The reliability and efficiency of your supply chain obviously affects your operations and in turn how your customers view your brand. For example, if you are running a promotion, but cannot keep your stores optimally stocked during the promotion, obviously your brand image takes a hit. It does not matter to the customers whether your stores ran out of their favorite sweater because your marketing and supply chain systems don’t talk to each other or a broken supply chain was just not up to the task of supporting the event in the first place. The fact is that efficient supply chains not only drive profitability, but also enhance or sustain the brand image by enabling you to keep your promises to the customers on prices, availability, assortment, and delivery.
Several studies find that your supply chain may even have an (emotional) appeal to your customers. McKinsey reports that the buyers’ favor brands that are perceived to “act responsibly across (their) supply chains”. Another paper recently published in German Academic Association for Business Research also found that the right message about a responsible supply chain can help “lift a brand's reputation”.