Here is an interesting article about brand. It’s an interesting
follow-on to the post I offered yesterday about my impressions about
business hotels. What do you think – does each customer define your
brand and might you have very different brands based on the customer?
Your Brand Is Everything
By Joe Calloway, author of Work Like You’re Showing Off: The Joy, Jazz, and Kick of Being Better Tomorrow Than You Were Today.
Your brand is everything. Don’t think that just because you’re not Nike or Coke that you don’t have a brand. You ARE a brand.
Your brand is not your advertising. Your brand is not your logo.
Your brand is not your company name. Your brand is not your product.
Your brand may not be at all what you think it is. Your brand may not
be what you intend for it to be. You do not own your brand.
Your brand is owned by your customers, the people you work with, and
anyone else who has an impression of you. Your brand is other people’s
perception of what it’s like to do business with you, work with you, or
be with you.
Nothing is more important than your brand, because it’s what defines
you, regardless of the work you do. It has equal importance whether you
are one employee of a worldwide company or a one person business
working out of your home. It should be your top priority to build,
protect, and represent your brand to the best of your ability in every
interaction you have with others. The essence of building a strong
brand is simply this: keeping your promises and creating great
experiences for others.
You want customers to love you, not just know who you are. You
literally have as many brands as you have customers and people who have
an impression of you. If those impressions are bad, or if you don’t
keep your promises, then your brand is weak. Consider all the brands
that you may have created without even knowing it:
· You transfer a customer four
times to different departments and she never has her problem solved.
That’s your brand.
· You charge a customer extra
for something they thought was included in the original price. That’s
· You replace a defective
product but no one apologizes to the customer for his trouble. That’s
· You put a telephone customer on hold for over a minute. That’s your brand.
· Your web site is confusing and hard to navigate. That’s your brand.
· A repeat customer for many
years comes into your store and no one greets her by name. That’s your
Most feelings about brands are based on comparison. You may think
that your competitors are the other companies that do what you do, but
customers don’t limit their comparisons like that. All customers may
know is that someone else in a business completely different from yours
did something great for them that you, in their opinion, were unwilling
to do. You may not think it’s a fair comparison, but who cares? It’s
the customer’s call. Anything that another company does for your
customer can have a strong influence on how she rates your brand.