Brand Manners – Hamish Pringle & William Gordon

The one-sentence summary: Customer perception of brand quality is a combination of pre-existing expectations and experience when interacting with it, so companies need to practice what they preach.


  • Companies need to align their internal and external brand values to build a self-confident organisation.
  • Customer perception of quality is a function of their pre-existing expectations of the brand, coupled with their experience when interacting with it.
  • Brand reputations can be ruined by a poor interaction.
  • The Brand Manners Improvement Cycle has five stages:
  • Individual Behaviours. It’s not enough to talk about missions and values – they have to be manifested in the concrete reality of individual actions.
  • Encounters. Stay close to customers and staff, and engender an atmosphere of trust.
  • Brand Promise. Technology and automation must not be allowed to remove humanity from brand interaction.
  • Happy Surprises. Direct human interface generates defining gestures, pledges to customers, and moments of truth that should reflect the brand.
  • Feeling Good. The art of ensuring continually satisfied customers is to define your version of outstanding service, realising the importance of under-promising and over-delivering, and recruit in line with the brand’s values.


  • The Brand Manners cycle makes good sense and enables you to start a strategic debate with clients that goes way beyond marketing communications.
  • The philosophy of the book is a useful antidote to macho marketing styles.
  • Case histories include Orange, Tesco, Coca-Cola, Ronseal, HSBC, and Pret a Manger – many of which could be directly applicable to your business.
  • The format is in user-friendly chunks, with lots of diagrams that may help to inspire the content of other presentations.

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