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


  • Face-to-face interaction with customers may be one step too far removed from the briefs for most marketing campaigns
  • You could end up having a lot of theoretical debate about the behaviour in an organisation without making any particular progress on marketing issues