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The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

Translating Relationships to Business

Jaya Smitha Menon
Thursday, March 3, 2011
Jaya Smitha Menon
Business is built on relationships
When I was the President of FedEx in Canada, there was an interesting opportunity to be on the reality TV with Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, which was called the big switcher role, where we have switch roles with a frontline employee for a week live on TV. It was a very interesting experience because today I personally do not get to do many frontline jobs from customer service to drive a truck. But I had to do all these, live on TV. That experience taught me a lot. At the end of the day, customer experience is all about people interacting with people, not business interacting with business. I found out very quickly that the FedEx courier service job is not just delivering the package. It is about building relationship. These frontline employees interact with customer and the magic they create around those customers is very important for our success and I would never ever forget that.

Marketing in the new economy
Every company has to seriously figure out what are the best ways to communicate with their stakeholders in this new age. Over the last few years we have started to move more of our share of media from what is called the traditional media to modern media. This does not mean that there is no role for the traditional media; balance between the two is the key and how we find this balance is the point. We just launched our sponsorship of the ATP tennis tournament globally, so obviously there is a lot of visibility in the event at the same time we invest a lot of time in the online space. We have a very strong fan network online and we have a created a FedEx reliability index on the ATP site that a lot of people track. There are many similar examples of how the full spectrum of media can be used.

Thoughts on brand building
Let us talk from FedEx perspective. A brand like ours has a lot of commonality across the globe. We should do a lot of work to make sure that the people are aware of the brand, they experience the brand and they are loyal to the brand. Now, how we communicate a lot of these things, how we manifest ourselves in advertising and promotions is obviously culturally dependent. But the core that we stand for whether it is, absolute reliability, outstanding customer support and the range of solutions that we provide, is common all across the globe. We spend a lot of time making sure that the core brand values remain very similar no matter where we operate in the world. Then we adapt that with specific communication strategies to the particular market.

The culture of Innovation in organizations is inevitable

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