8 Ways Your Brand Is More Than You Might Think

A lot of people use the term “branding” as synonymous with “brand identity”. They think it’s referring to the logo.  Or maybe the logo, colors, and typography.  Some know that it goes beyond that to include the entire story, all imagery, the tone, the look.  In other words, everything that grows to represent the product or business verbally and visually in advertising and marketing.  The Voice.

But branding goes even further beyond that.  A lot further.  Your brand is made up of every interaction the customer has with your product, business or service.

Every. Single. Interaction.

Think about what that means.  It means that EVERY touchpoint a customer has with your brand is what creates—or destroys—your brand.  This applies to any and every product or business, no matter how big or small, local, regional, national or international.

So go ahead, test your Brand. Ask yourself:

  1. Is every marketing tactic consistent in voice, tone and overall message? That “Voice” can be playful, edgy, sweet, sophisticated, friendly, serious…it doesn’t matter what it is.  But everything needs to be consistent.
  2. Is every media choice consistent with what your brand stands for?
  3. Is the customer’s experience of your website easy, enjoyable, pleasurable, interesting, gratifying…and reflective of that verbal and visual Voice?
  4. Is your Facebook page and all social media speaking to the customer in a way that fully supports and reflects your brand? (I won’t mention a certain president here.)
  5. What about your customer service? Are your people trained to speak in a way that reflects everything your brand stands for—whether that’s in person, on the phone or via email?  I remember the first time I flew Southwest a few years ago.  The flight attendants were light-hearted, upbeat, a tad irreverent and even entertaining and funny. What?? On an airplane??
  6. If your brand is a retail establishment, does the environment—the look, sounds, scents, music, organization, space flow, product displays, menu, signage, seating, entrance, window treatments, checkout area—reflect your brand?
  7. Have you trained your employees to create an experience that reflects the character of your brand? My local Ace Hardware just oozes customer service—there is ALWAYS someone close by (or approaching me) to provide friendly, patient help.  The checkout person greets me every single time I walk in and at checkout they are efficient and appreciative. I come back time and again.
  8. Do your employees manner of dress, persona and attitude reflect your brand? I went shopping for cars a couple years ago;  Subaru had down-to-earth, outdoorsy looking representatives. The Mini Coop booth had fun, affable, with-it, twenty-somethings helping me.

I could keep going. On and on.  Seriously. This may seem exhaustive (or maybe even exhausting), but it’s worth examining every aspect of your brand and every interaction your customers have with it.  Because one bad experience can lose a customer. Unfortunately it’s common human behavior that people like to complain about a bad experience to others more than they like to talk about a good experience.

So think BIG and BROAD about your brand.  Because bit by bit these poor representations of and interactions with your “brand” destroy your brand (sometimes before it even gets off the ground.)  It’s so much easier to train people up front than to correct them and a situation after the fact.  So much easier to pay attention to these qualities as you’re creating the brand than fix them after the fact.

So much better than having to say “Bye bye Brand!”  Right?