This is the Wikipedia definition of a brand – “A distinguishing name and/or symbol, used to identify a product or producer. So what?
You’re probably sitting there thinking that I am about to give you a 30 minute lecture on the importance of having updated signage on your shopfront, vehicles, stationery etc. Although these things are very important, I’m also aware enough of the fact that you didn’t spend your money to come here and be lectured to. While those such things are important for the obvious reasons (your store is worth more, it makes customers decisions easier, it strengthens you during down times, it’s EXCLUSIVELY YOURS!), I’m going to talk about something different. Although if you’ll indulge me for just a moment……
Some WA stores might want to disagree with ‘Control Freak Foster’ that stands before you on stage, but franchise compliance has NEVER been designed to control the franchisees. It is designed to control the CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE when they interact with our brand. If we think about branding in a broader context, all of the promotional activities that marketing people undertake and to shape what we want customers to think and feel when they hear of or interact with our brand.
How many of you would have considered the thought, maybe 10 years ago, to spend $4.50 every day on a cup of coffee? How many of you have bought a luxury vehicle when a middle range car would have done exactly the same thing? What do you think of when you think of Gloria Jeans? More importantly why do people go there? Atmosphere. Warmth. Consistency of product. Speed of service. So what do customers think of when they hear our brand names? We’re not household names yet, right, but our awareness has improved dramatically in the last few years, will continue to do so. But is being a “Full Service Sign Centre” good enough these days? NO. Is it good enough to tell people we can help them “Get Noticed”? NO. Our brand strategy has been to get a bunch of stores to the marketplace and build our brand awareness through your activities. Direct marketing, networking, local advertising, serving the community. Has it worked? YES. Have our competitors cottoned on to what we do and what has made us successful? You betcha. They’re catching up, so we need to work out what’s next.
So that’s how we’re trying to get people to think of OUR brand. But let’s change the context and be a little more specific. I want to talk about YOU. How do people see YOU – not your business, but YOU? Think for a minute about the way that YOU are perceived. What is your reputation , i.e. what do people say about you when you’re not around?
Sounds like a self-indulgent, wanky term? It probably is, but why is it important. Why is it important that YOU as Joy Coulson, or as Bruce Hopkins, or as Jon Mewton consider what you stand for? Because the first golden rule of selling is – that before you sell anything, what do you have to sell first? YOURSELF. People buy from people they know and like.
What do people think of when they think of Murray Anderson – that despite anything else, he’s one of us. Always giving advice, always maintaining his principles. How do people look at Matt Fitzpatrick – passionate, creative, a leader. This is Personal Branding.
Did Murray Anderson’s customers ask for his ‘best price?’ They may have the first time, but they certainly didn’t the second. But did they come back – absolutely, because Murray was just like them. Do Matt Fitzpatrick’s customers know that he is going to produce the best quality job for them. Yes, because Matt doesn’t try to show them how much he knows, he shows them how much he cares.
Do you wanna know why? Because it’s the only thing that ever has.
Australasian EXPO 2010 - Branding (Evan)
Branding Evan Foster
Brand (n.) A distinguishing name and/or symbol, used to identify a product or producer.