them. Glancing around the store you could see how much space was dedicated to this very popular brand – The Marc Jacobs brand is big business.

We did leave the handbag with the manager and she assured us that she would do everything in her power to get this brand to behave themselves and deal with the issue. I’m pessimistic and my prediction is that this will end up with Dee being handed back a worn out bag, which will never see the light of day.

When you are that popular and selling that much product is it easy to forget about the customer?

When a brand is so powerful do you do everything you can to stock them in your store even if they don’t really care about customers?

When Marc Jacobs and Robert Duffy met 30 years ago and started on their journey I am sure they were passionate about style, quality and their customers? Have they lost control of their brand?

When Hugh Brown and James Thomas started their store in 1848 I am sure the customer come before any of the brands they were stocking?

Maybe something might have changed since then ..

Customer’s aren’t just for Christmas and brands don’t necessarily last forever!

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion who offer Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland


Big brands and the shopping bag test

July 14, 2014

Shopping Bags

We pop the boot open and the usual process of fishing out a bag or two to do our shopping starts.

I really hate having to do a big ‘weekly shop‘ so most of our shopping is done as required. The store we normally find ourselves at is Quish’s SuperValu where the staff are really friendly and it is the closest one to our home. While the selection of stock isn’t always too hectic it is a handy store for us and shopping there never feels like a chore.

When I pop the boot open I have to quickly grab a bag or two and I’m surprised how this simple exercise shows me how I feel about the different retailer brands and the ones I align with most.

My first choice is the SuperValu bag – after all, thats the shop I am going into and I feel its a good thing to bring a bag from the same store with you. It must drive a store manager nuts to see shoppers entering or leaving their store carrying a competitors shopping bag with them. I know it would really irritate me if a client came to us with some POS or other material from a competitor.

I also love the SuperValu franchise model and I feel this owner operator ethos leads to friendly community orientated stores often including a support and buy local agenda.

My next choice is the Marks & Spencer bag. This surprises me as I always like to support Irish but I do admire their dedication to quality food and I guess I am happy for that to be part of ‘my personal brand‘ as I do my shopping.

The M&S choice probably makes me look like a snob but my next bag choice would be either Aldi or Lidl. To be honest I can’t differentiate between either of these brands and regularly get them mixed up. I really don’t enjoy the shopping experience in these stores but I admire the simple value proposition and huge strides seem to have been made with quality and there seems to be a genuine effort to buy Irish. The adverts are working!

My next choice is Tesco. As a brand it still leaves me cold, with no stand out proposition but I do admire their Irish producers programme in conjunction with Bord Bia. Even though their share performance has been suffering they seem to believe that the Irish producers strategy will play a big role in winning in Ireland.

Bord Bia Tesco Supplier Development Programme

They are doing some great work with Irish producers improving their operations so they can do more business with Tesco.

My very last choice is the Dunnes Stores bag. Why is an Irish company, the one I should logically have an allegiance to, be the one that I connect with least? I really don’t get their brand proposition, I don’t understand it, I don’t see them connecting locally like SuperValu and nationally I don’t see any noise about supporting Irish – they could be the best at this but if they are I don’t know about it.

I know this is just my view and that my simple ‘picking a bag from the boot‘ analysis isn’t very scientific but then I look at the latest market shares in Ireland published in May 2014 and reported in the Irish Independent and see how closely aligned the reality is to my feelings.

German retailers Aldi and Lidl have continued to snap at the heels of Dunnes Stores, with the pair now commanding a combined 17.1pc share of Ireland’s multi-billion euro grocery market

Tesco retained its top ranking, but remains under pressure. Its market share fell 4.1pc to 26.3pc in the latest period, while Dunnes Stores also saw its position further weakened. Its share slipped 1.3pc to 21.6pc

SuperValu the chain controlled by the Cork-based Musgrave group – continues to snap at Tesco’s heels. Its share of the market, which includes its now rebranded Superquinn chain, rose 0.5pc to 25.1pc, confirming its second place in the supermarket wars

Industry insiders said the latest figures will be another wake-up call for both Tesco and Dunnes Stores in particular

Maybe Tesco and Dunnes Stores should do the shopping bag test?

