Customer Interview with
Mandy Novak from Ivoclar
Mandy Novak, thank you very much for being with us today!
Why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself and about Ivoclar?
Thank you for inviting us! With pleasure. Perhaps first of all about Ivoclar: We are a dental company.
Our products are aimed at dental technicians and dentists. We have 3,500 employees worldwide and operate globally.
About me as a person: I actually originally came from a dental practice – it’s been a while – but I have a lot of experience from that perspective as well. I then started at the German location of Ivoclar in different functions: in the call centre, then I built up a CRM area and an inside sales department. And finally, I decided to switch to Headquarters. I’ve been there since January 2019 in the role of CX Manager and very recently in the role of Director Global Brand and Customer Experience.
Why don’t you give us an overview of Ivoclar’s brand values and brand positioning?
What role does the brand play for Ivoclar as a company in the dental industry?
We have taken a whole year to work on the brand from the ground up. Based on our previous top performances, we have developed six brand values. We have developed brand rules. Our mission is: “Making people smile” and everything we do should lead to this goal.
Brand plays a big role in this! The whole thing is also strategically anchored in our company. All our efforts are aimed at strengthening the corporate brand. And to really condense what we have already done in the past and make it tangible for our customers.
Where do you currently face the greatest challenges in the areas of CX and brand?
That’s a good question.
In the area of CX, the challenge is that we don’t just talk about it and really understand the whole thing, but above all get into action. We use the Customer Journey Mapping methodology and always have an incredible amount of insights after the journey mappings. We have an unbelievable number of ideas and also know for many points where we don’t really need to invest any more budget or time because our customers don’t value certain things or don’t attach any importance to them.
The important thing is that we start. You don’t need a plan from the beginning to optimise the entire journey and you don’t really need a roadmap with milestones, but you have to get started relatively quickly. Pick a touchpoint, an optimisation idea. Simply implement it and see how it comes across. And then move on. It needs more of an iterative approach.
And the challenge in the area of brand: I think it really lies in making this understandable for every employee so that everyone knows how their actions can contribute to strengthening the brand. I think that is and remains a challenge for all companies – that we make it really tangible for the staff how they can contribute.
You have chosen to use Brandification for your Brand Hero Community.
Why did you choose it and what is your objective with the software?
We had different objectives. On the one hand, we wanted to use an exciting tool, a fun tool – also in the sense of gamification. A tool that is fun to use and process data.
On the other hand, we wanted to have a transparent overview.
How many touchpoints do we have? In which organisation do they really comply with the brand rules? How is the whole thing divided up in percentage terms? Where do we have the most optimisation potential? What is the internal assessment, i.e. the internal brand audit result versus the external assessments? That was all important for us to know. And right from the start, we didn’t want to start with a very poor Excel list, but we also wanted to have a structured approach that we could use to inspire people.
And your support really contributed to that – also your support in the trainings.
At the very beginning, when we introduced Brandification, people already felt that there was enthusiasm, there was motivation, there was passion, and of course people got carried away.
What changes have resulted from Brandification use in the meantime?
We went through the first brand audit test last year, with 25 Brand Heros in our company, i.e. one person from each location. We did the internal assessment first, i.e. each Brand Hero uploaded 10 touchpoints. In total, there were 250 touchpoints. Then each person assessed their own touchpoints according to the 6 Brand Rules.
Then we had an external partner assess the brand rules again. And then we looked to see where the “gap” was and entered into dialogue with the brand user and said: “Look, this is my assessment. This is yours. What are things where we might also have a blind spot?” Then we often got new ideas on how to optimise touchpoints and then started the implementation.
Who would you recommend Brandification to?
Oh! Here comes a somewhat clumsy answer: Everyone! Everyone.
I don’t see brand strengthening as important for certain companies, but the topic is important for all companies in this day and age. Products are becoming more and more interchangeable. The brand conveys certain values and customers know what they can rely on. I actually see it as relevant for all companies.