We’re going to talk a lot about branding on this blog because it’s SO important for all businesses yet it is something that most businesses have a poor understanding about. Most business owners equate ‘brand’ with ‘logo’ but it actually goes way, way beyond that. Your logo is simply one part of the bigger brand picture.
Branding is all about how people see you
In other words, when they hear your name, or see your logo, what do people FEEL?
It was a sunny Sunday afternoon down at Cottesloe Beach. My son was playing in the park with my husband while I went off in search for coffee. It was 3.15pm when I wandered across the road to a cafe. They closed at 4pm yet half their outside tables were already packed up and I was the recipient of a “we’ve been here since 7am and we’re really over it” attitude. This really irritated me – I was being treated as a nuisance because I had the audacity to patronise their establishment 45 minutes before closing time.
What the owners and staff at this cafe seem to have forgotten is that they work in hospitality. Which requires them to be hospitable … at ALL times. Part of their branding is the way they treat their customers, whether it be at the start or the end of the day. I was pretty annoyed at my experience on this otherwise lovely Sunday afternoon and from here on, whenever I think of this cafe, I think negative thoughts!
This cafe could have the nicest logo and the best presented establisment of all its Cottesloe counterparts, but the negativity I feel about them on an emotional level now means that the next time I am at the beach, I am going to look elsewhere for my coffee!
Do a quick “customer service” audit. Are there aspects of your customer service that are letting down your brand and making people think negative thoughts about you? If there is, you need to address this NOW.