So what makes a brand great?  In my opinion, it starts from the inside… the DNA of the brand’s vision and culture.  It’s the “juice” that feeds consumers, employees and stakeholders… not the “kool-aid”.  Gone are the days of cheesy slogans that made consumers fall in line like sheep.  We’re a tad more discerning on the “what’s in it for me” scale with fairly attuned BS meters.

Brand buy-in cannot be forced, only earned through exemplary brand experiences.  And it’s the brands where customers tell the best stories that win.

Which leads me to my Clearly Contacts story.

I’ve been a raving fan of Clearly Contacts from the get-go for the simple reason that they take the pain out of my eye-care needs.  They personify brand efficiency by delivering my prescription effortlessly, overnight… and while they’re at it, they save me money.  Fabulous formula, yes?  In fact, aside from annual exams, Clearly Contacts has made purchasing contact lenses and/or glasses through optometrists history.

So when a “reminder” email drops in my inbox with easy, one-click reorder details I almost click my heels together with the blissful simplicity of it all.

This time was no different.

Click, confirm… take advantage of sale price?  Sure, I’m in.  Option to pay any/every way possible including direct from bank account (even ship now/pay later).  Send… confirm… sigh.  So easy.  Expertly crafted confirmation email?  Received… done.

But wait.  Within a few hours, I received a “your order is delayed due to supply” email.

(Cue sound of needle scratching vinyl.)  What??  This is a first.

Decided to pick up the phone… another first as I’ve never spoken live to Clearly Contacts in the 4 years I’d been dealing with them.  Less than a one minute wait.  Solution within 2 minutes after learning my particular product is being discontinued and replaced with something new and improved… fantastic!  Revised order received within 24 hours, complete with free shipping of course.

So what else came in my perfectly packaged (albeit 2nd favourite) little blue box?

  1. A thank you card from the company’s handsome CEO Roger Hardy asking me what Clearly Contacts can do to make my experience with them exceptional (almost rhetorical);
  2. A hermetically sealed lens case & handy lens change calendar so I always know when I need a fresh pair (love it); and
  3. Big left/right stickers to apply to my contacts for those Mr. Magoo moments when I need to make sure I’m putting them in the right eyes (sounds over-the-top but…well, the technically blind people like me get it).

HERE’S THE (STANDING O) STICKING POINT:

So once again, Clearly Contacts didn’t just come through on their brand promise to “To deliver the highest quality eye care products at the guaranteed lowest prices anywhere on the globe”, they took it one step further.  They overcame a fulfillment speed-bump and fixed it with minimal delay.  At no point was a ball dropped in stick-handling me as a customer.  And at no point was I teetering towards bailing.  I’m in for the long haul with Clearly Contacts because clearly, they get it.

SIDEBAR:  I talked to another Clearly Contacts customer in the last few weeks who told me that he forgot his contact lenses while on vacation at a resort on Vancouver Island.  Within 24 hours of his online order, his prescription refill arrived.  Problem solved.  Did I mention he was on an island?  Again… and brace yourself because you will hear this from me many times… it’s the brands where customers tell the best stories that win.