How do customers feel when they pick up a bag from your store?

Greg Canty

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion who offer Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork




Superquinn and the Sausage that lost it’s Sizzle

February 15, 2014
Superquinn - The Last Day

Feargal Quinn pictured with family as the Superquinn name is taken down

In marketing we often say “Don’t talk about the sausage, talk about the sizzle!

Instead of talking about the “thing” we talk about how it makes you feel, the benefits, the mood, the emotion, that sense of occasion.

A sausage according to wikipedia is: a food usually made from ground meat with a skin around it. Typically, a sausage is formed in a casing traditionally made from intestine, but sometimes synthetic. Some sausages are cooked during processing and the casing may be removed after.

Yummy.. Imagine marketing that product!

Ironically this week where we witnessed the last nail in the coffin of the once fabulous Superquinn brand we heard the MD of SuperValu, Martin Kelliher reassuring customers that the sausages would be retained!

Is that the very last thing to survive of the brand or does the sausage in some way represent everything that was once special about Superquinn for shoppers?

When I worked in Dublin for Guinness during the mid nineties I was living near the Clondalkin area. Even though I had my own music store in the Mill Centre in Clondalkin where there was a Dunnes Stores, my weekly grocery shopping was done in Superquinn in Lucan, a good 20 minutes away by car.

Somehow shopping in Superquinn just didn’t feel too painful (I hate shopping) because of the atmosphere, the store layout, the smells, the unusual selection of food, the food samples, the fabulous wine selection and the genuine friendly service. Of course the sausages were different and these were bought from time to time!

Feargal Quinn and his team were delivering a product and service at a level way above all other Irish grocery competitors, which helped to build the successful brand, Superquinn.

The Superquinn brand was built using a unique mix of ingredients just like their famous sausages, which they had clearly perfected.

Incredibly there is a support group for their famous sausages!

On this support group they say:

Superquinn sausagesIn 1976 Superquinn perfected the pork sausage, nothing else even comes close. If I was a pig I would feel privileged to donate my body to a noble cause like this. Following a trip to Germany in early 1976, Feargal Quinn decided that Superquinn would create the perfect sausage for Irish tastes. Superquinn butcher, Pat Kelly was the lucky man faced with the ultimate challenge

Feargal Quinn seemed to take this approach with everything he did in his stores – they were different and they were better.

Over time the other grocery chains improved, the differences weren’t as different as they once were and the special ethos that once defined Superquinn started to dissolve.

When Feargal Quinn sold the stores to an investor group who had no experience in the very challenging sector the once special sizzle started to disappear and the business went backwards.

Are you minding the sizzle in your business?

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design agency in Ireland with offices in Cork and Dublin

Big, Bold, Brave ….Belief

January 28, 2014

The .com domain name for Greg Canty can be registered with Register365 for the total price of €8.95 per annum.

The .com domain is the big one, the universal one, which is easy to register and without any fuss. For example with the Irish domain .ie you need to jump a few hoops and at least make some attempt at proving that you or your business has a valid reason for being able to claim that name.

The frenzy at the beginning of the internet boom was the practice of some very clever people anticipating which domain names would be popular in the future. They purchased these in the hope that at some point in time they might earn a windfall when they could sell them off for big money.

A lot of domain names are still registered to people who will never use them and are still waiting for their big pay day!

According to Wikipedia the top ten most expensive domain names are:

  1. $35 million in 2007 
  2. $16 million in 2009 
  3. for $14 million in October 2010
  4. 2008 £9.99 million
  5. 2007 $9.5 million
  6. by Facebook for $8.5 million in November 2010
  7. for $7.5 million in December 1999
  8. 2006 $7.5 million
  9. 2004 $7 million
  10. 2008 $5.88 million

It looks like the last big money transaction was in 2010.

