The Marketing Bureau

Specialist Marketing & Communications Resourecs



Do Not Leave Home Without This Stuff

By Brian H Meredith
From the NZBusiness"Marketing Maestro" Archive
First published June 2013

When we get up in the morning we take a shower, shave some stuff, clean our gnashers and the females amongst us apply makeup (as do some of the men!). Then we carefully ( some more carefully than others), choose what to wear, make sure our shoes are clean, perhaps apply a fragrance and, finally, stand in front of the mirror to ensure that we are happy with what others are going to see.

And then, of course, there are some amongst us who don’t do all of that stuff, and not surprisingly, don’t look in the mirror either.

The majority of us then head to our cars which are in varying conditions and varying states of cleanliness. For many of us, we wear our cars, we don’t just drive them.

Next, of course, we add to, or detract from, our overall identity by the manner in which we drive, the routes that we take, the places that we are heading for.

The drivers, based on their cars, which part of town they are in, the way in which they are driving and the way they, themselves, look, are judged, either consciously or sub-consciously, by those that see them, based on all of these variables.

And the poor buggers haven’t even made it to work yet!  There their personal identity or “Brand” will be screaming far more messages to far more people based on every tiny behaviour in which they engage. The effects will be either positive or negative but never neutral.

There are those amongst us who are very conscious of this stuff and take care to design and present our personal brand to others and, in particular, to those whom we believe are important to us (our target markets).

And there are those who, for whatever reason, care much less and do little to manage their Brand. They, arguably, suffer some degree of consequences for this.

So allow me to share one simple, but vital, component of business success (which matches, feature for feature, one simple but vital component of human success) - Your Brand.

Every individual and every business, every organisation, every entity, every government department, every television programme, every radio station, every everything, is a Brand. And how you manage that Brand matters – a lot.

Here is a quick checklist of the basic stuff of Brands and the way in which you must manage them.

What does your brand look like?

This is about so much more than your logo.

Every tiny aspect of the way in which your business and its’ products or services is seen by your customers and potential customers matters. Don’t leave it to chance. Design it, plan it, monitor it, update it.

Your logo, your building/s, your interior environments (office or factory floor), your vehicles, even your people, must present a visual identify that is consistent with what you intend your Brand to be.

How does your brand behave?

In every detail, from the obvious (e.g. responding to enquires) to the less obvious (e.g. when your staff have a beer in a bar on a Friday after work) has a significant impact on your Brand. So, once again, this must be designed, managed, monitored and updated from time to time.

What does your brand sound like?

When I call your telephone number and am answered by a computer telling me that my call is important and then makes me wait for an interminable period of time whilst listening to muzak that drives me nuts, your Brand is being damaged on a second by second basis.

When your television advertising includes some moronic idiot screaming at me about how cheap your products are, your Brand is being damaged on a second by second basis. Personally, I will never visit a Harvey Norman store because I am convinced it must be an incredibly noisy place.

What does your brand smell like?

If you run a cafe, surely you would want the customer to smell freshly ground coffee as they enter and not old, stale fat in the deep fat fryer?

If you run a car hire company, what would you want your car interiors to smell like? Clean, fresh and, preferably, new or reeking of the last hire which was four unwashed teenagers eating, drinking and smoking all the way from Taupo to Auckland?

Does your Office Reception smell fresh, clean and pleasant or is a visitor likely to be desperate for you to open a window? Does this matter? You bet it does. Leave these things to chance and you will pay the price. By contrast, plan, design, implement and monitor how you want it to be and you will notch up significant Brand points.

What does your brand taste like?

Doesn’t matter what business you are in, if you offer your customer a coffee, make sure it’s a darn good one! Way too many of you offer them a coffee before then apologising that it is going to be a cup of muck from a machine along the corridor. Not good enough.
If it’s water, make sure it is fresh and cold and from a Water Cooler, not a dirty tap in the kitchen.

The above is just a glimpse at the scale and scope of what effective brand development and management should comprise. There is much, much, more that warrants, nee demands, your attention, your time and your resources being committed to ensuring all is as you would like it to be or, more importantly, as your customer would like it to be.

Now, go take a glimpse in that mirror......



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