What’s a brand?
Jeff Bezos is quoted as saying, “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
From Seth Godin: “A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.”
And from Marty Neumeier, “A brand is not a logo. A brand is not an identity. A brand is not a product. A brand is a person’s gut feeling about a product, service, or organisation.”
What can you do?
You can’t control these outcomes. You can’t get into someone’s head and dictate what they think (yet!).
But you can intentionally put things into place to try and influence how they think of you – your positioning.
Who is “they”? This is your ideal customer (client/patient/stakeholder/buyer).
- Develop your customer persona(s). Who is your ideal customer?
- In their minds, how and why are you different from their alternatives? (Known as positioning)
- What do you need to do to help them believe this is true?
If this is the essence of brand strategy, then what brand strategy boils down to is making sure the customer experience is properly defined and executed.
The customer experience is a journey from when they first notice or interact with your business, right through until after the sale and includes your follow-up service.
If your staff let you down and provide bad service, then “what people say about you when you’re not in the room” won’t be what you hope for.
If your product or service doesn’t meet expectations, then “what people say about you when you’re not in the room” won’t be what you hope for.
All the marketing in the world won’t help.
Brand strategy isn’t just about promotion, it’s also about people, product and process.
Think of the customer experience in its entirety. This is your brand.