What would make you pay this kind of huge money for a domain name?

  • It must be a core part of your brand and who you are – so much so that you can’t have anyone else using it and must get your hands on it
  • It must have huge earning potential in order to justify such a huge price tag – unless of course you have so much money that earnings are not a critical part of the equation

Even if these two elements are in place do you have the resources to pay out big money for a domain name and this must be weighed up against what you could do with this amount of money – could you make your existing domain name or a new name just as powerful if that fund was put being a marketing campaign?

Big, Bold, Brave

Teamwork LogoLast week I was at the Guinness Store House (a strange experience for me – I could see my old office from the top floor) for the launch of a domain name by a Fuzion client and great friends of mine, Digital Crew.

The guys have an incredible cloud based project management application called TeamworkPM, which only after a few years is creating a storm online and is quickly becoming the standard within the sector for managing projects.

These guys from Cork had paid over half a million euros for the domain name and were celebrating with friends and clients – at 9pm the new domain name was set live.

When I first heard this news I thought someone was pulling a fast one on me and when I realised it was true I wondered if they had totally lost their marbles!

This was certainly a BIG move, they are paying and playing big, they are thinking big (huge!) but then again they have a global product so it is a big market. What’s more they have big plans to develop a whole suite of products under the Teamwork name. 

It was definitely a BOLD move …they aren’t a Google, a Facebook, a Microsoft, a Twitter but this was a big bold move, which shows that they see themselves in that Premier league table.

BRAVE ….I’m not sure if I could have written that cheque!

To be fair to these guys this is isn’t the first time that they have been Big, Bold and Brave.

When Digital Crew were working on their core web development business and on some complex web projects they realised they needed a project management application to help co-ordinate their teams and the multiple tasks that were required. After playing with a few different applications online they decided ….these aren’t good enough, we can do better!

While ideas are great and we all have them, the guys got together at weekends and late in the evenings when the regular client work was done and starting building a new application.

After an incredibly hard slog the application TeamworkPM was ready, which they politely rolled out.

There was no immediate success but they interacted with customers, answered countless queries, joined discussions, tracked competitors, improved their product over and over and eventually they had momentum with some serious businesses coming on board and using the application – Walt Disney, Microsoft, EA Sports, Forbes and eBay to name a few.

Word of mouth, continuous improvements and dogged determination brought TeamworkPM to a point where the income from the application had surpassed their core business income.

They made an incredibly Big, Bold and Brave move to divest of their core business and put everything into their TeamworkPM application. Every month there is a big new feature added, which is a challenge they set for themselves.

Within a year they have added significantly to the team and even sent one of the founders to take office in New Zealand (poor Sam – we all know he hates the glorious weather and the beach!)so another time zone could be looked after.

While they have been making Big, Bold and Brave moves for a long time the decision to pay over half a million euros for the domain name is about something much more.

They have incredible BELIEF in what they are doing, in their own capability and in their vision. They know exactly where they are taking their business.

To Dan, Peter, Sam, Billy and all the Teamwork team …..thanks for showing us what Big, Bold and Brave looks like. My belief is your domain will be worth it!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design agency in Ireland with offices in Cork and Dublin

You’ll never know why

November 5, 2013

Word of Mouth

Thanks for the invitation for your event but I just won’t be going.

I don’t want to shop in your store any more and I won’t be recommending that anyone else goes there.

I will probably ever so subtly actually discourage people from going to your store whereas before now I would have done the opposite.

The problem is you will never quite know why ..

The thing is you treated a good friend of someone that I know really well quite badly, which left them really upset. I know they are reasonable people so I trust the stories that I’ve heard and I believe that the poor experience was genuine and not exaggerated.

From my point of view this mightn’t be reasonable or logical but that’s often the way the world works.

Reputation is a funny thing – it takes ages to build a good reputation and it take seconds to destroy it.

Next time you have an issue with a customer consider carefully how you deal with them as it can potentially impact on many more than just them.

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design agency in Ireland with offices in Cork and Dublin


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