What is the first thought that comes to mind when you consider your brand? If you simply think of your logo you will not survive the ever-growing experience economy. Put simply, your brand is more than a logo; it is the entire experience your company provides.
Dan Pallotta on hbr.org says, “Brand is everything, and everything is brand.” From the moment someone walks through your doors to the time they leave your office, as Disney says, “everything speaks.”
Here are three things you haven’t considered to be your company’s brand:
1. Your brand is the reason why your company exists
All companies want brand loyalty. They want people to regularly return to their products and services. Yet, how does one achieve this loyalty?
In most cases, the companies with the most brand loyalty are the ones who tell their audience why they do what they do. Simon Sinek states directly, “People don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it.” This is true for your brand. At any given moment, your company stands up against tough competition. So how does your company keep a competitive edge? You keep it by regularly returning to the why.
Your company will not achieve brand loyalty only through logo recognition. If you cannot answer the question “why does my brand exist?” then you need to take some time to consider this question.
2. Your brand is the experience customers receive
In the book Branded Customer Service, Janelle Barlow and Paul Stewart contend, “Brands are as much a way of doing business as they are a reputation or identity.”
As customers, everyone remembers both exceptional and horrific experiences they receive. Naturally, these experiences—both good and bad—are forever connected to that company’s brand.
For example, my wife bought a plane ticket to California from priceline.com. Twenty-four hours later she checked ticket prices and they had dropped $100 from the previous day, so she called Priceline to see if any money could be refunded. The friendly voice on the phone told her that it was against their policy to reverse the funds, however, she would be happy to cancel the flight and rebook at no additional cost.
Because of this experience, I use Priceline to book every plane ticket. Your brand is the experience your customers receive.
3. Your brand is your employees
When discussing brand, this is one of the most overlooked topics. You can explain why your company exists. You can teach great customer service. But if you don’t hire the right people, your company will not last.
Your employees are the face of your brand. They are the boots on the ground, frontline warriors, in the battle for an amazing experience. When you don’t have the right employees, you will spend more time defending your brand than pushing your brand forward to new levels. It is worth every grueling moment of the hiring process to protect your brand’s longevity.
Consider today that your brand is much more than a logo.
What is your biggest struggle in branding your company?
Photo credit: Ali Marsh
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Nevertheless, I would not recommend something if I did not think that it was a good product or service. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.