Brand marketing has become quite the buzzword. As marketers, we spend a lot of time and money cultivating our brands; working hours on strategizing the launch, tweaking a tagline and working to create buzz. We drive customers to our store or website in hopes that they buy our products. But what happens when the brand created doesn’t ring true with the product or service experience? You become a one-hit wonder.
As you navigate your company’s brand, keep in mind that the brand experience for your target audience begins with your tagline, logo or ad campaign. The next hurdle in achieving true brand integrity is to create an experience for the customer that mirrors the brand message you are communicating. Paying close attention to how the brand is seen, felt, heard and interacted with in the store, the boardroom or online, is important. This is the other 33% of the brand that can become an afterthought to all the fun stuff – logo development, social media and marketing.
Many people assume a brand is simply a cool logo and funny jingle but it’s also the emotional connection built over time with customers. Remember, your employees are on the frontline. The time and effort put into training them on the brand message pays itself forward. While customers experience an organization’s brand at various levels, it is the employees who really bring it home; they have the power to increase or decrease the organization’s brand value all within the first few minutes.
Service. This could be a whole separate blog topic but for now, let’s keep it simple. Aside from the fact that you should always be striving to provide exceptional service, if an element of your brand mantra is “great service,” then without question, it is what you should be doing. Period. If customers come in expecting “great service” and you serve up mediocrity, don’t expect to see or hear from them again.
Poor or not-so-polite service will certainly squash any brand personality you’ve worked hard to build via advertising. Quite simply, the goal is for your customers to walk out of your establishment or sign off of your website with not only their previous brand notion intact but reinforced by their experience.
The overall feel or ambiance of your company should reflect the image you are portraying through your marketing initiatives. Companies like Starbucks and Target have long been working towards this end.
When you walk into a Starbucks coffee shop, the comfy couches, small tables and fun music are all working together to make you feel like you’ve just stepped into the neighborhood coffee cafe. Compared to Wal-Mart, Target positions themselves as a hip place to buy clothes, furniture and toiletry items.
But it takes more than just cutting-edge TV spots to be relevant. Remember, there’s more to your brand than just messaging and a logo, the other third is experience. If you are feeling like your brand needs some adjustment so it feels 100% on-brand, let’s talk. Grab a spot on our calendar to schedule a free 30-minute consultation.